The Forum is a timeshare industry event that takes place in London on December 9-10. The timeshare event will feature expert analysis on the state of the industry as well as where the future lies for the shared ownership market. Generator Systems and Perspective Magazine are hosting the Forum, which will include debates and panels with timeshare industry experts from around the globe.
One of the big questions posed at the Forum will ask how fractional ownership will play its part in the future of timeshare. An in-depth analysis on fractional ownership will allow timeshare marketers and developers to decide how they want to move forward with fractional ownership strategies.
Some of the big name speakers include Brett Archibald, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Group RCI, Peter Booth, Board Director at Group Pestana, as well as Darren Ettrdige, the Vice President of Resort Sales at Interval International.
Check out the Forum site for more information on panelists and the event schedule.
One of the services that Whitecap provides hand-in-hand with it’s timeshare tour generation software is social media marketing. ‘Social Media’ has been a recent buzz word that is getting thrown around a lot, but how do you actually use it to promote resorts and timeshares? I’d like to review what exactly Social Media Marketing is, and in particular how it can give a healthy boost to a timeshare marketing campaign.
Social Media basically refers to a new generation of internet community. Social media websites allow people to connect with each other through relevant topics and interests. Social media marketing allows you to target these niches, including people, groups and locations that are relevant to your field.
One of the biggest social networking sites is Facebook. Facebook has a multitude of location specific groups and pages that are formed around common interests. For example if there was a ‘I Love Las Vegas Group,’ this would be a great place to tell people about your Las Vegas mini-vacation special, or some new amenities that were recently added to your resort.
Twitter is another social media site that allows you to target specific people through various conventions. Hashtags (#) are one tool within Twitter that allow you to micro-target specific discussions based on keywords. For example, Twitter users could be ‘tweeting’ about Las Vegas, using the hashtag #LasVegas. This would be a great place for you to tweet about some fresh resort news: “Our Las Vegas Resort just added a state of the art indoor pool, be sure to check it out at www.vegasresort.com #LasVegas ”
Social Aggregators like Digg and Redditt are another great way to get out the breaking news on your resort. If you have a resort blog and frequently update it, submitting your articles to these aggregators will allow more people to find and access them. Not only can social aggregators increase traffic to your resort or timeshare blog, but they also enable you to categorize your articles to specific topics like ‘travel.’
One of the reasons why Whitecap’s tour generation software is successful is through the use of social media marketing. These services are fully inclusive within our monthly pricing packages.
ARDA (The American Resort Developer’s Association) will create a time capsule to be opened in 2019, 10 years from now. This capsule will contain the thoughts, opinions and predictions of industry folk on where timeshare will be in the future. This time encapsulating event is in celebration of ARDA’s 40th anniversary, as well as in preparation for their 50th anniversary ten years down the line.
I know we still have a way to go, but I’d like to give my two cents on the Timeshare Industry in 2019:
Independent Resorts become more Independent: Many independent resorts currently rely on third party marketers to generate tours for them. I believe that because of downturns in the market and third party suppliers going out of business, independents will need to become more ‘independent’ and begin to generate their own tours. This is a good time to start, as services like Whitecap can be utilized by independent resorts to easily and efficiently generate timeshare tours on their own.
Timeshare Marketing Improvements: Timeshare marketing is on the cusp of a new generation of hyper targeted, cost effective technological improvement. New timeshare marketing software like Whitecap provides a resort the ability to leverage online marketing channels to find the perfect potential buyers. Our ability to target potential qualified tours will continue to improve as we expand within these online marketing channels.
Timeshare Management Software Improvements: Timeshare Management packages such as Quick Merlin will continue to improve and take advantage of Web 2.0 software structures. Social networking phenomenons like Facebook are big for a reason, they provide millions of users the ability to easily keep track of their social groups. Timeshare management software is going the same direction as social networking – easy online access and to-the-point updates.
If you would like to contribute your own opinion to the time capsule, visit the ARDA site and email the representative.
Also, to celebrate ARDA’s 40th anniversary here is a video promo:
It all comes down to return on investment. Each marketing program has a measurable contribution to your bottom line; some programs flop and some succeed. As a business metric for timeshare marketing, Value per Guest is a solid starting point to understand the success or failure of your sales efforts. Each program will generate sales tours and each program will exhibit varying closing rates. The average sales price per a tour will also vary from source to source. While VPG is a good evaluation tool, it does not take into consideration the underlying cost associated with each program. When investigating sales efficiencies, make sure you take into account your cost of marketing.
Generally Value per Guest is measured by taking the dollar volume of your sales for a specific tour source and dividing it by the total number of guests toured. For example, suppose Resort X is running a drop box program and they want to measure their VPG for the month of October. Let’s say this specific drop box program has generated $49,000 in sales while showing 28 tours in the month of October. The Value per Guest for the drop box program for the month of October would be $49,000 divided by 28 tours or $1,750. This effectively means that each tour generates $1750 in gross sales for that program for the month of October.
Could a program have a solid VPG with a bad Return on Investment? The answer is yes. Value per a Guest is based on a measurement of gross revenue per a guest. Resorts and marketing companies need to keep in mind that while metrics like VPG are a helpful indicator of sales success, they do not necessarily shed light on the bottom line profits. Imagine a marketing program that generates tours based on telemarketing leads that cost 3 dollars a piece. In this imaginary program, the phone room is only able to convert 1 out of every 200 leads they call into actual onsite tours. Let’s pretend that the premium associated with each tour is a 3 night stay at a discounted rate of $100 per a night and includes a gift certificate that costs the resort $50. If the program has a VPG of $1300 then and the cost of marketing is $950 per tour, then the net revenue before sales commissions and taxes is only $350. Now obviously, those numbers are exaggerated, but it is easy to see how a program with an apparently healthy VPG might actually be under performing a program with a smaller VPG but a healthier cost of marketing.
At Whitecap we focus on providing your team with software and marketing capabilities that can generate high-quality tours with an extremely low cost of marketing. All of our plans have a low fixed monthly rate. With a fixed rate you can cut down your associated variable marketing costs and spread your fixed cost over the total number of tours that your generate. Currently the Select plan starts at just $499 a month. If you generate 20 tours over the course of that month your promotional cost of marketing drops to less that $25 per tour. At those numbers your low cost of marketing will prop up your return on investment. Apples to apples, it hard to find a better deal and with our 30 day free trial, it is definitely worth checking us out.
Sally Lessig was one of the 2009 winners of ARDAs ‘Bring Your Vacation to Life’ timeshare story contest. The goal of the contest was for timeshare owners to share a particular story about a vacation that touched their lives.
“It has been such a joy to watch our children grow up, marry, have their own children and this year our Great-Grandson came for his first visit. That makes four generations sharing fun at the Beach House.”
Although it may just seem like some well placed Timeshare Marketing from ARDA, the ‘Bring Your Vacation to Life’ contest really did highlight why vacation ownership can be a great option for some people. Timeshare isn’t right for everyone. However, for a percentage of vacationers, timeshare is the perfect solution: providing long term savings, accessibility, and exchange options that have the potential to change lives.
There are vacationers out there who have the potential to fall in love with Timeshare, but just don’t know enough about it yet. They haven’t heard about that fantastic resort destination, incredible amenities, and long term savings that are waiting for them. Whitecap’s technology has the ability to reach out to those specific people through targeted Timeshare Marketing and deliver them to a specific resort.