Ideas & knowhow
Who needs a treat?
This morning I popped into a local shop. They sell gifts and sweets. The owner greeted me heartily. When we spoke, it was clear he wasn't just in a good mood - he was feeling euphoric. Their takings for May were up 35% on May last year. 35%!
Is he a genius? No. Is he doing something unusual? No.
All he's doing is responding to comments so many of his customers make:
'I need a treat' or 'I want to get a treat for...'.
Many people are struggling financially at the moment. Many have to make e…
That thing you say you can't do
What are you rubbish at? What's the thing you say you can't do?
We've all got something, or in my case - many things.
I'm rubbish at recognising music, even when it's something I enjoy.
I'm rubbish at sitting down to start to write a long report. I'm fine when I'm ten minutes into the job but that first minute or two...
I'm rubbish at anything to do with cars. I once had a new car that a client noticed and commented on. I knew I was supposed to respond in some way but all I could say was '…
Let's talk about your prices
There's something odd going on. Most of the people reading this are in business to make a living, and need their business to be profitable.
But when I try to get people to talk about their prices or to think about how they might be more profitable, many just don't want to address this crucial aspect of running their business.
I'm not sure why.
Because you didn't like maths at school? Because it's not British to talk money? Because you're not sure how to tackle pricing?
Because you're happy…
Adapt your marketing - fill gaps and attract last minute bookings
This year has been a strange one for the tourism industry. Some incredibly busy periods, followed by gaps in demand. Strong bookings for times that are usually less popular, and yet empty weeks at peak season. Flurries of advance bookings, and then many very last minute bookings.
It's unsettling and leading to a lot of concern: a roller-coaster ride of optimism and pessimism.
So what can you do?
It's tempting to simply discount and hope for the best. After all, many people are struggling a…
Delete: a quick easy way to improve your website
How much patience do you have? How busy are you? Do you have a lot of free time?
If your answers to those questions were 'not much, very and no', join the club. It's how most people will answer.
So if we want to help people book or visit our businesses, we need to make it very easy for them.
I often make suggestions for the kind of information and inspiration you should ideally have on your website. But there's a caveat: you can't just keep adding to your website without removing something,…
Are you normal?
My mother recently pointed out something that I think is a little unkind. She commented that I keep saying that I've worked in tourism marketing for over 30 years but I'm old (according to her) and it's now nearly four decades. Nothing like telling someone they're older than they think!
But there is a good side. Or so I choose to believe.
Experience. Lots and lots of experience. I've helped and advised many different businesses - all in tourism, in many different areas and sectors and differe…
Positive trends for UK hospitality
This week I've been judging the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence (accommodation) and noticed some positive trends:
1. Good businesses really are memorable, with stand-out appeal: independents manage to do this well, and some chains are trying to find better ways to differentiate individual properties. Some businesses have made significant investments in their properties, but it's not just about cash - creativity and guest-focus really count.
2. Since last year's judging panel, it seems that…
Three quick tips = big difference to your website
I've recently spent a LOT of time looking at tourism business websites. I'm one of the judges for the VIsitEngland Awards for Excellence and have been sifting through countless application forms and then double-checking the look, feel and contents of websites.
Considering these are some of the best tourism businesses in the country, it's been frustrating to see how many websites are not as good as they need to be to impress potential visitors.
The best websites aren't necessarily the most ex…
Emojis in your marketing
Emojis make people smile 😃. They're fun. But they're not very professional?
Using them in your marketing - whether it's in an email, or your social media - would be like speaking slang in a business meeting instead of 'proper' English. Or?
If you target very traditional people who are perhaps quite formal, they may not react very positively if you pepper your marketing communications with emojis.
However, most tourism-related businesses have an audience who are now very used to seeing plent…
Promote your business using the 'information gap'
If I say that I can tell you '3 easy ways to increase your profits', what's your response?
The cynical ones among you might think it's too good to be true, but most people are curious and want to know more. You might think that you pretty much know everything there is to running a successful tourism business, but a little part of your brain will still want to know more, just to double check.
This is 'information gap curiosity': the idea that most humans want to find out more when they think …