Accessible Marketing

Tourism Marketing: The Trentham Estate

by Judith Hutchinson

Recently I attended a Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) event at The Trentham Estate in Staffordshire. The key speaker was Amanda Dawson, Marketing Manager at The Trentham Estate.

It would appear that The Trentham Estate are doing ‘things’ really well and I’m sure there are marketing tips that other attractions and indeed other businesses can learn from (you might also like my previous article 5 Marketing tips for visitor attractions)

The following are just a few of the key points that Amanda made at her talk.

Footfall, Footfall, Footfall – This is what it’s all about…..Not only do people pay to enter the attraction but clearly you have the opportunity for ancillary spend once they are at your attraction. In 2008 there were 108k paying visitors at Trentham, 22% of which were annual ticket holders. In 2012 there wereTourism Marketing: Marketing The Trentham Estate 405k paying visitors, 67% of which were annual ticket holders.

The marketing team at Trentham now has a good database of annual ticket holders they can communicate with in terms of what’s going. In addition they are promoting the fact that there is such a thing as an annual ticket rather than keeping it a secret!

Know who you are talking to – The Trentham Estate are very much marketing to mums (although granted there are other target markets) – as we all know mums are the decision makers and mums can be your best ambassadors in terms of creating great word of mouth (can you tell I’m a mum!).  Amanda spoke about how important it is to bear in mind the type of person you are talking to. I would go so far as to say that Trentham is marketing to yummy mummies (well they do sell babychinos in the café!)

You don’t need a massive budget – Blogger outreach, Social Media and PR have all played a part in helping The Trentham Estate get their message out. One thing I really liked was how The Trentham Estate do not outsource their social media and I really do agree with this. How can you have an authentic voice if you are outsourcing your social media marketing. Tweets, facebook updates etc. Are all done by Amanda and her in-house team.

One Question – Whilst visitor surveys are valuable Amanda suggested that if you only ask one question this should be ‘How likely would you be to recommend us”

Measurement – In this day and age with the technology we have at our disposal it’s almost inexcusable not to measure your marketing activity and this was something Amanda was keen to highlight.

And I cannot end this article without quoting Amanda – “Never underestimate the power of a bog door” This is something that I mention to all my relevant clients. You literally have a captive audience!!!

By her own admittance Amanda is a chatterbox and if the sun wasn’t setting (and the local pub calling) she could have gone on to talk about all the other different marketing activities that are part of her strategy – Joint initiatives, seasonality, price promotions/incentives, demographics, added value, visitor interpretation and group marketing. Perhaps we need a part 2!

Are you a tourism business? What are your top marketing tips?


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