It’s that time of year again.
Kids, possibly yours, are heading back to the classrooms all through this month and into next. Some actually want to get back there, not so much to hit the books as much as to meet with friends (at least that’s how it is with mine).
During the time off, children and teens lose a lot of the skills they’ve worked so hard to learn during the school year. Teacher recommend that they should read every day, or even participate in a skills maintenance program so that their knowledge drain is kept at a minimum.
While it’s probably been a while since you’ve settled into a school routine, this might be a good time to think about if your marketing skills might also need a brush-up.
Maybe you do this anyway all year round by reading up on the latest news and trends in the travel marketing field. Or not….or you’re somewhere in the middle. Or you might just be soaking it all up through osmosis.
But one thing is for certain. If you don’t have a pretty solid understanding of the current trends in travel marketing, you may be leaving your company behind in the profit race.
Here’s how you can get a quick but working knowledge about what’s going on right now…going back to school, but as a travel marketer. And the best part? No homework!
1.) Daily or weekly alerts/newsletters from leading travel marketing publications
This is a pretty easy thing to do, given that almost every one of these sources’ home pages have a simple opt-in box, where you just enter your name and email. Here are some of the best ones out there to connect to
- Tnooz and Eye for Travel – focuses on technological and web marketing developments as they relate to the industry
- Travel Pulse, Travel Market Report, Travel Weekly – all of these are geared to travel agents, but they offer updated travel related news that you’ll find useful
- National Geographic Traveler, Travel and Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, Outside, Afar – yes, these are consumer magazines, but they give you a great idea of what’s trending with travelers. Plus, their eye-candy content is just fun to read.
Yes, sometime these info-fests are nothing but a one-hour or more promo for someone’s program. But look past the obvious sales push, and you can actually get some pretty good information from webinars. The trick is trying to figure out which one is going to be worth your precious time.
Once you get on mailing lists for newsletter or blog updates, you’re going to get invitations for webinars, and there seems to be at least one offered every day. So you’ll have to figure out which one you’ll attend and get the most benefit from. Each one is going to sound the greatest thing since gluten-free, fresh baked sliced bread, especially if the copywriters have done their job. But the truth is, you don’t need to sign up for each and every one.
Think about what you really want to learn most about (email, social media, SEO, mobile, etc.) and just enroll in those. Most of the time, even if you for sign up for them and don’t listen in to the live broadcast, you can always hear a recording later.
3.) Good ol’ fashioned book learning
Sometimes the only thing that will do is reading a classic book on advertising and marketing. I haven’t yet found a good one specific to travel marketing. But there’s a reason why the books below have been around for so long. You can grab some of the real oldies but goodies, like these:
- Scientific Advertising, by Claude Hopkins
- Oglivy on Advertising, by David Oglivy
- How to Write a Good Advertisement, by Victor O. Schwab
- Breakthrough Advertising, by Gene Schwartz (this one is not easy to find in print, but there’s a few open source links where you can access this classic)
If you need resources that deal more with online marketing knowledge, here are some of my favorites:
- Permission Marketing, by Seth Godin
- Cntl Alt Del, by Mitch Joel
- Optimize, by Lee Odden
- The New Rules of Marketing and PR, by David Meerman Scott
With these books, don’t feel like you need to read the whole thing. Just flip through a couple of pages to see examples of good selling techniques and strategies.
Do you have any favorite ways to keep up with ever-changing landscape marketing and advertising? Share your thoughts below!