Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 12

FAST LANE | YOUR BUSINESS | Advice, News, and Discussion Topics

Marketing 101
Your customers are your best tool

W

hether you are a
motorcoach operator
or a destination marketing organization
(DMO), the success of your business
depends on how many people invest
their time and resources with you. If you
do it right, thousands of customers will
shower you with wads of cash and rave
about their experiences to their friends
and family-and you'll be considered
a legend (OK, maybe that's a bit of an
exaggeration). 
But seriously, success in the travel
and tourism industry boils down to
three things:
1. Knowing who your customers are.
2. Writing an effective marketing message.
3. Creating an experience for your
customers that they want to share
with others.

"When you pinpoint the
unique characteristics
of your community or
business and laser-focus
on showcasing that to
your target market,
anything is possible!"
-KEITH RAHE, PRESIDENT AND CEO,
TRAVEL DUBUQUE

Who Is Your Who?

Knowing your "who" (I mean really
knowing the kinds of people who rely
on you for travel services) is essential to
writing an effective marketing message
and creating an amazing customer
experience. If you are trying to attract
senior citizens, your marketing message
and methods will be different than if you
are trying to attract young families. A
woman in her 60s may be more focused
on a leisurely tour that includes
plenty of stops for shopping, while a
family with two toddlers may be more
focused on adventure experiences and
getting to their destination with lessfrequent stops. 
Always use language in your marketing
messages directed specifically to the
demographic you are trying to reach-
and use the marketing vehicle where
they "hang out" when they are planning
a trip or tour, whether that is Instagram,
Facebook, LinkedIn, or print. 
If you are not sure how to collect data
or use social media, hire a new employee
12

DESTINATIONS

/NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2019

ABA Marketplace attendees will have
a chance to hear Dave "The Shef"
Sheffield's interactive and engaging
education sessions in Omaha, Neb.,
Jan. 10-14.

with those skills or outsource the tasks to
someone who enjoys doing it.

What Makes You Unique?

Knowing what makes your business
unique will help you craft a marketing
message that attracts customers to your
motorcoach operation or destination. 
Keith Rahe, president and CEO
of ABA member Travel Dubuque
in Dubuque, Iowa, credits the city's
resurgence in tourism to its new focus
on Dubuque's "unique gifts." Travel
Dubuque recently secured the Yankees
and White Sox to play a Major League
Baseball game at the Field of Dreams
field in August 2020, which will pump
millions of dollars into the area.

"You can't be all things to all people,"
says Rahe. "There is only one Nashville;
only one Las Vegas. Don't try to be something that you are not. When you pinpoint the unique characteristics of your
community or business and laser-focus
on showcasing that to your target market, anything is possible!"
The best way to find out what makes
your business unique is to ask your customers. Super-complicated, right? No-a
motorcoach and tour operator can merely call three or four of its past customers
every week and ask them questions like,
"What are some of the more memorable
experiences you recall from your trip?"
and "If someone asked you whether it
was worth investing in the tour, what
would you tell them?"
Not only will this help you gauge what
your customers feel are your unique
strengths, but it will also keep them
coming back. 
The better you know who your
customers are and what makes your
business unique, the better your marketing message and customer experience
will be. And those customers will end up
being your best marketing tool! 
Dave "The Shef" Sheffield is an
internationally recognized authority on
motivation, leadership, and sales. The
Shef will be a featured speaker at ABA's
Marketplace 2020 in Omaha. Don't miss
his session!



Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019

13 Architectural Gems
Living Life to the Fullest
Going Green
Marketing 101
Custom Fit
How to Have a Successful Marketplace
ABA Foundation Live & Silent Auction
ABA Gives Back
2020 Marketplace Offers Top-Notch Education
The Drive to New Technology
Tour Stop: New Year’s Eve Destinations
City Guide
STARRY STARRY NIGHT
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
Receptive Operators
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Cover1
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Cover2
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 1
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 2
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 3
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 4
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 5
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 6
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 13 Architectural Gems
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Living Life to the Fullest
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 9
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Going Green
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 11
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Marketing 101
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Custom Fit
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - How to Have a Successful Marketplace
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 15
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - ABA Gives Back
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 17
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 2020 Marketplace Offers Top-Notch Education
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 19
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 20
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 21
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - The Drive to New Technology
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 23
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 24
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 25
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Tour Stop: New Year’s Eve Destinations
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 27
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 28
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 29
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - City Guide
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 31
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 32
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 33
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 34
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 35
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 36
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 37
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 38
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 39
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 40
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 41
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 42
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 43
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 44
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 45
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 46
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 47
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 48
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 49
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 50
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 51
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 52
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 53
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 54
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 55
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - STARRY STARRY NIGHT
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 57
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 58
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 59
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 60
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 61
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 62
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 63
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 64
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 66
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 67
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 68
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Receptive Operators
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 70
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 71
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 72
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 73
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 74
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 75
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 76
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 77
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 78
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 79
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 80
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Cover3
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Cover4
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