Ideas & knowhow

Understanding visitors

Marketing using someone else's budget

Piggyback marketing

When your marketing budget is limited, there's an easy way to add power to your promotions: piggyback. Piggyback marketing essentially means using someone else's marketing budget to benefit your business. 

Obviously I don't mean actually using their money, but rather harnessing the power of their activity and piggybacking on the awareness they're able to create. It's a bit like riding in the slipstream of a more powerful vehicle. 

Read on for some ideas for current trends you can easily piggyb…

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Bob Marley and your marketing

Bob Marley

I'm not very musical but every now and then a song gets stuck in my head. For some reason I've got Bob Marley's words singing in my head: let's get together and feel all right. 

It really does feel like it's time for us all to work together. Tourism can be affected by so many different factors (Floods, Brexit, Coronavirus) which we can't control. We can however make everything feel better.

Community. Collaboration. Kindness. None of them cost anything, yet they have enormous power. Visitors lo…

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Psychology of Colour


l’m a fan of small, almost effortless, low cost marketing tweaks that can make a difference very quickly. 

Some may sound odd or flippant but those who try them, often email me to tell me they worked. Today’s suggestion is no exception.

Are you feeling blue, in a black mood? Seeing red or green with envy? Is life a little grey, or maybe it’s not that black and white?

Yes, you’ve guessed, I want to talk about colour.

You may think this is something you’re more likely to hear you…

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Why you're not being 'salesy' enough


I had a conversation yesterday with someone who felt that they weren't earning as much from their business as they'd like because people don't know about them and what they do. They get decent traffic to their website and social media but somehow it doesn't result in bookings or extra visitors. I had a quick look: they were posting on social media but not 'selling', with very few posts about their business and what they actually do. Lovely Autumn photos, motivational quotes, a cake recipe - …

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Make your customers cry

Make your customers cry

Actually I’m not exactly suggesting that you should make your customers cry but the fact you’re reading this demonstrates the power of emotions.

Many believe that marketing is expensive or difficult. It really isn’t.

Avoid being bland.

Make an impact by being memorable.

Develop a strong emotional appeal.

Make people feel something.

That’s all you need to do.

There are many ways to do this, no matter what it is that you need to ‘sell’.

Telling a story or giving a little information that c…

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Surprise and delight to get more word of mouth publicity

How to surprise and delight for word of mouth pubicity

Ask any tourism business what's their most effective, lowest cost marketing method and they'll almost certainly answer 'word of mouth'. It's easy, it's free - and it 'just happens'. Or does it?

Most businesses just hope for word of mouth publicity and recommendations from satisfied customers. They do a good job, and hope word of mouth referrals will follow. Now we have 'word of mouth on steroids', in the form of social media so it's become even more important to impress.

Surprisingly few peopl…

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What's your niche?

What's your niche

If you wanted to kill ants*, would you buy 'Ant Killer' or 'Insect Spray'?

If you wanted to enjoy paddle boarding, would you get lessons from 'Peter the Paddle Boarding Expert' or the 'Outdoor Centre'?

If you wanted to stay somewhere cosy in Masham with an open fire would you google 'cottage in Masham with an open fire' or 'places to stay in Yorkshire'?

If you're a normal human being, your answer to each of those questions will have been the first, the most specific description.

Years ago ev…

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Small actions to save lives and build loyalty

Small actions save lives

I really dislike the expression 'food to die for'. For most people it means eating something delicious. For me, it's a reminder that my daughter could eat something that will kill her. No food is worth dying for. 

I used to think people with food allergies were just being faddy and attention-seeking. Since then I've woken up to the reality. You really understand how severe food allergies can be when you’ve travelled in an ambulance, sirens screaming, blue lights flashing while someone clo…

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Are your potential customers stuck in the 'messy middle' ?

Messy middle

I'm old enough to remember the days when people decided to book a holiday simply based on either a neighbour's recommendation or an ad in the Christmas edition of the Radio Times. Nowadays decision-making is much more complicated. You may not realise it but you're probably losing income and bookings because some of your potential guests and visitors are stuck in the 'messy middle'.

This is the name Google gives to the gap between when someone is first interested in what you offer and their …

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How to use social proof to boost your tourism marketing

social media proof
In an earlier blog I wrote about why you need to build trust. An important part of doing this is to offer ‘social proof’. Social proof is the 'evidence' that people collect from others, which influences their own behaviour. We instinctively notice what others are doing and pick up on some of that activity, believing it might be the 'correct' behaviour, or the 'right' thing to buy. 

A simple example: would you rather buy fish and chips from the shop with or without a queue outside? Rather …

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