How do you build excitement around a business that is extremely competitive in the marketplace?
In a city that never sleeps, there are over 300 different tour businesses. How do I advertise that I am different and offer the coolest product out there?
Standing out from the competition can be overwhelming but paying attention can also insightful. I like to compare and contrast competitors to see what they have in common but also to see how they choose to showcase their offerings. Then look to your own business and see what you both have in common but also what distinguishes your business. What is your unique offering? From these it is about getting creative on how and where you tell your story. Another great idea would be to partner with a business where you can both steer customers to one another.
I agree that you look for the point of difference you have and also the expeience you offer. What do people 'experience' when on your tour, not just the physical experience but also the emotional connectedness and the feeling obtained. These things often allow you to remember an event for life.
Pamela, I don't see a website, Facebook or Twitter Page for you online. I see Yelp listing, are you on Google Business and Foursquare too? Get on social media if you are not, not a huge fan of social media because it does not always bring paying clients. Also, if you want to invest a bit in some promo stuff, gift with purchase items, or personalized products, drop me a line. People who sign up can get a free customized gift item with a NY theme too it...you can use coupons from other places too good at other places in the city. We could create like a NY themed logo candy bar as a souvenir after your tour ends. Or even a sports tumbler.
I am different and offer the coolest product out there - Its the right answer for your question , In such situation you have to be totally different in everything , quality ,quantity ,Price , Shape , Attractive name , Attractive pakaging , Over 300 different tour businesses , You need to search for experts in your business with strong track record in the same filed , I know its an easy to do so but always if there is a well there is a way .
what is your unique value proposition? package it with life stories / case studies and spread the word in social media
Great sharing here for you Pamela. In addition to my predecessors I will say:
1) Match your target audience with your passion. This will lead you to your niche market
2) Don't think competition open your mind on complementing to. You may find out that the competitors may need something specific and valuable that they are not thinking of
3) For your advertisement needs dig in what your audience WANTS are not just the NEEDS.
Good luck and hope this helps.
I would focus on what your points of difference and products are. From there, you can craft your message on why someone should choose your tours over others. The biggest issue is how to reach those people. You really need to understand who your target audience is and use the mediums that they use to search for vacations- and make sure you bubble to the top of their search results. That could mean basic SEO, banner ads, tracking ads, facebook, twitter, snapchat, etc. The key to your success will be making sure you are found when your target audience is ready to buy. Good luck.
As you probably guessed, competing head-to-head on price can be a losing game. In my experience, it is really about differentiating the service and the customer experience.
Look specifically what your clientele is interested in experiencing and align that with key conventions, books, or movie releases. For instance, several Italian cities have created Dante tours for the fans of the Dan Brown series.
We have also successfully helped several clients leverage social. Have a team member join the tours, take fun photos with the guests, and post them. This enables your clients to like, tag, and share your photos. Which in turn acts like an endorsement that drives new traffic to your business.
Once a framework for the inbound funnel is established, the focus can expand to other digital efforts.
Know your differentiators, highlight them in your marketing efforts, make your services experiential, target proper segments, and exercise 4 Ps of marketing. There are so many ideas that come to mind, would love to chat.
Pamela - lovely question firstly. You are almost there!
Kindly allow me to ask you this, why do people visit cities and travel? To experience a city - the traits, the heritage, the people, and to learn more about the vast world that we live in!
Therefore build an experience for the tourist according to their interests, lifestyle, etc.
So networking with the respective hotel-chains in your area as you pride yourself and intentionally position your brand on providing the very best for their guests.
Creating memories, like for example when tourists travel with their pictures are taken, here the most important part your branding is added on to the picture. --- --Note: that to utilize them in a campaign you would have to acquire the consent, preferable in writing.
Showcasing uniqueness in-relation to your city on your site, social-media, emails, etc. "Welcome to the city that is always awake, in this unique city - you deserve the ultimate experience, consider me your preferred tour partner."
Does this help you, Pamela?
If you indeed are different from the rest you can focus your marketing around that difference. Find an audience that values your difference highly and mainly target them. This should lead to a situation where at least that group of people thinks you have the coolest product out there (because you give them something they really dig and which none of your competitors offer).
Since we are talking tourism here it might be good to try and target your audience at the moment they are planning their stay. Try to make your past clients rate you on TripAdvisor (simply sending a thank you for participating mail/card and could you kindly rate us on Tripadvisor optionally with QR link should do the trick) which will help a great deal. Perhaps spend some budget on SEA and lastly make sure you deliver what you promise in your advertisement or perhaps deliver even more than that.
Is attracting business through advertising a question you are asking or you are looking the ways to stand out in an extremely competitive environment?
Normally strong competition means "thin profit margin", some special cases will be "specific skills" or "special relationship".
I assumed the competition in this case is about "thin profit margin". Basic marketing question is "how would you like to position yourself?" - to go for the niche or for the mass; to to maximize value or increase market size; to keep survive or to make breakthrough ...Determine kind of marketing messages based on the above intentions. at this point you are half way to make yourself outstanding in the said competitive environment.
Depend how you like to convey the message and the campaign you like to conduct, the advertising will design accordingly.
Good luck to you, btw, keep remain yourself excited so the business can be excited.
For any service business to differentiate in a commoditized market is tough. But service is all about user experience and matching and exceeding their expectations. Here are few things to think about. Try scanning your competitiors around the following for gaps
1. Reliability -
You may note , that reliability and assurance is about consistentcy on basic deliverables such as timeliness, sites covered, booking experience. This is about meeting the basic expectation
The tangibles - this includes all physical aspects such as gifts , souveniers, meals, cleanliness - takes care of stated expectations. Verbal communication of the tour guide.
Empathy and Responsiveness - this is about personalizing the travel to each customer. Making warm connections, greeting by each individuals name. .This area is about exceeding or pleasantly surprising the guests - Meeting unstated expectations
Maximum opportunity to differentiate is around tthe tangibles and personalization through empathy and responsiveness.
Once you have scanned your competitors , tailor your service to plug the gaps and create a value. You would have noticed that value is maximum when pleasantly surprised.
All the best
Don't think competition. Think creativity. Focus on your Specific Audience. The place to start, and one of the keys to creating intimacy is to get very specific about WHOM you will speak to in your marketing. In other words, you need to choose a SPECIFIC AUDIENCE. So, who is my specific audience? It must be "clearly defined,select group of individuals, you will focus on helping and being of service to." WHO to focus my message on? WHO WILL I SPEAK TO in my marketing material? Use the concept of EGOIC LABELS. And Egoic label is a way we identify ourselves. It is a name or identity people call themselves inwardly and outwardly, a term they feel comfortable referring to themselves as. The stronger the personal attachment to an EGOIC label the better it is for marketing. Strong Egoic labels are black or white. There is no middle ground. You either have kids, or you don't. You are an Italian tourist or not. Got it? Choose a strong Egoic Label to identify your Specific Audience and use that label consistently in your marketing. When you do, your ideal tourist client will pick up your brochure or website, read your description, or see the announcement for your specific tour and say, "WOW! this looks like it was created exactly for me!"
Craft message in a way that will allow potential customers to "Self Select." They must see the message and say, "Yes! this is for me! I have been waiting for this exact information or whatever! "
This is just the starting point. Creativity in every aspect of business is the key. Most markets are competitive - - yet, some excel others fail. It could be Education Based Marketing or Experience based marketing or combination thereof.
When dealing with a commoditized business/service/product there are still ways you can spin things to have an interesting USP (unique sales proposition) that can make you stand out head and shoulders over your competition.
Example 1: SEO
A friend of mine that runs an SEO business focuses purely on the reputation and traffic elements of the business. In fact he trains his clients not to care about "rank" but to care about how much traffic they're getting to their page. At the end of the day it's traffic to the page that increases sales. Rank is a part of it, but it's only the superficial ego measurement. More traffic means more chances to make sales. With other SEO companies - Rank is everything! This 180 switch keeps him top of mind in the industry and further insulates his clients from people trying to poach them.
Example 2: Real Estate
Another friend has a realtor license. There's a commoditized business for sure. But what she does differently is that she also has a mortgage broker license and a financial planning license. That doesn't mean she practices all 3 fully - because nobody can juggle that many things, but what it does mean is that her USP is that she can look at someone's ENTIRE financial picture and make decisions on the whole instead of just one subsection. So that's her USP - I know of ZERO other realtors that have that level of dedication.
Example 3: Car Dealerships
Many people fear the car dealerships because of the sales people. A very few select dealerships have done away with commission entirely and all of the sales staff are trained to help their client in the buying process as opposed to attempting to sell them things. In an industry where the norm is the complete exact opposite, this is a refreshing breath of freedom for clients.
See if you can arrange a joint venture agreement with a few key players in your town and get a special tour deal exclusive with your booking. Become the "Go to" for specific types of parties that are your best profit makers and strongest margins. Get to the point where you become known for a particular type of tour and that's a USP to differentiate yourself. Figure out comps where you can add free tickets to a show, find ways to combine stuff that adds that special touch to things, and really highlight those in your brochures and marketing materials. Only place in [Location] that gets you the best deals on [list your crossover deals]. There's always a way to make a purple cow :)