Home Blog Page 2

Keeping It Personal with your Clients

Friends working together
Friends working together

October is the time when many of you start to plan your 2019 business year! We at Group Tour Media are very similar. Before we jump into planning, I’d just like to share a little bit.

Many of you have become very near and dear friends of mine over the years. Learning and sharing the ups and downs, and everything in between. Many of you know I love to share my most personal joy with you; that being Helen Renee Holthaus and Henry James Holthaus!

Helen, over this past summer rose quickly in a company that she’d been working at for just 8 months to a position as Chief Marketing Officer. She’s gained so much experience. Life is good as she’s working on two degrees and a minor! She graduates in May of 2019. No doubt she’s my RISING STAR and gets it!

Now a senior in high school, Henry plays football as many of you know. On September 8th, at the ripe young age of 17, made his first appearance on ESPN’S TOP 10 COUNTDOWN! Click here to view the ESPN video with audio that was shot by myself with my iPhone while sitting in my La-Z-Boy chair (don’t mind the fatherly cheer).


It’s a great time in my life watching Helen and Henry grow into fine young adults. I’m so very proud!

As I mentioned earlier, IT’S MEDIA PLANNING TIME where most of you are pulling together media kits and building plans that likely include both PRINT & DIGITAL opportunities! Through multiple surveys we’ve found that print media for the group tour industry is still, by far, the most used idea-generator for tour planners. By adding digital options, you get the best of both worlds; just like I have with Helen and Henry!

Call or email me to share some of your personal joys, and we’ll throw in a little discussion on integrated media packages as well.

Thanks in advance for reaching out to me to discuss how “THIS SALES GUY,” can help you help your business grown in 2019! Our 45,000+ tour planners wish to see what you’re offering them!

Jim Holthaus

P: 616-283-1816

E: JimH@GroupTour.com

MEDIA KIT 2019 – Click Here

Get Your Word Heard!

Make your words have a bigger impact
Make your words have a bigger impact

Sharing your print and digital always takes some planning. Consider full year media plans. The goal is to connect or present an image of what you do and offer it to your buyer as frequently as possible. As a sales executive, you are there to help your clients or prospects with their needs. Their needs are to connect with their buyers and showcase what they are selling as frequently as possible.

Print in trade-specific publications is still the most trusted form and option to connect with your audience. You’re not there if you’re not a player with that niche audience. Leaving those that are there to be solely considered. Some people out in the marketing world will say that everything is going digital/online. It is to a certain extent, but your client must be inspired through print to go online to get immediate satisfaction with up-to-date options from suppliers. However, by having both print and digital, your message will be seen by up to 40 percent more clients than just print or just digital. This is really what we all want — more visibility to our buyers.

So, when planning a media flow chart for your next fiscal year, try to include both print and digital to that plan. My suggestion to my clients is to be small in ad size, but to be frequently seen. This allows your brand and image to be in front of your buyer every month of the year. Frequency builds brand and product awareness, trust in what you’re offering and year-round leads for your sales team to follow up on.

We offer great integrated Media Plans that can keep you within budget and provide you with year round connection with THE DECISION makers (Click here to check out our audience profile) that you need to reach. Please call or email me to discuss how we can partner in 2019.

I hope to hear from you soon, so we can work together on your 2019 media plans, while taking advantage of our 2016 integrated marketing rates!

Thanks so much and safe travels!

Alan Lininger

Just Curious…

just curious
The key to success

I recently attended an annual summit sponsored by the Texas Travel Industry Association. One of the highlights of the summit was an awesome keynote presentation by Andrew Davis.

Davis discussed how to capture the attention of our audience in a noisy, saturated world by using a psychological phenomenon that in reality is a simple principle.

It is easy to think that in a fast-paced world, shorter is sweeter and better. However, in an effort to make content shorter, we eliminate the elements that make our content more interesting.

This psychological phenomenon can be executed well to get your audience’s attention. Unfortunately, it can be used poorly to do the complete opposite over time and ruin our credibility and trust with our clients.

Here are two key ingredients needed to create this psychological phenomenon within our marketing communications:

1. Tension. The higher the tension means the greater the need for closure.

2. An invitation. Invite your audience to chase answers.

What is this psychological phenomenon that fills the void between what we know and what we want to know?

You’ll have to watch this short video clip from Andrew Davis to find out!

Our audience is capable of paying attention as long as we hold their attention.

The Seasons are Changing!

Group Tour Media OnBoard
Canadian sunrise
Canadian sunrise

The summer season is coming to a close, and thoughts of family vacations, trips to the beach, fishing excursions and all of our summertime activity begins to wind down.

I had the opportunity this summer to get back to one of my favorite places for a fishing trip for a few days with my son. We love Canada fishing!

As we move towards fall, our daily schedules will gear up for scheduling Travel Shows such as NTA, ABA and many others as we march toward 2019.

Caleb's catch
Caleb’s catch

Planning for all of these events and making final decisions on 2019 marketing for your destination, attraction and events will keep all of us busy and on our toes.

As you maneuver through your decisions (and we know there are many) the one thing to always keep in mind is, “who will provide you with the greatest ROI based upon the audience you are looking to reach?”

I think all of us can agree, tour operators provide the greatest amount of trip volume for a destination. With that said, look at who TRULY gets you in front of more ACTIVE & QUALIFIED tour operators when you’re deciding where to place your print, digital, web and social media dollars.

Group leaders are great, but TOUR OPERATORS RULE!

See our AUDIENCE here.

I hope everyone has a wonderful fall season that will leave you feeling strong about your 2019!

Safe travels for all!

Alan Lininger

September is the New January

Group Tour Media OnBoard
Jon Acuff and Aimee Smith
Jon Acuff and Aimee Smith

Jon Acuff is one of my favorite motivational authors and speakers. He presents ideas to help people and businesses start, finish, and CRUSH their goals.

I decided to accept his most recent September-January Challenge.

The idea is that with the shift in seasons, vacations ending and students going back to school, September presents a new beginning of sorts, similar to January.

The point of the September-January Challenge is to pick a goal and work on it for 30 days straight. The more you do something intentionally over time, the better chance you have of it actually improving.

One of my goals is to practice yoga each day this month to get in better shape. I also want to dedicate time to better assist my clients and help their businesses thrive. By committing a little, extra time each day to work on my goals, my efforts will add up and consistently improve over the next 30 days.

Designating 20 minutes a day towards my goals is not a huge commitment, but over the course of 30 days that time adds up to 10 hours! What could 20 minutes a day do for the guest experience, team morale or even revenue?

I challenge you to come up with something you would like to improve over the next 30 days. I’d love to hear what you and your team are working on and be able to cheer you on along the way!

Changes coming to Group Tour Media’s sales department

Changes coming to Group Tour Media's sales department

As I look over my OnBoard blogs of the past, I’m realizing the themes have often been based on change, growth and planning. These themes are pretty consistent with the world that advertisers and marketers live in each day. Not to disappoint, this month’s will be similar, however, in a slightly different way.

Greg Jones, Media Consultant
Greg Jones, Media Consultant
Photo: Group Tour Media

Group Tour Media has seen a lot of change over the last few years. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves, our advertising partners and certainly, our audiences. This being said, we have some pretty cool ideas to explore and develop for our audience as well as each of our advertising partners.

Due to these changes and growth opportunities, we are restructuring a few things within the sales department so that I can focus more on business development, partnerships and long-term strategy. This being said, I will be transitioning out of a traditional sales role and turning my New England territory over to the very capable Greg Jones.

If you’ve attended ABA, NTA, SYTA, or OMCA, you’ve probably met or seen Greg in the Group Tour Media booth. Greg has been a part of the Group Tour Media team for nearly 15 years working with our partners in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, DC, Delaware and Missouri. Greg lives in Lexington, Kentucky, but spends a great deal of time in western Massachusetts visiting family.

For me, this change is bitter sweet. I’m extremely excited for the opportunity to build and develop new opportunities for the company and our partners; but I will miss the daily dialogue with my New England friends. I’ll still attend trade shows and events because it’s your advice, challenges and goals that drive the development that we’re talking about.

Greg is going to do a great job for you. As always, please feel free to call or email me at any time with unique ideas. And THANK YOU for your continued support.