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Education resource for the group travel supplier


Thursday, 08 March 2012 10:28

Feel Like Your Agency Doesn’t Get the Group Travel Market?

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Establishing a good working relationship with your ad agency is critical to your overall marketing/branding. Group travel suppliers find this especially difficult, because ad agencies are primarily versed in consumer marketing. So, I decided to reach out to Melissa Hopper at the Norfolk CVB to find out what they do to work so effectively with their advertising agency.

The Norfolk CVB has been working with DIA for the last several years, and this relationship wouldn’t continue if it weren’t effective.

“It’s a partnership that makes it so successful” says Hopper. “I may not know the best colors, layouts, and design, but I know my market and they listen if an element doesn’t work.”

In addition, effective communication goes a long way. “Too many people communicating with the agency can be non-productive,” says Hopper.

At the Norfolk CVB, they have a marketing manager act as the communication liaison between the bureau and the agency, which has been very effective at improving communication and delivery of their message consistently.

The structure of each agency/client relationship may vary, but here are a few general suggestions that Hopper offered:

  • Don’t settle. You are the expert in the group travel industry, so be sure to see what’s being placed on your behalf.
  • Educating your agency is a result of continuous communication and follow through. Don’t assume they are doing what you want them to do—make sure you know what’s being placed for your market. You are out talking with tour operators, and your firsthand experience can improve your overall marketing results.
  • Look for an agency that’s your partner and not one that is too busy telling you what they know. 
  • Look for an agency that seems to want and value your opinions. 
  • Sometimes the best deal isn’t the best value. Agencies like to provide value, but sometimes one ad at peak season is more valuable than four ads in off season.

It’s not easy to find the right partner agency that listens and has mutual respect, but they are out there. At the end of the day, look for an agency that takes your ideas and make them better. That’s what the works for the Norfolk CVB and DIA. 

Photo: Visit Norfolk

Read 8853 times Last modified on Thursday, 08 March 2012 14:27

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