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  • Writer's pictureYasmin @ Aloha Social

Marketing For Travel Agents: Sail The Seven P’s To Success


Marketing Travel Business

The Aloha mission is to help you navigate the choppy waters of marketing for your independent travel business, and there’s nothing I like more than a good framework to follow. Keeping things simple and straightforward is the key to smooth sailing (and getting to the destination you’re hoping for), so I’ve gathered the Seven P’s up in a coconut shell for you in this guide to marketing for travel agents - this one’s for my little community of independent agents!


There were originally four P’s of marketing in the 1950s but the way we create and consume content has come a long way since then, so this was expanded to 7. I would argue that in our ever-changing digital age there may even be more than this now, but I don’t believe in overcomplicating your marketing - I like my content creation waters shallow, clear and teeming with life.


Marketing for travel agents: the 4 original P’s


Product

The first wave to surf in this framework of marketing for travel agents is ‘Product’ - in other words, what is the thing you are selling, who needs it and why? What makes it unique? For you as an independent travel agent, your product could be:


✨ A hotel room or plane ticket

A whole holiday packaged up

An attraction, activity or experience


To set yourself apart from all the other fish in the sea, you need to identify what makes your version of the product special. Is the customer service experience superior, or can you offer a thrown-in extra such as a spa treatment, percentage off food in a restaurant or an extra night at less cost that they wouldn’t get if they didn’t book with you?


Your product needs to be easily identifiable as that one perfect, pearly shell in the sand that your customer wants to pocket and take home with them.


Price

The second destination in the Seven P’s of marketing for travel agents is ‘price’, and this really comes down to knowing your customer inside out. I highlighted a great example of how marketing and price points within the travel industry align with Ryanair’s content, which you can check out here to see my point illustrated.


Depending on which part of the travel market you’re targeting, your pricing will look different.


If you are advertising luxury, all-inclusive holidays or once-in-a-lifetime experiences as your product, these will probably demand a higher price tag. However, in the travel industry, your pricing should also follow the current of other factors such as:


☀️ Season: many travel businesses put in place higher prices during popular travel seasons, such as school holidays or the height of summer


✈️ Demand: like airlines, sometimes dynamic pricing is the best strategy for aligning with the demand for your product or service. This can include offering deals for early-birds or last-minute sales, helping you reach your sales targets all year round


⚡️ Competition: what else is out there that is similar? What can you add or tweak to differentiate yourself in the pricing area? This may mean strategies such as bundling things up to create a more attractive package, that appears to be excellent value for money.


Place

Our third island in the seven P’s of marketing for travel agents is ‘place’, which refers to where your products are delivered and where they can be bought. As an independent travel agent your ‘place’ may be more likely your website than a physical location, so you need to make sure the experience on your site is totally shellrific. If your booking system is clunky and doesn’t work smoothly or the route to purchase is not clear, your sales may suffer - no matter how appealing your product and price!


Promotion

The final stop on our journey through the original four P’s (remember there are three bonus ones to come!) is promotion - my blog is bursting with content to help you promote your services, and my travel marketing services (everything from Pinterest and TripAdvisor management to content marketing and coaching) are designed to help you if you’re ready for outsourcing.


Everything you do to get the message out about your products falls under this category - so-shell media, Pinterest, blogging, ads, PR, influencer marketing and so on…



Marketing for travel agents: the 3 extra P’s


There are three bonus P’s to discover for your marketing strategy - no more uncharted waters here! These are…


People

This one is twofold, referring to your audience (who you have to know like the back of your sand) but also the people who represent your product. This means you as an independent travel agent, and anyone you have working on your team or representing your product throughout the journey or experience. It’s everything from who answers your customers’ email enquiries to the staff running the experiences at the resort on their holiday, as well as the faces involved in your promotion. Trust and reliability are key!


Process

If your customers have chosen you over a large, corporate travel agency, it’s because they want something only you can offer for the same level of professionalism and service. Your processes are all about how quickly, efficiently and smoothly you can deliver what they want - answers to their questions, proposals and quotations, and bookings. Spend some time deep-diving on your processes and reef the rewards!


Physical evidence

We’ve reached our final destination, the seventh ‘P’ of marketing for travel agents! This one is all about proving you are credible and people will get what they pay for when buying with you. In travel marketing, this is not as straightforward as showing your physical products in action (unlike a company that makes ocean-friendly shampoo or wetsuits, for example), and the risk of purchasing a four-figure holiday is much greater than buying a can of sunscreen if it doesn’t turn out to be what it says it is…


You need to provide evidence that what you sell is real and tangible, starting with a well-designed website which contains all the information people could want to find. This includes your qualifications or registrations, as well as legitimate reviews from past customers about your service and products.


 

We’re at the end of our voyage through the Seven P’s, so if you still have questions about how to implement this in your own travel business marketing or want to discuss outsourcing, pop over and say ‘aloha’ here and let’s chat! 🌺

Marketing Tips For Travel Businesses


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