Marketing and sales is at the front end of destination and/or business where your interface with customers begins. It is sometimes the most difficult part of business because every customer is different, and as such there is no exact prescription or rule about how to effectively reach them and how to effectively sell to them.
There are, however, guidelines and ideas about what you can do to make your marketing and sales efforts more successful and deliver the returns you need.
Marketing is essential for better understanding your customers and telling them about your product or service so that revenue can be generated.
Marketing entails more than just communicating with your potential customers. It is about understanding them, addressing their needs and then meeting those needs with an offer. It is also about understanding what opportunities exist for your business and how these can best be captured.
The Marketing Plan
A marketing plan establishes a direction for a destination and/or business. It identifies a marketing budget, sets out a media and promotion timetable and how you will review the success (or otherwise) of your marketing efforts. A marketing plan should answer these questions:
1. What is unique about my product / service?
2. Who are my customers?
3. What do my customers want or need?
4. What need will my product / service fulfil?
5. Why will customers buy from me and not my competitors?
To develop your marketing plan you need to cover:
1. Market research
2. Marketing strategies and goals
3. Marketing tactics
4. Monitoring and controlling the plan.
Small business marketing tips:
1. Review and adjust marketing strategies to meet changing situations
2. Focus on needs and expectations of existing and potential customers
3. Find a niche – small businesses succeed by offering something different
4. Look for promotional opportunities that fit your business strategies
5. Build networks to promote your business and its reputation.
Visit the marketing module of Business Gateway for more information, case studies and interactive market planning tools to help you develop your marketing plan.
VisitScotland offers a range of marketing opportunities to the Scottish tourism industry. VisitScotland promotes Scotland as a holiday destination both in the UK and around the world. VisitScotland creates and manages advertising and marketing campaigns that successfully attract visitors to Scotland.
An easy to use marketing opportunity tool will help you to quickly access the products and services that are tailored to your business, your location and the type of customers you want to attract.
VisitBritain is Britain's national tourism agency, responsible for marketing Britain overseas. They work in partnership with the national tourist boards in England, Scotland and Wales to promote an attractive image of all parts of Britain. They also work in partnership with thousands of organisations in the UK and overseas and seek to ensure that Britain is marketed in an appropriate way in 35 countries around the world.
Working with the Travel Trade
Working with the travel trade is sensible because inbound and outbound tour operators, travel agents, meeting and incentive planners can expand your marketing and sales reach by selling your product to consumers. You can build relationships that'll last for years. The trade gets to know you and trusts you to deliver a quality and consistent product. They'll promote and sell your product internationally and domestically year after year, or until market demand suggests otherwise. You only pay commission or offer a discount price when the sale is made. It costs you nothing to add a profit margin onto your price in order to work with the travel trade.