Two-Way Street

PR, social media, events and incentives – Collaboration & communication ideas for demanding businesses from The Castle Group's Mark O'Toole

Zarex and travel marketing

Posted by thecastlegroup on May 26, 2009

Thinking of the summer beach trips with my family when I was a kid remind of two distinct food-related memories. The first is eating sand-filled tuna fish sandwiches. The other was drinking Zarex, a fruity syrup mixed with water to create a sugar-laden drink.

Sugar heaven!

Sugar heaven!

They still make Zarex, but no one really drinks it anymore. As juice boxes, drink pouches, powdered drink packets and more have changed what and how we consume portable beverages, Zarex has been pushed to the fringe where it exists as a novelty item.

I’ve spent time this week at a major travel industry convention. From what I see, many in the industry are still living in the Zarex age. The world has changed around U.S. travel organizations, but they still like to get things done the old-fashioned way. And some of the old way is fine but, with the exception of a few progressive companies (JetBlue), few are aggressively embracing marketing technology, social media and conversational media to drive the business. There is dabbling and an attempt to integrate messages, delivery systems, creative content and more, but it should be much further along.

And that could be said for most industries, not just travel.

By way of example, “I need to get started on Twitter” was a refrain I heard far too much. The travel industry should be in the vanguard of Twitter. Its consumers have already shown their penchant for expressing opinion (TripAdvisor), finding deals (Priceline), comparison shopping (Kayak) and more. Granted, a great number of companies are on Twitter, but not enough. Our own TravMedia Twitter feed has nearly 3,000 engaged followers. It’s not that hard to do.

I am making the offer of a free consultation with any and all travel companies — I will review your integrated marketing efforts to make sure they are in fact integrated, that the right tools are being used in the right way and that companies are squeezing as much efficiency out of their marketing and PR as necessary.

Call me, DM me through my Twitter feed, respond to this blog, and we can talk.

Like Zarex, travel marketing and PR should move beyond its “nostalgic” phase where plans are built the same way year after year just because they worked in the past. There are great new resources out there. Zarex is still great once in a while, but it shouldn’t be the only thing one drinks.

(Updated 5/27/09) Note: here’s a link to a related article on this theme from a blog posting on Travolution discussing behavioral marketing, or lack of it, in the travel industry:  http://www.travolution.co.uk/blog/2009/05/is-the-travel-sector-stuck-in.php.

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One Response to “Zarex and travel marketing”

  1. I had to smile when I read “Thinking of the summer beach trips with my family when I was a kid remind of two distinct food-related memories. The first is eating sand-filled tuna fish sandwiches. The other was drinking Zarex, a fruity syrup mixed with water to create a sugar-laden drink.” These were also my memories. Today, I read in the Boston Herald, Sunday, March 21, 2010. “Sweet comeback for Zarex drink.” Maybe 2010, will be the Zarex age for a new generation of Zarex drinkers. What I enjoyed about Zarex was no carbonation.

    Thanks

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