MARINA DEL REY, California – Signature Travel Network recently held its annual Marketing Committee meeting at the Marina del Rey Ritz Carlton. The committee members, representing a cross section of the network’s agency owners and executives, gathered with the Signature executive marketing team in an open forum to share ideas and strategies, while making decisions on marketing initiatives for the following year.
“Signature wants to focus on fine-tuning new programs, including Food Network Travel, MyTravelSite, niche microsites, mobile technology, and the upcoming web-based app, in 2011 and 2012,” said Alex Sharpe, Executive Vice President of Signature Travel Network, “In this year’s marketing committee meeting, we discussed best practices and how Signature can better assist both agents and clients with these new initiatives, as well as proven programs like ClientConnection. We want to ensure our members maximize the use of Signature’s unrivaled resources to the greatest extent. We know that when members use these tools, they differentiate themselves from their competitors and make a profitable difference.”
Signature has gained an additional US$1 billion in annual travel sales and added 17 new members in 2011. As a member-owned organization, Signature’s development of marketing initiatives begins and ends with valuable feedback from members. Other elements of the multi-pronged formula includes analyzing sales trends, gathering data from research studies, and conducting consumer focus groups – the most recent one held in July.
In 2012, Signature will launch an enhanced prospecting initiative to assist members with acquiring new clients. The program will consist of a rollout plan of direct marketing materials, including new pieces, as well as Signature’s “The Travel Magazine” and other existing brochures. Behind this initiative stands Signature’s 6+ years of gathering comprehensive customer data, compiled nightly using its proprietary technology, ClientConnection.
ClientBase with ClientConnection allows Signature to capture every customer touch point, including all e-marketing, direct mail marketing, and customer inquiries. Over the past few years, Signature has even developed data feeds with select preferred suppliers to capture the marketing sent to past Signature customers directly within customer profiles. This, along with a comprehensive buying history for each customer in one central repository, gives Signature a 360-degree view of all of its customers. Signature has the ability to use that information to model for new prospects, re-activate inquiries and past customers, and deliver relevant marketing.
Signature has appended psychographic and demographic information to this database on behalf of its members for years, but has recently embarked on an aggressive project to expand on those data appends, adding several economic factors, including discretionary spend. Karryn Christopher, Vice President of Marketing Services of Signature Travel Network, said, “We have been encouraged by not only our members who appreciate these tools, but also our preferred suppliers who find our targeting capabilities highly effective.”
Signature’s comprehensive 2012 marketing program will be announced during its upcoming Owners’ Meeting, September 14-17, 2011 in Florida and Sales Meeting, November 17-19, 2011 in Las Vegas.
PHOTO: The Marketing Committee consists of:
Top Row (from left to right) – Alex Sharpe, Signature Travel Network; Dan Ilves, TravelStore; Steve Shulmen, Strictly Vacations; Michelle Morgan, Signature Travel Network; Kelly Turnwall, Royal Cruise Adventures & Tours; David Van Ness, All-Travel; Michael Hannan, San Marin Travel; Joyce Qualls, Classic Travel, Inc.; Michael von Wittenau, Signature Travel Network; Tom Baker, CruiseCenter; Phil Swartz, Holiday Cruises and Tours Tallahassee.
Bottom Row (from left to right) – Karryn Christopher, Signature Travel Network; Heidi Podjavorsek, Signature Travel Network; Jean Dyer, Journeys, A Peak Travel Group Company; Susan Reder, FROSCH Classic Cruise & Travel; Jeri Amstutz, Signature Travel Network; Lindsay Harbinson, Signature Travel Network; Nicole Ruesch, Signature Travel Network; Bill Knight, All Cruise Travel.