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Signature Travel Refines Marketing Initiatives

August 24, 2011 By: George Dooley Travel Agent


(c) 2011 Signature Travel Network

Signature Travel Network reports it has gained an additional $1 billion in annual travel sales and added 17 new members in 2011 and intends to accelerate its marketing efforts to continue growth for agency members.

Signature said in its recently held annual Marketing Committee meeting at the Marina del Rey Ritz Carlton included a cross section of the network's agency owners and executives who shared ideas and strategies, while making decisions on marketing initiatives.

"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," says Alex Sharpe, executive vice president of Signature.

"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," Sharpe said.

Signature has gained an additional $1 billion in annual travel sales and added 17 new members in 2011. As a member-owned organization, Signature said its 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 was held in July.

In 2012, Signature said it 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, Signature said. 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 reports it has also 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 its Sales Meeting, November 17-19, 2011 in Las Vegas.

The network was established in 1956 and includes 201 member agencies with 375 retail locations throughout USA and Canada. Collectively, Signature members generate over $5 billion in annual travel sales.



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About the Author

George Dooley
George Dooley, Travel Agent’s senior contributing editor covering retail and technology, has a long-standing reputation as one of the top travel industry journalists. He notes...

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By George Dooley | August 24, 2011
In 2012, Signature will launch an enhanced prospecting initiative to assist members with acquiring new clients.
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