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Unlocking Success: How to Select the Ideal Marketing Agency for Your Tour and Activity Company

Last updated on July 14, 2023
7 minute read
Key Takeaways

  • Hiring a marketing agency can help you reach your marketing goals.
  • They will save you time so you can focus on other aspects of your business.
  • Finding the right agency for you is essential to your success.

Skill Level

Beginner, Intermediate

There’s no hiding the fact that tour and activity operators are busy. And that sometimes means your marketing initiatives can fall by the wayside.

A successful marketing strategy can be what boosts your business into a new era of more popularity, increased bookings, and extra brand recognition. If you do not have the time to spend on this, you should consider hiring a marketing agency.

When you find the right agency to work with, not only will you have more time and energy on your hands, but they will bring fresh ideas to your business along with resources and specialized knowledge to execute their plan — and contrary to popular belief, it can actually save you money.

This guide will show you how to choose the best marketing agency for your business.

Assess Your Marketing Needs and Goals

First things first: What are you trying to accomplish with your marketing strategy?

Consider which channels you are interested in optimizing. You can always ask the agency their opinion, but it is good to go into the conversation with an idea.

A few options we recommend: 

Then think about who your target audience is. You may already be familiar with who your target audiences are, but this is something to revisit when you are looking for an agency as it could have changed. They can also put in a plan to help you reach a new audience!

A very important question is, what is your budget? The answer to this question will determine which agencies you can hire and how big your marketing package or retainer can be.

While a marketing agency can save you money in the long run, you will likely have an upfront cost as they get their campaigns up and running. If you find the right agency, you will be able to focus on other aspects of your business to improve the guest experience while your agency brings in more customers. 

Finally, you must decide on your imagined timeline. How many projects are you looking to complete and how long do you plan to work with this agency? Note that some agencies may have a minimum in time and/or money spent.

Research Potential Agencies

It can be overwhelming in the digital age when looking for a new — well, anything. And, of course, this is true when it comes to picking the right marketing agency for your business. Below are a few ways you can start your search and get a list of potential candidates.

The digital space is vast, but online is the best place to find your agency. Start by Googling some keywords. You can simply start with “marketing agencies in my area” or get more specific with “email marketing agencies for tour operators.”

A few things to note during your search:

  1. Look for marketing agencies that have experience working with tour and activity businesses. They should be familiar with customer acquisition, online conversions, and other areas you are looking to improve.
  2. See what the agencies specialize in or what seems to be their bread and butter. For instance, if you’re specifically looking to run social campaigns, they need to have proven success and case studies that demonstrate it.

You can also ask your peers for marketing agency recommendations they have hired and had a good experience with. Using a referred agency can give you a lot of peace of mind! One place to ask your peers for advice on this would be in the FareHarbor Online Community.

As you are creating your list of potential agencies, be sure to read reviews. If someone has had a bad experience with a particular agency, chances are they shared it on Google or another review site!

Finally, you can take a look at the FareHarbor partners who offer marketing services. We have thoroughly vetted these partners and fellow operators are already working with them.

Determine if the Agency is Right For You

a small boat in a body of water

Once you have your list of potential marketing agencies, now you have to make the final decision. Below are a few tools you can use to determine who the best candidate is.

On your own:

  • Evaluate the agency’s portfolio, case studies, and success stories. If you can’t find them easily, just ask!
  • Look closely at their pricing structure and payment terms to ensure it’s in your price range.

In discussion with the agency:

  • Get to know the specific people you will be working with — Do they understand your business, are open to your suggestions, and able to complete your goals?
  • See how they will give you reports and metrics — Be comfortable with how they will demonstrate success and track the performance of your campaigns.
  • Get a good understanding of deliverables — When and how will they communicate them and how does the revision process work?
  • Verify their ability to use marketing technologies and tools, like proficiency in analytics tools such as GA4 (hopefully this is showcased in their portfolio!).
  • See if they have a good understanding of your local market, especially if you are focusing heavily on attracting local customers.

Choosing the right marketing agency will impact your success. Unfortunately, you can’t know if they are the best choice until you work with them, but conducting proper vetting will put you in the greatest possible position.

Stay tuned for another guide on how to get the most out of your relationship with marketing professionals.

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