So … What’s the (Marketing) Plan, Stan?
It may be quite fitting that in thinking of a quirky title for this post, the rhyme that we were trying to make work is somewhat from the old Paul Simon song, “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.” In it, a woman encourages a man to leave his lover (Hello … the title of the song!) and gives him these words of encouragement:
You just slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don’t need to be coy, Roy
Just get yourself free
Hop on the bus, Gus
You don’t need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free
As we’re all absorbing the slap in the face from Viator this week, perhaps this pun was the best title for this post. But their move is creating what is fast becoming the most frequently asked question we’re receiving is how we plan to get the word out about Global Tours Connect.
Let’s be realistic. We are not going toe-to-toe with Viator for ad spend. We know how much they spend on online ads each year … and that is only going to get bigger with its new submission fee and increased commission rates. Think about it for a minute. We are also not going to do a lot of Google ads right now. It’s not logical and a poor way to spend the marketing dollars we have. Remember, we are an independent company built by tour operators just like you.
Paul Simon is right. Make a new plan, Stan.
That’s why we’re taking this opportunity and offering a new way in creating an online marketplace that unites our industry and puts our community of tour operators and the guests that we guide first. Here is how we plan to get the word out:
SEO-focused Content Creation
A good story is nice, but what makes it great are keywords and SEO. These tactics are successful and long lasting. We are both writers and come from strong marketing and public relations backgrounds. We understand how SEO works, and we will invest dollars into good SEO to drive guests to the marketplace by telling your story.
As independent tour operators, we have seen the results media outreach has given us, both locally, nationally and on a global level. With our extensive connections in news and public relations, we will tell the story of GTC and the operators on the platform. We’re all storytellers, and the media is clamoring for great stories, especially now. Plus, those links back to GTC and your websites don’t hurt, either.
Search Engine Marketing
Yes, we will do some ad spend as we want to drive guests to the marketplace. What we won’t do is specifically target your market. We will advertise on a national level to draw attention to the site so that potential guests can find you. We want to help you sell your tours, not steal your market.
Be the micro-OTA with the Loudest Voice
Honestly, the biggest driver of our success is you. Think of GTC as a referral system. Let’s say you have a guest from Chicago on your tour. He loves it and raves that he’s going to do another tour everywhere. Fantastic! At the end of the tour, you encourage him to book tours in his hometown, or wherever he travels to next. If you don’t know a tour operator to point them to directly, you can send him here to GTC. When he books through the marketplace, your colleague gets a sale … and you get a piece of the Commission Bonus Pool. Everyone wins! As we continue to onboard more tour operators, we will be providing you with marketing materials to help you get the world out.
Lastly, we would never tell you where you should sell your tours. If Viator has been a successful sales generator for you and the new fee structure gives you a good ROI, then keep on doing it. But we are making a new plan and we want you to be successful. We hope you hop on this bus, Gus, and get yourself free.
Midgi & Lauren