5 ways your travel and leisure marketing can earn back the trust of women.

September 18, 2012

A study of women in 22 countries identified 5 ways brands are failing women, and 5 strategies to earn back their trust.

A landmark study found that women control 73% of household spending, but feel neglected by many brands.

Authors Michael and Kate Sayre, partners atBoston Consulting Group recently published a book: Women Want More: How to capture your share of the world’s largest, fastest growing market .

The landmark study upon which the book is based traced the attitudes and purchasing habits of 12,000 women in twenty-two countries.

The study found that women control 73% of household spending, and $4.3 trillion in consumer spending in the U.S. alone.

But it found that women the world over are dissatisfied with the products and services they buy. The reason?

Many companies don’t take the time to understand the issues modern women face, and create products that fail to meet their needs.

The authors found that women are having difficulty balancing all the roles they are called to play at home and in their job. They’re time-starved and stressed out.

And they  struggle to balance what the authors call “the job at the job and the job at home.”

The book reports that companies fail to meet the needs of women in five key ways:

  1. They are not addressing women’s need for time-saving solutions.
  2. They have poor product design and customization for women.
  3. Their sales and marketing efforts are clumsy and often insulting to women.
  4. They fail to align with women’s values or develop community.
  5. They don’t ‘give back’ to society as well or as much as they could.

The authors offer five ways that travel & leisure brands can earn the loyalty of women:

  1. Take the time to understand and tailor your product to their needs and values.
  2. Create products and services that save women time.
  3. Demonstrate your own values and commitment to the community.
  4. Empower your sales force to be more responsive.
  5. Offer 24/7 access to customer service, and product information that’s simple and easy to find

According to the study, women place a premium on the following values:

  • Love
  • Health
  • Honesty
  • Emotional Wellbeing.

Women want the brands they buy to understand those values, and offer them services that honor them.

According to Ms. Sayer, “Take care of those core values,and companies can really connect with women.”

How is your travel & leisure brand connecting with women? What changes have you made to reach better connect to women’s wants and needs? Talk to us.


Tell me again: Why should guests care about your travel brand?

September 6, 2012

When I moved to Denver 18 years ago, it seemed like a long way off from the work-obsessed, almost cult-like ad community I left behind in Minneapolis.

Then I started meeting a few of the natives. And saw what they were doing with their free time.

Up and down my street, and in office after office at work,  I met people who worked hard. And played even harder.

I met people who plotted and planned out every minute of their evenings, weekends and vacations like it just might be their last.

They mountain biked, kayaked, fly fished and tent camped in the summer.

They skied, went snowboarding,  ice climbed and went snowshoeing in the winter.

Somewhere in there, they found time to take vacations to exotic resorts, desolate beaches and undiscovered four and five-star hotels in Asian and Eastern European cities I had never heard of.

In between trips and treks, they talked my ear off about their passions, and the latest travel and outdoor recreational brands  that helped keep their adrenaline pumping.

And I began to understand the difference between a customer and a follower.

That brings us to your brand.

Have you created the kind of product or place that people can’t stop talking about? Is your brand worthy of someone’s full and undivided passion?

Do the people who follow your brand feel like you get them? Do you participate in their conversations enough to know what they love? And hate?

Do you wrap your brand in the same love that intoxicates your followers?

If so, I know 3 million people here in Colorado who can’t wait to meet and talk to you.

If you don’t, I know another 300 million Americans who can’t wait to ignore you.



Travel and leisure marketing: Is it time to re-think your policy on single travelers?

September 4, 2012

 

Solo travelers now account for over $28 billion in travel spending.

There are a lot more single Americans than you realize.  It’s time travel and hospitality marketers started catering to them.

Nearly 1 in 3 Americans are single, and over 50 million Americans have never been married.

  • 105 million adults in the U.S., nearly one-third of all Americans, are single.
  • Almost 40% of the single population are divorced, and 60% have never been married.
  • Marriage rates have declined from 72% in 1960 to just 52% in 2008.

Recently, Gary Leopold, CEO of ISM, one of the top travel and hospitality marketing firms in the U.S., explored the subject of solo travelers in a blog post for Media Post.

According to Gary, the statistics on singles travel spending are staggering.

  • Singles account for $2.2 trillion in annual buying power.
  • 1 in 4 Americans who travel domestically or abroad now do so alone.
  • 25 million singles age 42 or older spent over $28 billion on travel in 2008.

Women are more likely than men to travel alone.

  • According to Gary, women aged 42 or older are twice as likely as men to vacation alone.
  • More than 80% of Match.com users listed travel as one of their interests.

A few travel and hospitality markers are taking advantage of this trend.

  • Norwegian Cruise Line launched a ship, Epic, that has 128 “studio” suites and a private lounge designed for the single traveler.
  • Some of the all-inclusive resorts like Breezes have packages just for singles.
  • REI Adventures partners with Match.com to offer adventure travel trips to singles.

I did a Google search on the keywords “singles travel” and found dozens of  singles travel specialists.

They’re focused on a wide variety of singles travel niches, including:

  • Cruises
  • Adventure travel
  • Over 40s travelers
  • Luxury travel
  • Jewish Singles
  • Singles Travel Clubs

It’s harder to find restaurant chains and other hospitality brands that cater to singles.

That surprises me, since the mothers of newly graduated 20 somethings and recently divorced adult children will tell you they eat out more than their married brothers and sisters.

What you can do to attract singles to your travel or hospitality brand

  • You can start by developing packages and promotions just for singles.
  • If you’re a travel brand, experiment with eliminating your use of single supplements.
  • When marketing to singles, stop pricing on a per person/double occupancy basis.
  • If you’re a restaurant, consider a singles’ menu and options for people who don’t cook at home.

What are you doing to reach the single traveler or diner?

Have you tried special packages or offers? What’s worked? What hasn’t? Tell us about it.


Travel and leisure marketing: 15 twitter tips for tourism destinations

August 28, 2012

The Grand Junction, CO VCB drives visitors to local URLs.

These 15 twitter tips are designed to help tourism destinations develop a more effective twitter strategy. And ultimately to drive traffic to your website.

A Couple of Chicks, a savvy Canadian e-marketing agency whose mission is to take the fear out of web marketing, recently posted some practical twitter tips for tourism destinations.

1. Use Twitter to increase site visits. Google indexes twitter feeds and drives traffic to your website!

2. Strategize. Plan ahead with an editorial schedule to tie in with planned events, promotions, etc.

3. Be consistent with profile information i.e. using brand “http://www.twitter.com/acoupleofchicks” or “http://twitter.com/HfxNovaScotia” as name, URL, descriptor.

4. Use your ‘brand’ as graphic background; see ex: http://twitter.com/BayOfFundy.

5. Use the 3&3 rule: Three tweets and three re-tweets per day.

6. Tweet smart: Tweet at different times throughout the day; use ‘pending tweets’ functionality to schedule tweets outside of your work day but in time zones relevant to potential target audiences.

7. Use auto-welcomes i.e. “Thank you for following Tourism Fredericton – your source for things to do in Fredericton, the Capital of New Brunswick. Want to find out what’s happening? Check out our other Twitter feeds….”

8. Tweet using your targeted keywords.

9. Use pics and website URL’s (remember to use URL shorteners like tinyurl.com).

10. Proper Twitter etiquette is to follow those who follow you, but be cautious of “cleaning” your list of who you follow regularly.

11. Follow your competitors and their followers.

12. Engage with your audience: Differentiate yourselves from broadcasters and be rich content providers.

13. Link to your Twitter feeds (& show them on your site) from all that you do online & offline; see: http://www.travelportland.com/visitors/twitter.html andhttp://www.halifaxsociable.com

14. Follow other DMO’s or destinations and don’t be afraid of some back and forth conversation.

15. Follow partners in your communities: Reach out and engage with hotels, attractions etc… that are already on twitter.

Those are the do’s of destination tourism tweeting.  Read about the don’ts in their original post. Thanks to a Couple of Chicks!


Travel and leisure marketing: Are Americans suffering from vacation deprivation?

August 20, 2012

Compared to adults in other countries, US citizens take a lot less vacation. Is there an opportunity for your travel or leisure brand?

It’s not news that since the start of the Great Recession,  Americans are taking shorter trips closer to home.

But did you know Americans take a lot less vacation than workers in other countries?

And they need their travel and leisure brands to pack more relaxation or excitement into less time.

Every year for the past decade, Expedia has surveyed employed adults in countries all over the world as part of its International Vacation Deprivation Survey.

The results of the latest survey tell a lot about why so many Americans are stressed out and in need of more leisure time.

Employed adults in the U.S. get less than half of the vacation time as workers in other Western countries.

  • Americans receive an average of 13 days of vacation a year.
  • By comparison, Canadians average 19 days per year.
  • Workers in Great Britain get 26 days a year.
  • Germans take 28 days a year.
  • But the biggest winners are French workers, who average 38 vacation days per year.

Not only do we get less vacation, we enjoy it less, too.

  • 4 in 10 Americans take only one week of vacation, and then use the rest here and there.
  • 3 in 10 employed adults usually do not take all of their vacation days each year.
  • A quarter of all respondents reported checking work email or voicemail while vacationing.
  • 4 in 10 report having trouble coping with stress at some point during their vacation.
  • 2 in 10 adults reported canceling or postponing a vacation because of work.

The funny thing is Americans see the benefits of taking time off.

  • In the study, 1 in 3 American adults reported feeling better about their job after a vacation.
  • 1 in 2 say they come back from vacation feeling rejuvenated.
  • 1 in 2 say they come back feeling reconnected with their families.

Men and women have different attitudes about work and vacation time.

  • Men are more likely to regularly work more than 40 hours a week (44% of men vs. 29% of women).
  • Men are also more likely to take a 2-week vacation then women (12% of men vs. 8% of women).
  • Women are more likely to feel guilty about taking time off from work (40% of women vs. 29% of men).

The only countries that leave more unused vacation days are the Japanese and Italians.

  • American workers average 3 unused vacation days a year.
  • By comparison, the British, French and Germans don’t use 1-2 days.
  • Italian workers leave an average of 6 vacation days (out of 27), while the Japanese leave 7 (out of 15).

Courtesy of Expedia Vacation Deprivation Survey

How can your travel or leisure brand can capitalize on this trend:

  • Can your brand offer people a better escape in less time?
  • Can your guests cram more activities into fewer days, or enjoy a more complete escape?
  • Should you put  together all-inclusive and short-term vacation packages?
  • Maybe you market your property as a cell-free or email free zone.

What are you doing to attract the vacation-starved American traveler?  Tell us about it.


Travel marketing: What are you doing to capitalize on America’s fastest growing leisure sport?

August 15, 2012
picture of old suitcase filled with tennis balls

18 million Americans now spend part of their free time playing tennis.

Tennis is the fastest growing sport in the U.S. as Americans look for a cheaper past time in a tough economy. Here are a few ideas to attract the tennis set.

One of our jobs here at 5 to 9 Branding is to report on where Americans are spending their free time.

A recent Reuter’s report found that more and more of us are spending our free time playing tennis.

If you’re the marketer of a travel or leisure brand, you’ll be interested to learn how the tennis industry orchestrated some of this growth.

First the statistics on the growth of tennis.  According to Reuters:

  • From 2000-2009, the number of Americans playing tennis grew 43% to 18.5 million.
  • By comparison, the number of golfers declined 5% in 2009 to 27 million players.
  • Tennis has become the fastest growing traditional sport in America.
  • Unlike the last tennis boom in the 1970′s, there are no American tennis stars to fuel the growth.

Experts say the current growth of tennis partly the result of the slowing economy and partly the result of an orchestrated effort by the United States Tennis Association (USTA).

  • After a 1994  cover story in Sports Illustrated titled Is Tennis Dead? the USTA committed $36 million annually to a multi-year marketing and promotional campaign to boost tennis at a local level.
  • Tennis manufacturers like Wilson and Prince also put up millions for public parks to offer free tennis lessons to introduce Americans to tennis.
  • Compared to golf, tennis is relatively easy to learn and inexpensive to play.
  • Many public parks offer free use of tennis courts, and a top tennis racket costs a fraction of a good set of golf clubs.

If you’re the marketer of a travel or leisure brand, ask yourself what the tennis industry can teach you about marketing your brand.

  • Can you reposition your brand to take advantage of the changing tastes of the post-recession consumer?
  • Can you offer customers a low-cost or no-cost introduction to your brand?
  • Could you combine efforts with a trade association to promote awareness of a sport or pastime your brand supports?
  • Can you appeal to a new generation of users?

Is your travel or leisure brand capitalizing on this leisure phenomenon?

  • If you market a destination travel brand, do you highlight your tennis facilities in your marketing materials?
  • Could you put together a stay and play tennis package?
  • How about throwing in lessons from your tennis pro?
  • Could you provide free group classes or free use of racquets for travelers who forgot to pack theirs?

That’s what the tennis industry’s turnaround has us thinking about. How about you? What  are you doing to capitalize on the growth of this popular sport?


Are you capitalizing on the latest travel marketing trend: The fake-ation?

August 13, 2012

 

A recent study confirms most Americans can’t escape their work–even on vacation.

8 in 10 Americans have trouble leaving their work behind when they go on vacation.  Could your travel brand be the solution?

A recent TripAdvisor travel trends survey uncovered a startling trend.

As a travel and hospitality marketing specialist , I don’t like to admit that I have trouble separating work from pleasure.

But the truth is I’m usually a day or two into a vacation before my wife gently reminds me to quit checking emails and voicemails.

The latest TripAdvisor Travel Trends survey reveals that I’m not the only American leisure traveler having trouble leaving their work at home.

The Fake-ation may be the biggest travel trend TripAdvisor uncovered this year.

According to Trip Advisor, American travelers are, in effect, taking vacations without getting a real vacation.

  • 8 in 10 Americans say they chose their destination at least partly because it is too remote to connect with work.
  • Yet 7 in 10 people admit to connecting with work on leisure trips.
  • 6 in 10 check their e-mail, while  1 in 10 call the office.

Why can’t Americans leave their work behind? If they’re like me, the internet and cell phones make connecting to work too easy.

If you’re a travel or leisure marketing specialist, there’s a big opportunity for you in this trend.

People like me want to escape. But we need help letting go.

Could your brand be the solution? Could you provide the real escape people are looking for?

Instead of making it easier for people to connect to work, could you cater to their desire to disconnect?

  • Could you remove the cell tower from the top of your building and provide a cell-free zone?
  • Instead of offering free wi-fi, maybe you offer no-fi.  Or if you want a little extra press coverage, $500 a day wi-fi.
  • Maybe you go lo-tech and require people to turn in their cell phones and lap tops upon arrival.
  • Or you set up cell-free and laptop free zones.
  • If you’re marketing camping equipment, scuba gear or even movie theaters, maybe you position your leisure brand as the only true escape from the office.

TripAdvisor has uncovered a truth most of us can’t deny:  We are looking for a way to get away from it all, but the internet and universal cell coverage have trapped us.

How you can your brand be our escape hatch?


What travel and leisure marketers can learn from history’s greatest social media screw ups.

August 8, 2012

6 of my favorite history lessons from the biggest social media screw ups of the still-young century.

1.  April 2004:  A blogger picks a Kriptonite lock using a Bic pen.

Social Learning:  Kriptonite (and the rest of us) learned that news travels a lot faster on the internet, and failing to respond can be costly.  By the way, Kriptonite ended up spending $15 million on a product recall.

2. June 2006: Dell’s reputation goes up in smoke when Gizmodo publishes a photo of an exploding laptop.

Social Learning:  Dell learned the power of a single incriminating photo spread across the internet, and the importance of responding quickly to negative news spread virally.

Dell was forced to recall more than 4 million laptop batteries. And quickly got its social act together.

3. January 2007:  Jet Blue passengers who are stranded on the runway for 8 hours film (and post) their ordeal.

Social Learning:  Jet Blue got the significance of these actions right away, and CEO David Neelman immediately crafted and posted an apology on YouTube.

And taught the rest of corporate America how to own up to a screwup online, in real-time.

4. August 2008:  In one of the first documented cases of Twitter-squatting, “Janet from ExxonMobil” creates a fake corporate Twitter account.

Social Learning:   This incident taught giants of industry across many categories that you ignore social media at your own peril.

5. A Twitter army of angry  moms swarms a sassy Motrin commercial aimed at moms, and forces Johnson and Johnson to apologize.

Social Learning:  A small group of influential Tweeters can use the megaphone of social media to get a giant company’s attention.

6.   United ignores passenger Dave Carroll’s pleas to fix a guitar the airline damaged in transit, and becomes the butt of Dave’s popular protest video.

Social Learning:  United learned that it’s a lot cheaper to fix a disgruntled passenger’s broken guitar than a reputation damaged by 9 million views of a viral video.

There are 31 more social mistakes of monumental consequence documented in a recent SMI presentation. You can view the entire presentation on Slideshare.


Travel and leisure marketing: And the best day to send your email blast is….

August 6, 2012

Many travel and leisure brands send out their email blasts on Mondays. But a leading expert in the field says Mondays rank 5th or 6th for open rates.

If you’re the CMO of a travel or leisure brand doing email marketing, the best time and day to send your emails may be a moving target.

Exact Target cites a study that stated the best day was Monday. But since that study appeared, Mondays have consistently ranked 5th or 6th for open rates.

Content sharing site Gather posted an excellent summary of the latest thinking on when to send your email blasts:

  • Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays are all optimal days to send emails because people have organized their work week and email inboxes.
  • Every day has its pros and cons. You should decide on the best time and day depending on your circumstances.
  • Monday pros and cons: Pro: After the weekend, many people make it a priority to organize their inboxes. Con: They erase many emails to get organized.
  • Best approach for Mondays: Late in the morning just before lunch, when people have time to check their inboxes and have already cleaned out their weekend dumps.
  • Tuesday pros and cons: Pro: People have organized their work week and have time to check their inboxes. Con: It’s too early to send campaigns geared to trigger action on the weekend.
  • Best approach for Tuesdays: Campaigns that aim for recipients to take action during the week.
  • Wednesday and Thursday pros and cons: Pros:  More time for emails.  Planning for the weekend. Cons:  Only 2 days left in the work week, and no time left for emails.
  • Best approach for Wednesday, Thursday: Keep your messages lighter and not as pushy.
  • Friday pros and cons: Pro:  There’s not as much email in their inbox. Con:  Many people are so busy they don’t check emails on Friday.
  • Weekends: Pros:  Very little email is sent on weekends, but people do read their emails. Cons:  Can look like you’re too pushy and intrusive.
  • Best approach for weekends: Don’t send any, unless your message will be most valued if received on weekends.

Twitter users influence your travel or leisure brand more than your Facebook followers.

August 2, 2012

Twitter users are three times more likely to impact your brand’s reputation online than the average consumer.

Although Twitter has far fewer users than Facebook,their regular users are the most influential online consumers, according to a recent study by Exact Target.

Their conversations fuel discussions across all areas of the internet–from blogs and forums to product reviews and coupon sites.

The study highlights 5 key findings:

  1. Active Twitter users’ reach goes far beyond Twitter because they blog, post reviews, comment on news stories and participate in discussion forums
  2. Their tweets are also indexed by Google and syndicated by the Twitter API
  3. Twitter also gives these people faster access to  breaking news and events than mainstream media
  4. People regard a branded account more reliable than an individual account.
  5. But they appreciate the opportunity to interact with the individual account of a high-ranking officer of a company.

So what kinds of content should you tweet to your visitors and guests?

  • Flash sales
  • Upcoming discounts and promotions
  • Updates on new or future offers
  • Offers of free nights or packaged discounts
  • Exclusive content just for your Twitter followers
  • News about your travel brand
  • New property or product introductions
  • Invite guests to share ideas and give feedback
  • Invite guests to make recommendations
  • Send direct messages from your travel brand

If you’re the CMO of a travel or leisure brand, use this valuable information to update your Twitter content strategy.

You can sign up for and download more information from Exact Target here.



Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 33 other followers

%d bloggers like this: