What is a travel-marketing firm? It sounds like a silly question until you realize that a quick internet search garners nearly no generic explanation. Almost all the results are found by combing through travel marketing websites to see what they have to say for themselves. The reason for this could be the simple fact that a travel-marketing firm is exactly what it sounds like it is: a business that helps travel companies market their services.
Nevertheless, as with any venture, achieving success in business is harder to do than to define. The Millennial consumer is a tough nut to crack. Being too smooth (read “salesy”) will make them suspicious. Being too retro (read “old-timey”) will make your company virtually inaccessible to them. Realistic and idealistic, practical but romantic, Millennials are starry-eyed, tech-savvy paradoxes that bemoan technology’s ability to isolate people while using it to connect with others in a myriad of ways. The bottom line is that they use technology for everything and want to invest in companies that are as tech-savvy as they are. Otherwise, it’s like texting their grandmother: cute but hard.
Here’s Fidelis Marketing Group’s CEO and founder Valentino Danchev on three ways that travel businesses can help to keep your travel company relevant in a Millennial-dominated culture:
1. Research Your Clients and Competitors
Before you develop your brand, it’s essential to do your due diligence. Who are your consumers? Who are your competitors? What makes you stand out from your competition that will also appeal to your customers? Don’t pretend that you have no competition. Millennials will see right through it; and if they do decide to give your company a chance to prove itself and it can’t deliver the goods, that’ll be the death of the relationship. Not only that, but you might find yourself a victim of “call-out culture” – that peculiar form of Millennial ire where you wake up to find your company smeared all over social media, so that the customer’s family, friends, and fans can all beware. Technology can be an untamed beast, my friend. Try not to provoke its wild side.
2. Invest in a High-Quality Website
Just do it. Millennial consumers want to be wooed. Expecting them to invest in a company that has a website circa A.D. 2000 is like asking someone out to dinner and then expecting them to cook the meal. That fish ain’t gonna bite. Try to avoid pop-up ads and other irritants. They make companies look like they’re trying too hard. Or maybe the company just isn’t successful enough to stay afloat without a host of sponsors, despite what the web content is trying to sell its viewers (#NotConvinced). If your website does sponsor ads, try to ensure that they’re site-specific. Millennial consumers don’t want to think about personal care items while trying to research their next travel adventure (no, I use deodorant already, thanks).
Speaking of content . . . have content. This sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many sites fail to clearly articulate what they do (see intro). Don’t put together a visually stunning site and then fail to explain why the consumer should care. The key is to accurately describe what your company can offer without overwhelming the customer with jargon. Be brief, be clear, and for God’s sake be grammatical. There’s nothing quite as off-putting as misnomers like, “We’re all about the details.”
“High-quality” also includes high-resolution photos; easy-to-use features; and fast, friendly customer service. The first may be what initially generates consumer interest, but the last can be the real clincher. This brings us to . . .
3. Be Accessible
Millennials value efficiency but they also value relationships. They want to buy brands they can believe in, not shovel their hard-earned dollars into an impersonal, moneymaking machine. If they like your website, they’ll probably want to follow you on social media; and if they like you on social media, they’ll probably want to share your brand with their friends. It’s like the modern business version of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Meet your customers’ needs, answer their complaints, and don’t be afraid to draw attention to the contact info on your website or initiate a “next steps” approach. Some consumers want to reach out but don’t feel invited to do so. Other sites have their contact info so well hidden that you’d think they were trying to escape the Inquisition.
Fidelis is a Mexico-based travel-marketing firm founded by Valentino Danchev on five core values: fidelity, respect, perseverance, force, and teamwork. These values are intended to ensure customer satisfaction at six luxury resorts in Latin America, which operate via private vacation club memberships. As a naturalized Mexican citizen who emigrated from Sofia, Bulgaria, Danchev is uniquely equipped to address the concerns that tourists and other travelers face while visiting a foreign country and adapting to a different culture.