Here are a few marketing questions that we have recently received into our office. If you have any further queries please call the Branding and Campaigns team on 01904 77 33 71. This section will be updated regularly with new marketing hints and tips.
I have a limited marketing budget, what is the most YTB important publication to be in?
Firstly the answer to this question is dependant on the nature of your business. If you are a quality inspected accommodation provider and wish to maximise your awareness opportunities throughout the year we would strongly recommend that you consider the Yorkshire Accommodation Guide.
- 250,000 copies produced and distributed
- Promoted to excess of 120,000 visitors each month to www.yorkshire.com
- Supported by the £2.8m Make Yorkshire Yours campaign
- A means to reach a high value target market
If you are more interesting in short bursts of activity to support you accommodation you could consider online booking or banner advertisement, both via www.yorkshire.com
If you are involved in marketing a destination within Yorkshire the obvious place for your marketing spend would be in the Make Yorkshire Yours Magazine. This magazine would give you the opportunity to showcase your destination with the use of strong imagery and inspirational copy. In addition this publication is currently produced twice yearly, therefore ensuring that our visitors are receiving much more seasonal and updated information. This gives you the chance to tailor your advertising to highlight the different benefits to visiting your destination at that particular time of year.
I would like to instigate a direct mail campaign – do you have any tips?
Direct marketing is about contacting customers and getting them to respond. You can target your message and measure the response accurately. There are ten key steps to running a good direct marketing campaign:
- Plan ahead
Think hard about what you want to achieve. Are you hoping to make a profit from this campaign or are you looking to make money over time?
- Budget carefully
Put together a realistic budget before you start. It’s no good getting halfway through a campaign and then realising it will lose money. You don’t just have to pay for whatever it is you’re sending out. Postage, mailing lists and processing responses all cost.
- Decide what to do yourself
You can do most of a direct marketing campaign yourself. Is this good use of your time? Would it be better to outsource some of the work? Find out what’s best for your business, and then find reputable suppliers through the Direct Marketing Association.
- Target your best prospects
Prospects are people you want to sell to. Look at what you know about any existing customers and use this information to decide which people to mail. You’ll get a better response if you can talk to each prospect in a way that’s relevant to them. Being selective about who you contact can make direct mail more cost effective
- Choose the right media
There are two types of advertising media: Mass media (TV, radio and press) and targeted media (direct mail or the telephone). Both are useful in direct marketing. A well tested combination is direct mail with a telephone follow up. What’s best for you will depend on your business.
- Manage your data Data on your prospects can come from your existing customers. You can also buy data from many organisations. You’ll probably want to store your data electronically in a database. You will need to check the data carefully to make sure it’s accurate, consistent and there isn’t any duplication.
- Stay legal
There are strict data protection laws that you must adhere to. Register with the Information Commissioner and learn the eight principles of the Data Protection Act. Other areas of business law apply to direct marketing too.
- Be creative
The purpose of your direct marketing copy and creative is to sell. Make sure you really grab the reader’s attention and give them an easy way to respond. Focus on the benefits you’re offering and write as if you’re speaking, so you sound like a human and not like a faceless corporation.
- Deal with the response
Be ready to cope with the responses. You can handle these yourself or get an external supplier to do it for you. Make sure you get further information and orders out in good time. Check the basics too. Do you have enough phone lines to handle the calls you’ll get?
- Measure your success
The final step is to work out how successful your campaign has been. This is vital, as it’ll help you improve next time. Compare the outcome against your original aims. What was the response rate like? If you’ve gained new customers, how much did each one cost?
How to make your brochures work for you?
Brochures and other forms of promotional literature are a form of communication with your customers. Brochures play a much more important role in tourism than in most other industries.
Simplicity and clarity are essential. Complicated designs and ornate typefaces may look attractive but can be difficult to read. Decide what type of message you are trying to get across and focus of one or two key selling points. Think about the type of image you want to create for example, an expensive brochure can be inappropriate for an inexpensive product.
You should aim for a consistent design across your business. A series of brochures, which have a common design and artwork, saves money and looks more professional than one-off designs.