Sandra McLemore will share insight and knowledge about effective marketing strategies for travel advisors, as one of the featured experts in Travel Market Report’s Maestro series.
McLemore is a digital marketing business growth expert with over 20 years of experience in the industry. “This December, I’ll have worked in the travel industry for 22 years. I started as a retail advisor in a brick-and-mortar for STA Travel,” said McLemore.
She’s served as VP for marketing, media and PR roles for the world's biggest cruise lines and travel brands, as well as a travel expert and TV host. She also founded Travel Marketing & Media, a marketing and business coaching agency for travel brands, as well as The Travel Agent’s Suitcase and Travel Marketing Revolution, business programs designed to help travel business owners and advisors develop marketing strategies to maintain a consistent flow of new clients.
“I understand completely what it feels like, both as a travel advisor, and as a business owner, what it’s like to have to find a consistent stream of new clients.”
During her upcoming Maestro sessions she will be offering advice on how advisors and agency owners can implement simple and effective marketing strategies to lay the foundation for long-term success.
“I was lucky enough to work my way through different areas of travel… and that gave me a very rounded view of the industry as a whole. The biggest thing I learned that helped my have a thriving business of my own, is to really invest in the proven and reliable marketing strategies that have a proven track record.”
She says advisors should focus on a few key marketing strategies, as opposed to running themselves ragged trying to keep up with new emerging marketing trends.
“Things like TikTok or Instagram reels aren’t fool-proof ways to grow a business. You really have to look at what big businesses are doing and see some of their formulas and strategies that are proven, whether you’re running a fortune 500 or a travel company.”
She said that many travel advisors are focusing too much on finding that magic silver bullet that will instantly net them more clients in the short-term, but they should be laying the foundations for long-term success.
“Marketing is critical for advisors, because if you don’t have a steady stream of consistent clients, you can’t have a profitable travel business, period.”
She said that over the last 3 years she’s worked with more than 13,000 travel advisors, and the ones that focused on implementing simple, but effective marketing strategies, are now profitable. “That’s not a coincidence. They like everyone else, had to cancel their travel and issued refunds, but right now many of them are making big future bookings… they’re not sitting in their feelings or waiting for change, they’re using the foundations they learned about marketing and are generating a stream of the right kind of clients.”
“I really want advisors to know that even if they didn’t go to school for marketing, you don’t have to learn all of the things, you really just have to learn the foundations,” said McLemore.
“Successful advisors have their blinders on and ignore all the noise. They need to stay laser focused.”