impact marketingMarketing in Timeshare industry or any industry for the matter is all about generating, capturing and analyzing data that over time translates into a lead, sale or new customer. When setting up a campaign correctly, your efforts will create marketing magic.

You will attract the right lead or buyer, have a better understanding of who they are and their needs, reduce your overall marketing costs, all of which ultimately means more revenue to your bottom line. It should be your mission prior to starting any major marketing endeavor that you are marketing with “purposeful intent” and working closely with other key stakeholders within your organization. Working together will identify concerns and help facilitate the execution of major decisions, thus, avoiding organizational bottlenecks by moving important projects along resulting in getting things done quickly, effectively, and hopefully creating better outcomes than in the past.

Today’s business landscape requires marketers to play roles that were in the past traditionally not theirs. Not only do you need to understand strategy and marketing basics you must be a technologist, tracking and monetizing sophisticated technologies that are flooding every avenue of your marketing tool box.

Automating marketing efforts provide more and better leads, improve marketing productivity, and improve conversion rates. Some of the more important aspects of marketing automation features lead nurturing, integration with your CRM, social media, mobile platforms, analytics and reporting capabilities. The downside to marketing automation is having to change the way you conduct business, budget constraints, and lack of skilled employees to run the programs. It quickly becomes apparent the gap between your knowledge and what your company needs (and willing to finance) to accomplish creating intense pressure to reshape the way your marketing should be done.

So where to begin? First, ensure your marketing strategy and planning aligns with company goals, objectives, and customer expectations. You may have to adjust them to the priorities of marketing and sales. Start by looking for answers to fundamental questions. What customer segments and product lines should you project focus on? How much money do you have to allocate to the campaign?What is the allocation to mail, email, events, and etc.? What is the testing and learning plan? Concentrate on the primary components to build the marketing plan.

It is essential you take into consideration the increase in marketing vehicles to choose from and the advancement of digital technologies. In our ever growing world of technology, and communication, people are constantly looking for new and easier ways to express themselves and become closer to the world around us. Before the computer and internet became a commonplace for facilitating information, marketers used traditional media technology such as television, newspapers, magazines, telephones, and radios to promote their products and services. Traditional media in our society is old and aging, and you need to embrace the new ways of communication to express your marketing message. You need to consider the various forms of Digital Media. Media that is broad and encompasses many sectors and subsectors such as content (text, sound, images, “animated images  and video), platforms, software, and technologies. Today’s complex methods of creating and delivering messages and offers require faster execution than before and budget pressure to include them has become the norm. You have to ask yourself; which product features to highlight? What incentives should you offer? What is the right blend of traditional and digital marketing vehicles to get my message to my audience?

Don’t overlook the importance of your company operations and infrastructure. Determine which activities to keep inhouse, which to automate and which to outsource. The decision to outsource a marketing function can be both tactical and strategic. Many companies have a belief of outsourcing any functions that are not core to their business, hence keeping them focused on makes them money. For example, developing a positioning strategy may be central to the company; writing a press release may not be. At the tactical level, companies often find themselves strapped for marketing resources to respond to a rapid or unexpected change in the business or perhaps an increased volume of marketing initiatives at the same time. Whether you choose to perform the function in-house or outsource it, most likely technology will need to be considered as part of the project. Partnering with IT to evaluate, and help select technologies helps you to acquire the correct form of marketing automation and analytic solutions to support your programs. The crucial role IT plays in marketing is not going away. It is only growing. You need them to help you navigate interconnectivity, security, and network stability. By clarifying marketing roles, analytics, and IT functions you are better prepared to answer important questions. How will new digital technologies be assessed, purchased and managed? How can it be measured? What is the right extent of integration between digital and traditional marketing? Who manages what roles?

Look at how the marketing practices in the Timeshare industry as it has evolved through marketing by purposeful intent. The industry’s overall goal is to improve upon the customer experience every year. But in the past its central marketing efforts played the role of providing a prospect for sales to hammer out a deal. Not much thought went Into a long-term value of the customer to them. At a higher level, individual teams focused on the department or product line for which they were responsible for while no one was building a holistic view of the customer. While this industry has made strides to embrace new technologies, it still struggles today allocating money and resources to test new methodologies to locate and sell new customers and retain them. Today that same industry is faced with the challenge of tracking and engaging prospects and customers across all sales channels. Channels such as point of sale, upgrades, exchanges, bonus time, travel booked, and etc.They have reacted and realized that all these challenges need to be addressed by including more stakeholders and include far more sophisticated analytic and testing capabilities than were previously thought. They now know that, for example, that customers who typically buy from multiple channels have a higher lifetime value than single channel buyers. Realizing a value is the first step. Spend the money to understand better who your ideal prospect/customer is and what is their needs and expectations. Look at the holistic view of the lifetime value of your customer to your company. Check all sales channels to inquire about what products and services they have engaged. Then and only then, you will put customers, rather than a sales channel, at the center of your efforts and be way ahead of the game. Find out what new technologies you need to include in your activities. Embrace aggressive testing and learning philosophies, and you will better gauge success with metrics such as customer acquisition, customer movement across channels, and customer lifetime value.

Now is the time for you to take these powerful insights and shift project responsibility to include key company stakeholders for marketing activities and create partnerships with outside vendors, IT, finance and other internal departments. If you are putting department responsibilities in silos and not communicating with each of them, your marketing objectives will not be met, and your competition will soon be in your pocket. Every marketing organization finds that certain stakeholders and departments matter more than others. Their importance will vary widely from project to project. Your will find that certain departments need to be included based on the core focus of the marketing project (i.e. product development, lead generation, sales, customer loyalty, and analysis) and what kind of expertise they can weigh into the project. No company can address all marketing channels at once. But with a little “purposeful intent” injected into your efforts and keeping the holistic view of your customer as a primary consideration, you will be able to plan and create a strategy if you apply the right technology and include key stakeholders. It’s your choice. Choose to market with “purposeful intent” and you will be on your way to creating better and more powerful marketing results.

Contributed by Ms. Kathryn Felke, a successful direct marketer for over 25 years. Ms. Felke is the Co-founder of Impact International Marketing and All Digital Rewards. Is an expert in business development strategies with a focus on loyalty, promotions, and technology for lead generation, customer acquisition, and retention.

About Impact International Marketing and All Digital Rewards: Impact International Marketing is leading provider of marketing products, services and technology for lead generation, consumer promotions, and loyalty marketing needs. Specialties: Lead capture, redemption, call tracking, data modeling technologies. Lifestyle Benefits, Incentive travel, Rebate Programs, Consumer Promotions, Direct Marketing and Customer Service Center. All Digital Rewards offers a wide offering of digital rewards, engagement and sweepstakes technology for incentive and loyality programs. Specialties: Digital rewards, online gift cards and prepaid cards, redemption platforms, games and contests, syndicated marketplace, sweepstakes, promotion & loyalty platforms.

Contact IIM and ADR at 844-702-7119 or email us at to learn more about loyalty and consumer promotion products, services, and technology.