Thursday, July 3, 2014

Boomers and vacation travel: understanding and marketing to this group

Did you know that Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) spend over $78 million on vacation travel annually? This equates to $29 billion more than Gen X (those born between 1966 and 1976), and $23 billion more than Millennials. This generation values vacation travel as their favorite leisure activity, so it’s not surprising that they were the first to study abroad, backpack to Europe, and explore other cultures diligently. As the largest travel group, Boomers will dominate the market for the next decade, making it important to win their business by targeting their specific needs and interests. Once you grab their attention and loyalty, they will readily return to their chosen destination. 
In order to develop marketing strategies targeted to this group, you need to understand their priorities. Boomers have reached a stage in their lives where travel is less about family vacation with great value/pricing and more about culturally diverse experiences and exploration. Unlike Gen X who travel with their children, Boomer couples look to reconnect with their significant others and shut down from the pressures of their daily lives. Boomers are likely to book cruises and statistics show that all cruise lines (except Disney) are dominated by Boomer and older travelers accounting for more than half of all cruise travel. In order to sustain recurring bookings from Boomers, cruise lines will need to be creative and offer unique experiences catered to this market. Boomers also have an interest in making a difference and are partial to trips that involve environmentalism and “voluntourism,” which combines travel with volunteer work. 
When it comes to booking their travel, this group is most likely to do all of their research and booking online.  On average, a Boomer will visit four sites to research and three sites to book travel. This group is known to research the best deals, trendy travel locations, and tips and reviews from other travelers. Providing as much detail to them as you can will help you to create a long-term relationship with them. 
Understanding the Boomer mentality, and specifically targeting their needs, will go a long way in your rapport with them for the next decade.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Who Doesn’t Love Farm-To-Table Catering?

Congratulations to our client, Gigi Hudson Valley (Gigi), on broadening their range of services.  After 13 years of business, Gigi continues to grow throughout the Hudson Valley.  Known for their farm-to-table catering, Gigi’s most recent offerings include a full-service professional event planner on staff offering boutique services from concept to execution and the “Online Gigi Marketplace.” The Online Gigi Marketplace has allowed Gigi to fulfill the ever-increasing demand for Gigi products and services to be accessed beyond the Trattoria and Hudson Valley Catering program.  Click here to learn more about Gigi.  After all, who doesn’t love farm-to-table catering? 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Are trade shows worth the time and money?

We’ve all been asked a million times, “Are trade shows worth the time, money, and soft costs/staffing.” I’m here to tell you, YES they are!

According to the NY Times, companies are holding more in-person events than in previous years, and they expect that growth to continue. The truth of the matter is that there is nothing like the good, old-fashioned in-person meeting. We’ve all fallen hostage to the convenience of email, social media, mobile marketing, and video conferencing over the years. While these modes of communication are valid, effective, time saving, and cost saving, they are better reserved for existing customers and colleagues. When it comes to making new contacts and building your business, the most impactful way to make a connection is in person.

Of course, once you’ve decided to exhibit at a trade show, you need to remember that there’s more to an event than just showing up. If you really want to get your money’s worth, here are some actionable items to add to your trade show planning:

·      Proper and advance planning will save you money in the long run and enable you to take advantage of early-bird discounts, advance shipping, and lower travel costs
·      Purchase the event mailing list and promote your presence in a compelling way that will drive people to your booth, i.e. a contest or giveaway
·      Set goals and define a strategy
·      Divide and conquer:  review attendee list and assign key people to each of your staff to meet
·      Send your most energetic staff and train them to diligently gather information and leads
·      Ensure all leads are gathered, entered into a database, and sent a follow-up email within 24-48 hours of the event.

An event can be a great success, but you need to ensure that leads are collected and processed. Your leads are the most important part of this event. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, follow-up or stay home! 

Why should you be on Pinterest?

I know what you're thinking, I don't craft and I'm not getting married, so why should I be on Pinterest? The truth is, Pinterest is a viable tool for businesses that can help you position yourself as an authority in your field. People generally make a connection with photos and Pinterest is all about photos. Think about it, aren't you more apt to purchase something if you see a photo of it?  

Pinterest allows you to create boards. These boards enable you to collect and share intellectual property in an organized fashion. Followers then save, comment on, like, or re-pin your posts to their own boards. If you create boards with accurate, useful, fun, and educational information, prospects and customers will visit to gain resources. It’s a perfect place to easily house articles, visual depictions of your work, blogs, and even videos.

Pinterest drives traffic to your website through direct links and places more data about your company onto the web for organic search. In addition, it helps you to expand your reach to a unique audience that you may not reach through other traditional or social media resources. 

‘Info graphics’ have become a popular way to communicate information, how to's, and tips at a glance. Not sure what an infographic is? Here’s an example  

And, don’t fret, there are many applications to help you easily and quickly create an infographic. Some of the more common are, Piktochart and Venngage. 

Pinterest is the fastest growing social media platform. According to, the platform broke a record by reaching 10 million monthly unique visitors in just nine months and continues to grow.  The average order placed by Pinterest shoppers is $169, the average from Facebook is $95 and the average from Twitter is $70. (   

Monday, October 7, 2013

Birthday Promotions

I love this month - my birthday month. I cannot help notice which brands have been sending me emails and coupons. Some are just too great to pass up. The ones I liked the most had brand personality and ease of use for obtaining my birthday ‘gift.’

So why use Birthday Marketing? People are in a celebratory mood on their birthday so they will spend more money when they are out. People love freebies, discounts and talking about their birthday; free word-of-mouth and branding tool. "This place is so awesome; they gave me free dessert for my birthday!"

A great sushi place in NYC sent me $20 to use on my next visit. A free meal for me, how could I pass that up? Most people will be celebrating their birthday with a group, so even though my meal is covered, the rest of the group is paying full price for their meals. Haru has got birthday marketing right- luring me and my friends to spend my birthday dinner at their restaurant. 

Sephora also has a great birthday gift for me — what is even better is I can choose from a few options. What I like about this is that the gift is clear and valuable, mascara and moisturizer, instead of 10% off or some other vague offer. It is a limited offer that expires two weeks after my birthday, so I need to act soon to redeem. I can get my free gift online, but I would have to purchase something to receive it. My other option is going into the store to redeem it, which is smart. They are getting me to come to the store, where I will most likely purchase other items that catch my eye. Finally, I admire the seamless redemption. The offer is preloaded onto my Sephora loyalty card, so no coupon required. When I go up to the counter, they know it is my birthday.

Personal communication goes a long way in making your customers feel valued, especially in a birthday greeting. I have definitely felt the love from some of my favorite companies this month!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Nonbelievers are warned: Television Advertising is STILL Effective

What if I told you that more than half of Americans still turn to television for current events? Are you shaking your head is disagreement? Most THINK internet is where people get their news. Here are the facts: 55% turn to TV and only 21% turn to the Internet. For now, TV reigns supreme in the news world, for all age groups. So what does this mean for marketers?

Let’s start by how the world experiences TV, because it has fundamentally changed. We no 
 longer watch TV as a silent partaker, rather as an active contributor. When people watch something on TV, they like sharing the experience; 32 million people in the U.S. last year tweeted about TV programming.  Marketers are realizing they can join together in this new consumer behavior. The idea is not to compete with social media, but to use it so that televised shows, events, and advertising campaigns win more audience, and audience participation, with social media. The reason some commercials go viral: Companies are connecting with viewers on multiple platforms.

More and more TV ads include a call-to-action to social media or a hash tag to start conversations and seek consumer involvement — extending the story beyond the thirty-second spot. With that said, TV advertising is not dead; it is evolving into a stronger, more efficient marketing tool.

It seems I am professing my love for television advertising. It all starts with that thirty-second spot; BUT not as the sole medium for all of your advertising. I have a love for all advertising- traditional, mobile, radio, etc. I am just saying TV advertising is not going anywhere anytime soon.