My 2011 Wish List

The new year is almost upon us so it seems only fitting to take a moment and think about resolutions for next year. I suppose I can't really make resolutions for us all, but I will take this time to share a few wishes that I have for travel marketing in 2011.

Wish #1 -- Better CRM

At the end of the day, the prospect pool we're all mining just isn't that big, and the unfocused, scattershot efforts of many in our category hurt us all by wearing out the consumer base. I wish for each of us a more targeted and thoughtful approach to CRM. Match the message to the audience, be mindful of over-communicating, and use the results of each and every effort to optimize.

Wish #2 -- A New Approach to Loyalty

In 2011, I wish that we all take a refreshed look at the value of customer loyalty and then rethink how we build programs to encourage and reward it. Our customers are more discerning and more informed than ever. Their choices in travel are many, and the differentiation between those choices gets lesser and lesser every day. Loyalty begins with a top-notch experience. I wish for all of us a focus on creating A-1 interactions at every touchpoint, engendering the loyalty that we can then more imaginatively acknowledge.



Wish #3 -- More Talking To, Less Talking At

Our customers are talking. We're talking. But are we engaging? Now, more than ever, marketing is a dialogue. Our audience has more and more control over when it engages with us, and it is actively engaging with us at many touchpoints. Let's stop talking at each other and talk with each other. The key in that? Listening. I wish for us all continued improvement in being better listeners, to take heed of what's being said and glean actionable learnings that help us improve our product, service, and messaging.

Wish #4 -- Creativity

My biggest wish for all of us. May we all be more creative in our messaging and our media selection. Travel marketing can easily become very expected and unsurprising. I wish for us the bravery to take risks, to try new channels, to break the mold. See Wish #3 and know that these risks don't have to be blind -- our customers are telling us everything we need to know about how and where we can more effectively speak to them.

I hope that each and every one of you has had a prosperous and exciting 2010 and wish you all the happiest of holidays and a brilliant start to 2011.

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