What Travel Managers Can Learn from Marketing

The Marketing department can be a source of new ideas and inspiration for promoting and communicating aspects of your travel program. Take a page from their playbook and find some new ways to connect with your internal clients.

Start a Public Relations Campaign

There’s a chance that your TMC has a whole suite of services and products that your travelers may not know about. New products and incentive programs may be on the top of your mind, but they need to be explained to the end users. Take a few minutes to summarize the latest products and publish your message on the company Intranet. Describe all the new tools, include some screenshots and explain why using them could be convenient as well as supportive of the company’s travel program. When employees understand the savings that their next set of trips can generate, it’s likely that they’ll want to participate.

Conduct a survey

You can learn a lot about how well your travel program is working when you poll your travelers. Send a brief questionnaire to travelers when they get home from a trip so the details are still fresh in their minds. You might ask about the hotel where you have negotiated a discounted rate. Has anything drastically changed since your last site inspection? Find out what type of ground transportation they use most frequently.

Listening to their needs (and complaints) can help to direct the next round of supplier negotiations. When you’re able to compile answers over a period of time, you’ll find out which aspects of your program need improvement and what’s been successful.

Finally, share your findings. Advertise the results to everyone who participated, as well as the executive, finance and HR teams. If you can prove that travel policies are affecting employee retention, your management will need to act on that news quickly.

Advertise the Product

Encourage the actions you want your staff to take. Some online booking portals allow for a banner ad placement. Use the services of a graphic designer to create an image that shows what booking a preferred hotel supplier gets you – usually free wi-fi, free breakfast, etc. By encouraging travelers to book with the negotiated hotel chain, you’ll increase your compliance numbers as well as your overall spend with that vendor. A win-win for you and the traveler.

Use Email Best Practices

The marketing department spends an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out ways to get people to open and read emails. Employ a few of their tactics when you’re sending out email blasts to all travelers.

  1. Write a subject line that sounds like it’s coming from a friend
  2. Don’t capitalize each word in the subject line
  3. Get to the point – the average attention span per email is 8 seconds
  4. Emails with 75 to 100 words have the highest response rate
  5. Make your message scannable by using:
    a. Bullet points
    b. Short sentences
    c. White space to break up content into bite-sized chunks
Ready to speak with a corporate travel expert about how you can better manage your business travel? Get in touch with us to schedule a free consultation that can help lower costs and improve employee productivity.