I was cleaning up the other day when I came across three huge binders full of what I call my creative stuff. Before I became a writer, I was in advertising and promotions for a variety of Chicago area retailers and organizations.
Eventually, I reached the timeshare period of my life and found, among other things, an overview of an advertising plan that I submitted to the Managing Director of an Orlando area timeshare in early 1999. For those of you who are new to this blog, let me start off by saying that I do not have all the answers. However, what would have made sense for this timeshare back in 1999 still makes sense for timeshares going into 2011. And yet, very few of them actually do the right things. Here's a sampling of what I proposed.
Print advertising featuring rentals with the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Southern Living, Budget Travel, Florida Living, several airline publications and key feeder markets for the resort.
Radio advertising featuring rentals in the Orlando market before and after key holiday periods.
Trade show presence at all major travel shows to get the word out to travel agents, travel writers, etc.
Monthly direct mail system to both current owners and lease holders.
Open lines of communication and regularly scheduled meetings between the Advertising Department and the Sales Department.
A clear tracking method so that at a glance, we can tell what is working and what is not and have the ability to change if necessary.
Design and implementation of a clear, easy to read and navigate website.
Eliminate advertising in the Florida Travel Guide where the offer is at a ridiculously low price point (two nights accommodations for $9.81 per night), as sales tracking has determined that the ROI does not warrant it.
As you can probably guess, most of what I proposed was ignored because of course I came from an advertising background, not a timeshare background.
Flash forward to 2011 and I stand by my proposal more strongly than I did back then.