The Travel Network Group has unveiled plans to help its members grow their businesses through securing unique product and driving leads via offline and online advertising.

On the opening day of the agency’s consortium’s overseas conference in Slovenia managing director Gary Lewis said the strategy was a vital fourth pillar it was putting in place to support members .

The first three pillars; Scale, Opportunity and Solutions, were all being developed and enhanced, but the fourth; Growth, was new and had been in tests for nine months with stores and homeworkers.

National press advertising in the Daily Express and Asda magazine, database segmentation and email marketing have been tried out to push leads to relevant members.

Lewis said sometimes it had worked sometimes it had not, but picked out two Worldchoice agents in Wigan and Sheffield which saw business increase by 47% and 35% respectively.

To support the strategy The Travel Network Group, the parent of Worldchoice and Travel Trust Association, has recruited Si Prentice as marketing director to head up a dedicated team.

Lewis said unique product would add value and make it hard for customers to go down the street and compare a deal with something offered by a rival agent.

“Only you know your own market so you have to make sure you have the right business partner with the right core value and the right added benefits for your specific market.

“We will get that core product with the added value and make it exclusive to the Travel Network Group and deliver that to you.” 

Lewis said the hope is that targeted emails or campaigns could be sent out to smaller numbers of potential customers but the conversion rate would be high because it was more relevant to them.

He said he wanted The Travel Network Group to mimic the likes of Tesco by using customer data it has to understand what they want and to deliver it how and when they want it.

“We have more data on our customers than most companies. We know all this stuff. We know the sort of products our customers are likely to buy. We have this huge amount of knowledge.

“We can segment and target if we have the right product that the consumer cannot take away and go outside of your relationship with your customers.”

Another arm of this strategy saw the group launch a new cruise website on July 1 last year with exclusive offers driving leads to the right members.

And more marketing will be done by the group to further establish Worldchoice as a brand in the minds of consumers.