Fall weather has blown a chill into the air while the remains of the hurricanes splutter across the city.
As I write this letter, my husband and I are getting ready to leave for one of our bucket-list vacations to Türkiye (aka: Turkey.)
Table of Contents | Volume 11, Issue 30
This past summer I decided that it was time to do some of the things that I always wanted to do and taking some of the trips on our bucket list was one of them.
Ever the marketer, I realize everyone has their own way of planning their vacation and travel time. Some people love cruises while others like spending a week on the beach.
When it comes to trips, my husband and I enjoy planning our vacations and travels as much as we do taking them. For us, it’s an important part of the experience. And this trip to Turkey is no different.
For this trip, my husband added an AI twist. He started by using ChatGPT to get a set of preliminary itineraries. Within minutes, we had a vacation laid out for us. While this wasn’t our final travel schedule, it gave us a good starting point.
In addition to talking to our friends who have visited Turkey, we studied a wide range of travel sites and consulted with a few travel agents in Turkey.
Since we rarely use travel agents, I was surprised at how willing they were to create full itineraries for us, even though we only asked about specific tours for a few locations.
Putting on my marketer’s hat, I realized that they developed detailed plans for our entire trip at eye-popping costs. While these trips maximized the agents’ profitability, they neglected to listen to our requests and needs.
Among the ways they increased the trip’s costs were:
- Selecting different hotels where they received a commision. Even though we already had booked reservations elsewhere based on research and assessing online reviews.
- Choosing private tours instead of the less expensive small group tours we’ve enjoyed in other parts of the world.
- Providing high-end transfers to and from airports.
- Substituting day trips including transportation from a central location instead of staying in another location for a few days
Actionable Marketing Tips
- Understand your audience and their specific needs. Since we had received personal recommendations to these travel agents, they may have believed that we would accept their recommendations. As customers, we were disappointed that they didn’t listen to what we wanted.
- Know what your business can provide in terms of products and related services. Be willing to walk away from a prospect or client whose requests will cost your business more money to fulfill.
As a long-time Content Marketing World (CMWorld) participant and speaker, I think that it’s one of the special marketing conferences of the year. It’s a great example of how to create live content on a consistent basis that evolves with the times and resonates with its audience. Even better, CMWorld has built an involved community that continues to grow over time.
This week, many of my friends and colleagues are attending Content Marketing World from around the world. If you’re one of them, wear your orange and have fun while you learn and celebrate with your content marketing besties IRL. Even better, send me a picture from the show.
Each year, the Content Marketing Institute packs the conference with a varied slate of keynotes and speakers. This enables its audience to keep up with evolving trends.
Even better, CMWorld speakers and attendees use this opportunity to create and share related content across various formats and platforms. Some of them have turned this event-related content into a regular feature of their editorial calendars.
One of my favorite examples of this event-related content is Top Rank Marketing’s “Top 50 B2B Content Marketing Influencers and Experts”. Based on data, this content spotlights the best of the presenters and provides a related visual.
More importantly, Top Rank Marketing is known for this Content Marketing World content. As a result, they’ve integrated it into their annual editorial calendar. In addition, it enables them to interview speakers and to promote related articles on their site.
Over the years, Top Rank Marketing has experimented with and tested different variations of this “must-read” conference content. Their “Top 50 List” started out as an ebook promotion complete with a sponsor. Here’s a sample page from the collection of Alice In Wonderland inspired ebooks, Lee Odden produced to promote CMWorld 2014.
Actionable Content Marketing Tips
- Develop a piece of content associated with your organization. Create something repeatable aligned with your goals. For example, influencer marketing is one of Top Rank Marketing’s key areas of focus. BTW, this doesn’t mean copying something another influencer or business is already doing.
- Make the creation process easy to repeat each year. For example, Orbit Media updates its Annual Blogging Survey. Over time, they’ve adapted the survey to include new questions that have become relevant.
- Use this content to reach out to thought leaders in your niche. Beyond letting them know that you spotlighted them, ask them for an interview or other form of content co-creation. At a minimum, ask them to help promote your piece. Orbit Media’s Blogging Survey gets quotes and insights from participants and influencers.
► Word Of Mouth
While preparing for our trip to Turkey, one of my friends recommended (closer to insisted) that my husband and I each get a pair of Aviator jeans.
Because Aviator has designed their jeans for travelers. In addition to a great fit and comfort, they have hidden zipper pockets to thwart pickpockets and deep front pockets to keep your smartphone and passport out of reach of sticky fingers. These specially made jeans come with a hefty price tag of $145 per pair compared to my husband’s Lees and my Uniqlo jeans.
But having been pickpocketed in Paris and lost a day filing a report in the local police station, we were willing to give these jeans a chance.
And the closer we looked the more we were impressed with Aviator.
For those of you like me who are concerned about the environment and humane working conditions, Aviator cares about craftsmanship, fair labor, sustainability and efficiency. Their jeans are made in small batches in Los Angeles.
Since jeans are one piece of clothing where it’s difficult to get the right fit, Aviator goes beyond a chart of measurements. They provide detailed photographs showing you how to measure your current jeans using a measuring tape for the best fit. Here’s an example from their website.
After measuring my current jeans, I still wasn’t sure which size to order. So I called their customer service and spoke to Cassidy, who was friendly and helpful.
After explaining my measurements and the sizing of my current jeans, she told me that I was probably a different size than I thought I was due to how their jeans fit. Since we were leaving soon, she offered to send me 2 pairs of jeans with return packaging and label at no extra charge.
This meant that Aviator wouldn’t tailor the length of my jeans. To compensate, they offer buyers $10 towards having a local tailor take care of this for you.
The package arrived in two days and included a personalized note from Cassidy wishing me safe travels.
I’m thrilled with the jeans. They look better than my current jeans in addition to being soft and comfortable.
Actionable Marketing Tips
- Make it easy for prospects to say yes to your product. Know what sets your offering apart from your competition. Aviator combines travel safety with a great fit.
- Help your customers figure out what they need. Cassidy understood how Aviator’s jeans fit. Further, she had the ability to remove any roadblocks to my purchase by offering me the ability to try on another size of their jeans.
- Focus your company’s offering on products and issues your customers believe are important. Aviator makes their fair treatment of employees, being environmentally friendly, and made in the USA part of their ethos and website content.
Note: Since I will be out of the country traveling, there will be no The Actionable Marketing Guide Newsletter until I return.
Now is the perfect time to get your marketing organized for budget season and for the end of year promotional push.
► Budgeting. Just mentioning budgets can cause even the most seasoned marketer to break into a sweat.
Instead, take a deep breath because you’ve got this. Budgeting is just a matter of collecting historical information by promotion and assessing how you can improve your results next year. Consider how your customers and business have changed.
► Promotional calendar. Lay out a week by week set of promotions to give your broader audience a reason to purchase from your business.
Start this exercise by laying out the promotions you’ve used over the past 3 years.Track them by week, including the number of people reached, the dollar results and unit results. Also note any tests and their performance on a separate tracking sheet.
Where appropriate include major annual promotions and other planned events.
Plan Ahead: Mark Your Calendar
► Content Marketing World 2023 – September 26 – 28 in Washington, DC
► MarketingProfs B2B Forum – October 4 – 6 in Boston, MA
► AI for B2B Marketers Blueprint – October 12th, Online
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P.S.: Want Heidi Cohen to contribute a quote or other commentary to your next article, presentation, video, research, or book? Then hit reply to this email and ask.