8 Marketing Lessons Learned During WTM London
We exhibited for the first time in 2014 and in this blog post, I would like to share 8 marketing lessons we learned and how they will improve our business in the future.
We attended dozens of seminars during WTM London. We had more than 50 meetings. We distributed around 500 catalogues to super interested people.
Here are the main lessons we learned from all this.
1. How to get good positions in Google
I attended a seminar with one of Google people giving a talk about how to get great positions in their search system.
This 1-hour seminar can be summed out by 3 things:
- Create content that will be super interesting to a particular type of people.
- Do not use any “shady” tactics for link building as they will only get you banned from Google.
- Start Google ads campaign.
As boring and funny as this sounds – it is true. If you make interesting content, with good materials (pictures, video) and you share it in places where people are genuinely interested in this – you will be ranked well (until Google decides this is not good and changes everything again).
The main lesson learned: Google wants you to spend money so that is why organic search will be an ever-changing topic where “the big boss” will always win. Make good content and you will be fine – people will find you sooner or later, have patience and do not make your entire business around this concept.
2. Meeting old & new partners live & face to face is amazing
Seeing a person you are working with for several years “finally” in person is really special. Meeting a person from far far away interested in your services is great also.
In the near future, we will 100% start making “live meetings” in Croatia on a board of gulets as this is the best part of the business.
The main lesson learned: Investing in LIVE MEETINGS is one of the most important things a company can & should do.
3. Trip advisor is huge
I attended Trip Advisor conference and was shocked by this stat: “53% of people from the UK double-check the company on Trip Advisor before they make a booking with them.”
Besides having MILLIONS OF SUPER TARGETED traffic every day (making it a great platform to advertise) it is also a great place you can be to boost your credibility.
The main lesson learned: We need to get our “ass” to Trip Advisor and committing to having a presence there.
4. Gulet cruises are "hot stuff"
Especially interest for Croatia was amazing.
The most common reaction to gulet cruises as they checked our brochure and look at the pictures went something like that:
- Wow – this is great.
- Do you get to see places like that?
- Do you have your own crew?
- You can rent an entire gulet or just a cabin – perfect.
Agencies and really interested in gulets as they are an amazing combination of:
- Unique and very interesting product;
- Not yet worldwide known – the potential is huge;
- Everything is very flexible.
The main lesson learned: We need to put even more effort into getting the word on gulets out. People would love to book this and promote it – if they would be aware of its existence.
5. Globalization is here - put this to your advantage
If you like it or not – globalization is here. People from everywhere in the world can promote whatever they wish – and they can be super successful in it. Everything can be found with 1 search on GOOGLE so if you are promoting something – you better be good at it – or you will not be able to promote it much longer.
We had problems 5 years ago as people could not understand how a company from Slovenia can promote gulet cruises in Croatia, Turkey & Greece. This was 5 years ago. Now nobody really cares anymore. If you are good at what you do, it does not matter where you are from.
I must share this AMAZING EXAMPLE OF GLOBALIZATION – READ THIS – HOPE IT MAKES YOU SMILE. You know what is GLOBALIZATION?
Globalization is when:
- A company from Slovenia – Ljubljana
- Goes to London – UK
- To exhibit in Croatian Stand
- To promote Cruises in Turkey, Croatia, Greece, Italy & Maldives
- Has a meeting with an awesome person/agent from Australia (Hi Jaqui if you are reading this :-))
- Who is half Greek
- And really strong in promoting trips to the Middle East to Australian people
- After that GOOLETS goes to a small boutique hotel in London, run by people from India
- And has dinner in a Turkish restaurant nearby, where they enjoy Iskender Kebab
We realized globalization is here a couple of years ago when a group from Istanbul (Turkey) booked a Gulet Cruise in Bodrum via our company. That was just plain old amazing.
6. You better not hide anything - it will bite you in the ass
If your company is great in gulet cruises if you have amazing customer support, very good prices and you truly inspect every gulet you work with – tell it. If you do not do this – do not brag about it.
We had several meetings with agencies that could give us A LOT OF BUSINESS – however their demands did not match our company mission and goals. In that case, it is better to admit you CAN NOT DO SOMETHING than to push it just to make an extra buck.
The main lesson learned: Have a focus. Do things where you are good at. Do not promote sailing yachts if you do not have any ideas on how to do that. Stick to what you are good at. And be honest about it.
7. It is all about being market-oriented, not product-oriented
Last 10 years since we are in the business we PROMOTED GULET CRUISES. That was a mistake. It is really hard to promote GULETS. On the other hand, it is not so hard to promote gulets to:
- People who like to go on a biking holiday;
- People that would like to get married and are looking for ideas;
- People that are all about the religious type of holidays and wish to see the most in the shortest possible time.
My main point is that WE WILL NO LONGER TRY TO “JUST PROMOTE GULET CRUISES” to anybody that might be interested.
We will now start promoting gulets to the exact type of “market”, that is interested in specific holidays and where gulets will be an amazing solution.
The main lesson learned: Be market-centric. Be awesome for a specific type of people. Do not promote gulets. Promote to specific “type of people”. It is much easier.
8. We love Slovenia, Croatia, Turkey & Greece
London is great, but spending almost 2 hours every day waiting for the next train ... we prefer to do business like this ...
London see you next year.