I was chatting to a chap recently who is trying to break into the UK market. He has been in the travel industry for over 20 years, but has limited experience of this market and like so many others believed this would be the easiest market to work in. He has discovered that even though we all speak English and the UK is the biggest source market for Southern Africa – this market is actually harder to penetrate than any other he has experienced. Now I do appreciate that different circumstances prevail – but it did make me sit up and take note. So many people believe they can tackle this market from a distance (do it themselves) – and time and time again we have seen them regret the decision (not that they would ever admit that!)
We at Ethos Marketing believe we stand apart from most other UK Rep companies in that we offer an all round service. We do not simply call on tour operators and do staff training. Ours is a far more targeted and in-depth approach.
Back in 1994 when I set up this company, I did approach the market in a very simplistic way. I worked on my relationships and relied on friendships to get the business. This is an important facet of our business, but in this day and age sales and marketing needs to be handled in a far more professional manner. We have to continually assess where our business is coming from, we cannot continue to call on our friends (if they are not producing) – it is all about results and justifying our existence. Probably not nearly as much fun as it used to be – a lot more challenging and at times extremely rewarding.