When it comes to sales, every business has a series of tactics they engage in to sell more of their product. It could be advertising in a magazine, getting some PR in the local press, running a Google Adwords campaign or getting started with some email marketing.
These are all tactics that every business should engage in to increase their sales. The only thing is by using these methods it’s really only you that’s promoting your business. You need to broaden your horizon when promoting your business, and one way of doing this is by partnering with other companies in the same space, otherwise known as 'affinity marketing'.
The following five suggestions are proven tactics by businesses in all industries to increase sales, meaning all five can be applied to your tour or activity company.
1. Partner with companies selling similar tours or activities
Let’s say you run a whitewater rafting company – your clientele are going to like daredevil activities that get their adrenalin pumping. So what other companies do you know that sell similar activities to yourself? Do you know a nearby skydive company? Or maybe one that specialises in bungee jumping? Is there an abseiling company in your area?
If so, their customers are similar to yours so take advantage of it. Visit their offices and see do they have flyers around. While you’re there, get to know the people who run it and see if they’ll send any business your way (once you’re willing to return the favour). Over time you’ll find out other ways you can help each other too.
2. Sell bundles with other tours
This is similar to what I wrote about in point one, but I thought it warranted its own point as it is for those who are extremely commercially minded…we live in a world where people like to save money in any way, shape or form. That might mean buying your tour and activity and one that compliments it at the same time. So if somebody’s decided to jump out of a plane while they’re in Mission Beach in Australia, maybe they’d like to go whitewater rafting down the nearby Tully River while they’re at it. If they could save money by booking both activities together it would surely increase the chances of them booking both. But to enable them to do this you must partner with the right companies first of all.
Speak to the powers that be in those tour and activity companies that compliment your business and propose a partnership where you sell ‘combo packages’ – you could increase each other’s sales almost instantly. Conveniently, TrekkSoft software lets you do this.
3. Create your own marketplace
Whatever the tour or activity is that you sell, you’ve got peers all over the world selling the exact same thing. So if it’s a photography tour you’re selling in Paris, do a bit of Googling and you’ll discover there are similar tours all over the world. You can take advantage of these tours that are similar to yours by creating an online marketplace where all tours are sold in the one place.
So in the instance of photography tours, create an ecommerce website such as Europeanphotographytours.com where your business and other similar businesses are all listed. If somebody books themself on to a tour of that kind in Paris, the chances are they’re going to book a similar one in Barcelona. By being on a marketplace you’ll increase the chances of reaching that customer.
4. Introduce yourself to the local DMO (Destination Marketing Organisation)
If you sell a product that helps promote a destination (skiing in the French Alps for instance), you’re doing the same thing a DMO tries to do – promote that area. As a result, it’s in a DMO’s interest that you sell as many of your tours as possible. Subsequently, the chances of your local DMO promoting your tour or activity are extremely high.
Find out who the relevant representative is at your local DMO and organise a meeting (if you haven’t already). Tell them what you do and ask them how they can promote you.
5. Run adhoc campaigns, partnering with businesses in other industries in the process
Here’s the scenario – you’re celebrating 50 years in business and to celebrate you want to have a huge giveaway on your website. This comprises of three nights in a hotel that gets your stamp of approval as well as your tour. But what else can yougive ? And more importantly, what new audience could you reach by giving something else away.
Maybe you’d be able to offer a meal for two as part of the prize? If so, get in touch with a restaurant with a large social following to see if they’d like to partner with you on the campaign. On top of that maybe you could offer free transport from the national rail network, a bag from a reputable company, a pair of trainers from a brand that matches yours – the possibilities are endless. Just think every time you partner with a company in an industry other than travel you’re increasing the reach of your brand.
Have you partnered with another company or organisation to increase awareness and sales?
Written by Colm Hanratty
Colm is Founder and Managing Director of digital marketing agency Sixtwo Digital. After running Hostelworld.com’s content and social media for almost 11 years he felt it was time to branch out on his own, using all his experience to educate others in the travel space.