New tools that will help its franchise owners and cruise consultants capture more clients via interactive marketing were announced by Cruise Holidays at its 2010 Annual Convention underway at the El Dorado Royale Resort inMexico
. Cruise Holidays reports that approximately 240 people attended including executives from Travel Leaders Leisure Group (Cruise Holidays’ parent) franchise network.
The consumer website, www.cruiseholidays.com, has been redesigned, as has individual franchised sites, Cruise Holidays reports. The next phase involves an updated web site that is user-friendlier, gains user trust and contains more clearly marked action items. It also more effectively directs consumers toward Cruise Holidays’ new online booking engine.
Another feature is easier, group promotions. Cruise Holidays introduced a solution that provides high-quality designs for group landing pages. These landing pages are integrated with CruiseWeb, the franchise network’s back office system. Once a group is entered into CruiseWeb, the landing page for the group cruise is easily created in a few steps – integrating information such as the ship name, pricing, itinerary and more. Clients will be directed to that landing page to learn more about the cruise, sign up for more details and even book it if they so choose.
Agents will also get help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Cruise holidays says. Cruise Holidays is working with Primero Systems to enable individual franchise owners to increase their rankings in local, organic searches. A new service, which franchisees can opt in to purchase for a monthly fee, will help them enter or stay in the top seven search results in their local community. This will give franchise owners the ability dominate their own local markets, said, Mark Schiffner, vice president of Cruise Holidays.
Cruise Holidays believes it can continue to drive customers to franchisee sites – and more importantly, keep them on the site to explore more options and eventually book with a local cruise expert. Cruise Holidays says it will continue with its current e-mail marketing strategies, which are extremely targeted based on the promotion, specific product and client. Cruise Holidays is also advancing its social media efforts by introducing a new social media boot camp for all franchise owners, frontline agents and independent contractors.
Six social media webinars are planned to begin later this month. “The webinars are in some ways geared toward social media novices, but we also have at least a couple dozen franchise owners who already have their own Facebook fan pages, and this will help ensure that everyone is using social media in some of the most time-effective ways possible,” said Schiffner.
As part of the social media strategy, Cruise Holidays franchise owners and agents will also be able to begin contributing to www.cruisesource.us, Travel Leaders Leisure Group’s cruise blog for consumers. "Our hope is that our franchise owners can begin more effectively sharing their cruise industry knowledge with consumers via these channels ” said Schiffner."