It costs roughly $1,000 to save someone from malaria.
And $10,000 to save someone from AIDS.
For a government with limited resources, how should a budget of $10,000 be allocated?
Should it save 1 person from AIDS?
Or should it save 10 people from malaria?
This was the real world dilemma that got me thinking…
There are times when neither admirable cause is BAD.
But when you have limited resources, you must examine the return on investment (ROI) of everything you do.
In my years of blogging and consulting in the VR marketing space, that very same dilemma has taken a seat at the top of the popularity chart:
[thrive_text_block color=”green” headline=””]What activities that “cost” the least actually provide the biggest “impact”?[/thrive_text_block]
So I decided to address this question with what I believe is the most helpful data in the VR industry to date…
Announcing: The Top 10 Cost-Effective VR Marketing Techniques
I surveyed 7000 members of our Inner Circle and blog subscribers, asking them each the following question:
[thrive_text_block color=”orange” headline=””](1) What marketing activities do you implement on a regular basis?[/thrive_text_block]
From the responses to this answer, I isolated the the top 10 most popular activities, which were as follows (in random order):
- Get professional photos
- Build a private website
- Active use of social media
- Improve your property(s) descriptive text
- Send out a regular newsletter to former guests
- Upgrade your listing site membership level
- Solicit (and leverage) reviews from former guests
- Tweaking your email correspondence verbiage
- Pushing for phone conversations instead of email
- Search Engine Optimization
I then asked that same group the following two questions:
[thrive_text_block color=”orange” headline=””](2) How much does each activity cost you (time/money)?[/thrive_text_block]
[thrive_text_block color=”orange” headline=””](3) How effective or impactful is each activity in generating more bookings?[/thrive_text_block]
From this data, I graphed those top 10 activities on a cost/benefit prioritization matrix (below).
The idea with this chart is that if an owner or manager only has a certain amount of time or money, she can focus only on the top-performing activities.
The Top 10 Cost-Benefit Matrix
So what you have here is the first of its kind in the vacation rental industry:
A cost-benefit analysis of which activities are providing the best ROI (generating the most bookings).
The red area of the chart is what I call the “Phenomenal Zone.”
So, how do we translate this stuff to the real world and make it actionable?
My thoughts are that the answer here is duo-fold.
First, we must realize that none of these activities are magic pills: some of them can be implemented over night while others take time to mature.
So I’d recommend we start by dividing the activities into a) one-off jobs and b) jobs that require maintenance or supervision over an extended period of time.
Second, we can use this framework as a guide for further research and discussion.
For instance, in a thread in The Inner Circle all about “Best Phone Sales Tips” one IC member says that when she gets an inquiry that she cannot accommodate, she utilizes a phone call to connect and suggest they book a month down the road (when she has space).
“I can’t tell you how many of those callers take a deep breath and then say…what’s availability for spring/summer?”
Another example is a thread on “Tweaking Email Verbiage.”
One Inner Circle member says, she loves to start off her emails with the following phrase:
“Great timing! I just sat down to update our website when your inquiry popped up!”
I think that’s genius!
If you were to enter a fancy restaurant with no prices or portion sizes on the menu, chances are, you would be intimidated or simply confused.
You likely wouldn’t order the steak because…heck, who knows how much it will cost or how big it will be!?!?
My goal with this project was to try and put a price and size on the marketing activities that seem to be working for successful VR owners and managers, outside of just listing sites.