5 ways your travel and leisure marketing can earn back the trust of women.

September 18, 2012

A study of women in 22 countries identified 5 ways brands are failing women, and 5 strategies to earn back their trust.

A landmark study found that women control 73% of household spending, but feel neglected by many brands.

Authors Michael and Kate Sayre, partners atBoston Consulting Group recently published a book: Women Want More: How to capture your share of the world’s largest, fastest growing market .

The landmark study upon which the book is based traced the attitudes and purchasing habits of 12,000 women in twenty-two countries.

The study found that women control 73% of household spending, and $4.3 trillion in consumer spending in the U.S. alone.

But it found that women the world over are dissatisfied with the products and services they buy. The reason?

Many companies don’t take the time to understand the issues modern women face, and create products that fail to meet their needs.

The authors found that women are having difficulty balancing all the roles they are called to play at home and in their job. They’re time-starved and stressed out.

And they  struggle to balance what the authors call “the job at the job and the job at home.”

The book reports that companies fail to meet the needs of women in five key ways:

  1. They are not addressing women’s need for time-saving solutions.
  2. They have poor product design and customization for women.
  3. Their sales and marketing efforts are clumsy and often insulting to women.
  4. They fail to align with women’s values or develop community.
  5. They don’t ‘give back’ to society as well or as much as they could.

The authors offer five ways that travel & leisure brands can earn the loyalty of women:

  1. Take the time to understand and tailor your product to their needs and values.
  2. Create products and services that save women time.
  3. Demonstrate your own values and commitment to the community.
  4. Empower your sales force to be more responsive.
  5. Offer 24/7 access to customer service, and product information that’s simple and easy to find

According to the study, women place a premium on the following values:

  • Love
  • Health
  • Honesty
  • Emotional Wellbeing.

Women want the brands they buy to understand those values, and offer them services that honor them.

According to Ms. Sayer, “Take care of those core values,and companies can really connect with women.”

How is your travel & leisure brand connecting with women? What changes have you made to reach better connect to women’s wants and needs? Talk to us.


Tell me again: Why should guests care about your travel brand?

September 6, 2012

When I moved to Denver 18 years ago, it seemed like a long way off from the work-obsessed, almost cult-like ad community I left behind in Minneapolis.

Then I started meeting a few of the natives. And saw what they were doing with their free time.

Up and down my street, and in office after office at work,  I met people who worked hard. And played even harder.

I met people who plotted and planned out every minute of their evenings, weekends and vacations like it just might be their last.

They mountain biked, kayaked, fly fished and tent camped in the summer.

They skied, went snowboarding,  ice climbed and went snowshoeing in the winter.

Somewhere in there, they found time to take vacations to exotic resorts, desolate beaches and undiscovered four and five-star hotels in Asian and Eastern European cities I had never heard of.

In between trips and treks, they talked my ear off about their passions, and the latest travel and outdoor recreational brands  that helped keep their adrenaline pumping.

And I began to understand the difference between a customer and a follower.

That brings us to your brand.

Have you created the kind of product or place that people can’t stop talking about? Is your brand worthy of someone’s full and undivided passion?

Do the people who follow your brand feel like you get them? Do you participate in their conversations enough to know what they love? And hate?

Do you wrap your brand in the same love that intoxicates your followers?

If so, I know 3 million people here in Colorado who can’t wait to meet and talk to you.

If you don’t, I know another 300 million Americans who can’t wait to ignore you.



Travel marketing: What are you doing to capitalize on America’s fastest growing leisure sport?

August 15, 2012
picture of old suitcase filled with tennis balls

18 million Americans now spend part of their free time playing tennis.

Tennis is the fastest growing sport in the U.S. as Americans look for a cheaper past time in a tough economy. Here are a few ideas to attract the tennis set.

One of our jobs here at 5 to 9 Branding is to report on where Americans are spending their free time.

A recent Reuter’s report found that more and more of us are spending our free time playing tennis.

If you’re the marketer of a travel or leisure brand, you’ll be interested to learn how the tennis industry orchestrated some of this growth.

First the statistics on the growth of tennis.  According to Reuters:

  • From 2000-2009, the number of Americans playing tennis grew 43% to 18.5 million.
  • By comparison, the number of golfers declined 5% in 2009 to 27 million players.
  • Tennis has become the fastest growing traditional sport in America.
  • Unlike the last tennis boom in the 1970’s, there are no American tennis stars to fuel the growth.

Experts say the current growth of tennis partly the result of the slowing economy and partly the result of an orchestrated effort by the United States Tennis Association (USTA).

  • After a 1994  cover story in Sports Illustrated titled Is Tennis Dead? the USTA committed $36 million annually to a multi-year marketing and promotional campaign to boost tennis at a local level.
  • Tennis manufacturers like Wilson and Prince also put up millions for public parks to offer free tennis lessons to introduce Americans to tennis.
  • Compared to golf, tennis is relatively easy to learn and inexpensive to play.
  • Many public parks offer free use of tennis courts, and a top tennis racket costs a fraction of a good set of golf clubs.

If you’re the marketer of a travel or leisure brand, ask yourself what the tennis industry can teach you about marketing your brand.

  • Can you reposition your brand to take advantage of the changing tastes of the post-recession consumer?
  • Can you offer customers a low-cost or no-cost introduction to your brand?
  • Could you combine efforts with a trade association to promote awareness of a sport or pastime your brand supports?
  • Can you appeal to a new generation of users?

Is your travel or leisure brand capitalizing on this leisure phenomenon?

  • If you market a destination travel brand, do you highlight your tennis facilities in your marketing materials?
  • Could you put together a stay and play tennis package?
  • How about throwing in lessons from your tennis pro?
  • Could you provide free group classes or free use of racquets for travelers who forgot to pack theirs?

That’s what the tennis industry’s turnaround has us thinking about. How about you? What  are you doing to capitalize on the growth of this popular sport?


Why your travel and leisure marketing should target Baby Boomers and not Gen X or Y.

July 16, 2012

A recent study reveals that Baby Boomers spend a lot more and are willing to try new brands more than previously thought.

Boomers are spending a lot more, but are a little less loyal to brands.

TV Land, a division of Viacom, recently released “Generation BUY: A Closer Look at the Boomer Consumer”. The study found that 40 and 50 somethings are making purchases for 3 generations.

And spending considerably more money than younger generations. Some of their findings:

  • People 40-59 are spending more on themselves each month than Millennials and Gen-Xers.
  • Baby Boomers are spending twice as much on others in their lives than Gen Xers or Millennials.
  • Boomers are less brand loyal than Millennials and Gen-Xers.

The study identified three shopping traits of Baby Boomers:

1. Baby Boomers spend a lot more than younger generations on their families.

  • Boomers spend more than three times as much per month on their spouses ($514 vs. $169) than adults under 40.
  • They spend nearly twice as much on children each month ($295 vs. $158).
  • They spend three times as much on teens ($494 vs. $136).

2. Baby Boomers will not switch brands just because something is new.

  • 91% of people in their 40s and 50s want a new brand to provide more value vs. 83% of Gen-Xers and Millennials.
  • They won’t switch because a brand has more style.
  • They will consider new brands if they are more useful or provide the most value.

3. Baby Boomers are more open to new brands and less brand loyal.

  • 26% say they are not brand loyal at all, vs. 21% of Gen Xers.
  • This willingness to buy new brands carries over to most leisure categories, including electronics, restaurants and automobiles.

If you’re marketing a travel or leisure brand, it’s time to re-examine your media spending and messaging, and make sure you’re investing against this all-important Baby Boomer demo.

You can read more about Baby Boomers in another recent 5 to 9 post: Is your leisure marketing ignoring 40 million Baby Boomers?


Are you riding the latest trend in travel marketing?

July 10, 2012

The number of people traveling by bike has tripled since 1990.

A recent study shows Americans are hitting the streets by foot and on bikes in record numbers.

The Federal Highway Administration  released a study recently that confirms a trend we’ve been watching here on the streets and bike paths of Denver for the last decade:  More people are walking or riding their bikes than ever before.

The National Biking and Walking Study:  A 15-Year Status Report found that the number of people who are traveling by foot has doubled since 1990, and the number of people who travel by bike has tripled.  1 in 10 trips Americans take are now by foot or by bike.

1 in 10 trips are now taken by foot or bike.

A concerted effort by national, state and local governments.

The study is actually a progress report on how well the Federal Highway Department has done against goals set when the study was first released in 1994.  Here are the some of the findings:

  • Almost all states now include pedestrian and bicycle facilities in their highway projects or as independent projects.
  • More than half of state and municipal governments organize Bike to Work Days and similar events.
  • Almost all states have long-range plans for improving bicycle and pedestrian infrastructures, or have incorporated them into their long-term transportation planning

Implications for travel marketing professionals

This study helps define a new target audience for CMOs marketing travel and destination brands.

But these are not the elite athletes I’ve written about in previous posts. These are people who walk or bike instead of drive because it’s better for their health, better for their budgets and better for the environment.

So if you want to market your travel or destination brand, you need to get to know them,  speak to their unique needs and motivations and make sure you’re spotlighting your bike paths and pedal-powered activities in your marketing materials.

Because this audience is taking a whole different path than the travelers you’re used to selling to.


Travel and leisure marketing: Do your guests need help prioritizing their free time?

June 12, 2012

This book could help you grow your share of market.

The book 168 Hours makes a convincing argument that Americans lack the skills to manage their free time. Could you help them find more time for your travel or leisure brand?

Helping prospective enthusiasts prioritize their free time.

Is your travel and leisure marketing targeted to people who say they are just too busy to add one more activity to their life?

Laura Vanderkam’s fascinating book 168 hours: You Have More Time Than You Think shows you exactly how much free time people really have. And how they can prioritize their lives to get the most out of their free time.

168 Hours shows people that they aren’t short of time.

They just choose not to prioritize their time to fit in all the activities that are important to them.

Laura’s point is simple:  Everyone gets 168 hours a week to fill with whatever they see fit. If you subtract time for eating, sleeping and working, there are still about 50 hours a week left.

And it’s everyone’s job to manage their own time according to their own priorities.

Laura offers her readers 5 ways to get control of their time.

1. Figure out where your time goes.

2.  Determine what you’re good at.

  • If people invest their time in what they’re good at, Laura says they’ll use their time more efficiently, and feel more satisfied.

3.  Choose work that makes you happy.

  • When people like what they do, Laura says they can get into a zone, enjoy themselves and get more done.

4. Cut back on TV.

  • The latest Nielson figures confirm people watch 35 hours of TV a week. But studies show people get more enjoyment out of spending quality time with friends and family.

5. Take control of your calendar

  • Laura suggests people find time to do the things that are important to them by looking through their time diary cutting out time wasted on urgent but unimportant tasks.

If you’re the marketer of a travel or leisure brand, use this book to build your market.

  • Discuss the book with your customers  via your facebook page, discussion boards on your website and other social media tools.
  • Create a contest to encourage your users to track their free time and find ways to spend more of it with your brand.
  • Give away the book to contest winners, along with your products.

What are you doing to help people find the time to enjoy your travel or leisure brand?  Tell us about it.


Travel and leisure marketing: How to become a twitter expert in 10 easy lessons.

February 17, 2012

Need some extra schooling? Take these 10 lessons.

Here are 10 articles and videos that will help travel & leisure marketing execs go from twitter novice to twitter pro in no time.

Twitter has become an important marketing tool for many travel & leisure brands.

Some of my favorites, especially destination travel brands, hotels and attractions are using it to improve brand visibility, promote events and yes, even sell products.

But many of you still say you are not quite sure how to get started.

To help you, I’ve collected some of my favorite articles and video on twitter basics from Twitip, the leading online provider of Twitter tips and tricks.

1.  Why should I be on twitter?

You’ve been told that twitter is a great tool. But you can’t remember why. This is everything you’ve been told, all in one place.

2.  How to set up a twitter account

A really good tutorial with lots of screen shots to walk you through the process.

3. 10 easy steps for twitter beginners

This article walks you through the basics of setting up your profile, following people with similar interests, the importance of updating daily, and more.

4. 6 ways to maximize the use of your 140 characters

You only get a limited amount of copy on each tweet. Here’s how to use it more effectively.

5.  How to get more followers on twitter

This is actually a compilation of several articles on the same subject.  Some tried and true techniques that will build your twitter following fast.

6.  10 traits for highly effective twitter users

This article will help you advance past the basics, and start tweeting like the pros do.

7.  8 ways you can use twitter to market your business

This article actually has a different title. But my title is more accurate, as this post explains how to monitor comments, drive traffic, add followers, brand yourself and more.

8. 7 tips for effective marketing on twitter

This is a nice reminder that twitter is a marketing tool that requires you to stop acting like a marketer, and start speaking more personably.

9. How to get a viral buzz on twitter

The author shows you how he created a simple viral marketing effort on twitter. It’s a good tutorial no matter what industry you’re in.

10. 100 Twitter Tips in 15 minutes

After all those entry-level courses, it’s time to graduate to advanced tweeting. Dan Hollings, the author of this video has been called a “twitter master” and this video will show you why.

Those are some of the tools I used to get up to speed on Twitter. What are you using?


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