Increase seasonal business by using the right marketing tools

With summer just around the corner most tourism-related businesses have already determined where to spend their summer marketing dollars. If still undecided it is important to develop a marketing plan and find the right tools for your business.

For businesses who have yet to plan where and how to spend seasonal marketing dollars, a more profitable season can begin right now by taking a couple of hours to develop a quality marketing strategy and finding the right online tools that are relevant to your business needs.

There are myriad marketing plan templates available online or at local libraries, Small Business and Technology Development Centers or a SCORE office. The trick is to find a template that works best with the entrepreneur’s style and specific business needs.

For the busy entrepreneur the following websites are just a click away. This list just skims the surface of the help that is available for analyzing which marketing tools can offer a bigger return on investment when soliciting seasonal customers.

Marketing Tool Assistance

  • Social Networking – There is a large amount of information available on the web about using social networking for marketing purposes. This site in particular provides several research-based ideas to include in a marketing plan.
  • Print, Television, Radio and Direct Mail – If a business has determined its ideal customer is one that still listens to the radio, reads a print newspaper and/or pays attention to advertising sent in the mail, then consider this excellent checklist from Small Town Marketing.
  • Word of mouth – According to the 2012 Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Survey92 percent of people trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising. Another checklist from Small Town Marketing offers suggestions on how to capitalize on this powerful marketing tool.
  • Flyers and Brochures According to the following articles, using flyers or brochures as marketing tools has both advantages and disadvantages. If brochures and flyers are a preferred tool check out Canadian Printing News.

Additional Marketing Ideas and Information

  • Give something away – free wine tasting, free samples, etc.
  • Bring a speaker to provide a useful customer-based presentation – someone who can use your products in an appealing way, perhaps to build, sew or cook something, etc.
  • Professional help – if making decisions are tough for you hire someone to help.
  • Get involved in your community, join civic organizations, volunteer, build a social network – it may not be what one knows but who one knows that increases business and helping others may also increase self-esteem and overall happiness.
  • For further marketing tips try the Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Centers website.

According to Dr. Dan McCole of Michigan State University, Michigan tourism is expected to increase 5.5 percent in 2013. In addition, George Zimmerman, Vice President for Travel Michigan stated that Michigan has the potential for an even larger increase of the national travel market. He noted that “in some ways I feel like we are just getting started.”

Is your marketing plan using the right tools to attract increased seasonal traffic?

Michigan State University Extension is developing programming aimed at assisting Michigan communities towards leveraging tourism as a tool for community prosperity.

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