ALL ABOARD – MARKETING FOR PROFIT OR PIRACY ON THE HIGH SEAS
July 23, 2012
Is the new marketing on cruise ships for profit or piracy? For many it might be considered by some to be just another form of piracy. Having not been on a cruise for quite a few years, let me say the differences are astounding. While many people feel ripped off, I’m sure, I watched with the trained eye of someone eager to learn. And learn I did. Here’s a few of my findings…
Free Food all the Time
Unlimited great food all the time has been scaled way back. The constant feast has been replaced by more of a cafeteria style environment and fare. There is still “formal” dining but the concept has been moved to pay a bit extra to dine restaurants. The food is served more elegantly and the service somewhat better. The other good news is that you don’t have to sit with the people you were assigned to dine with like you are in the main dining room.
Since you are on a ship in the middle of the ocean, there’s no way that the food or the people who prepare it are all that different. However, the experience of dining is.
Moral of the story here is: Create an upscale experience for people. They will pay more for essentially the same exact thing.
Packages Sell More
I’ve been talking about it for years but it really became obvious on the ship. Everything was offered as a package, right down to wine with dinner being packaged with champagne. There was a $250 per person (second person only $100 extra) package to use what was essentially a larger adult only hot tub. They were only allowing the first 30 couples to take advantage of that offer. I never saw more than a few people in there throughout the entire cruise. But there were people in there and they did purchase and with business you know every extra dollar counts.
Moral of the story here is: People say “Why not?” to things that are bundled for sale.
Don’t stop with the First Offer
The more people see an offer the more likely they are to “just go for it.” We saw offers come to us on a daily basis. Special events in the casino, hot chocolate delivered to your room while viewing the glacier, Le Cirque night at the restaurant (only $20 more per person). Different techniques, a new slant, unique sales copy, the offers just kept coming and people were responding favorably to them.
Moral of the story here is: Be willing to adjust your marketing copy, methods and target market to motivate your audience to react. The best way to do that is to keep those offers coming.
The important to thing that I noticed was that they understood that they only had one week to get as much money from us as possible. They were very aware of the limited time they had and used it wisely. Often we are not as limited and assume that we have an unlimited time to get customers to respond. This is a fantasy and we need to be constant in our marketing efforts and realize if we don’t sell to our audience, someone else will.
Just to let you know:
The shows are still FREE and were fabulous. I loved every minute of them and thought they were the best deal aboard at any price!
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