Lending weight to the argument that traditional marketing materials are slowing, going the way of the Dodo, four out of five respondents in a recent survey ranked word of mouth as the tool they have had the most success with when attracting new clients, compared to web based marketing, newsletters, community events, newspapers, telemarketing and mobile or radio advertising.
Coming in at a close second, over two thirds of agents ranked social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter as the second most popular marketing channels with which they have attracted the most leads through since they joined The Global Travel Group.
While The Global Travel Group has long supported agents with a wide range of traditional marketing collateral which agents can then tailor with their own branding and logos in order to build their own individual business profiles, earlier this year the company unveiled its newly revitalised training scheme for new members in which social media marketing is given a starring role.
With programme content shaped directly by feedback from agents, the new academy features a dedicated ‘Benefits of Social Media’ session led by The Global Travel Group’s Head of Marketing Darren Zabinski, in which he takes agents on a crash course in social media and walks them through the many ways the various channels can help agents drum up new business and secure new client leads.
Zabinski commented: “Despite a vast array of marketing tools designed to target audiences in every way, shape or form, it seems the age-old standard of word-of-mouth is still the most popular way for businesses to attract new clients, be they a fast food operator a clothing store or in The Global Travel Group’s case, travel agents. Through our revamped training academy we strive to emphasise the importance of face-to-face relationships in the travel industry and, with social channels becoming the predominant driving force behind our agents’ marketing strategy we have even introduced a beefed-up ‘Benefits of Social Media’ session to ensure all new agents are provided with the tools they need to stay one step ahead of the competition.
Zabinski continued: “From a marketing perspective, our goal is to reduce the amount of time agents have to spend thinking about marketing so that they can focus their efforts on what they do best –helping clients to make the most of their holidays and providing them with offers that are light years ahead of our nearest competitors.”
Further emphasizing the support on offer for agents, The Global Travel Group recently held a full day training session for agents which included one-on-one time with suppliers, product tutorials and a comprehensive social media presentation. The “Let’s Get Social” presentation focused on how agents could utilise social media tools available to them to promote their products and services. The Global Travel Group supports all its agents with ‘social media ready’ retail packs, including all necessary images and relevant information to promote their offers and products via a whole host of social platforms.