Sail to Success with the Cruise Ship Approach

Regardless of the type of marketing and advertising you do, whether it's fantastic, award winning, sales generating, or simple run-of-mill advertising, people will only buy when they are ready to. Not a second before, and not a second after.

So, what can you do to help sell your products and services? The answer can be found in how cruise ships approach marketing.

I just came back from week-long cruise vacation with the family and we had a great time. We ate until.... well let me just say this.... after the first day aboard I don't remember being hungry again!

Back to the question at hand, if customers will only buy when they are good and ready, what can we, the people responsible for the sales and marketing in the company, do to stimulate our customers to buy? The answer is, do what cruises do, set the stage for purchase!

My sources in the cruise ship business tell me that cruise companies do not make the larger part of their money from ticket sales. Ticket sales income only covers the operational expenses of having people onboard. The big money comes from what they call "onboard revenue". These are the dollars that come from what the passengers purchase onboard.

Most passengers purchase alcoholic beverages, jewelry, clothing, tours, and excursions.

How do the most successful cruise ships increase their onboard revenue? They make things easy, readily accessible, and enticing.

The Cruise Approach
  • Easy: Cash is not used onboard. Instead, you use your room key as a credit card for everything you buy. The purchase transaction cannot get any easier. There is no change due, just a signature. And for those who do not want to wait in line to purchase the new Ralph Lauren cologne (me), you can buy it through your room TV, the same way you would order a movie in a hotel room.
  • Readily Accessible: When I'm ready to purchase I want to be able to look up and find a store. Cruise operators know this well. They locate bars in every corner. If you cannot see a bar within your visual range, simply lifting your hand will call the attention of a waiter. This is what I call service! This is what the cruises call "readily accessible".
  • Enticing: It's a mix of "easy" and "readily accessible" with a sprinkle of "tempting". The cruises are designed to make every place you may be enticing to stop and participate. This includes places to sit and have a drink, browsing a store, or dropping into an entertainment venue. Any place you are is a place to enjoy - and spend.

Put all these features together, then add the vacation set of mind, and now you have one great environment for selling your products.

How To Take The Cruise Approach

What I want you to think about is how you can further increase sales of your product or service by taking the "cruise approach". Start by asking yourself, "Is our product is easy to buy?" If the answer is no, think about what you can do to make it simpler. How can you reduce the purchase steps? Then, ask yourself, "How can I make it more accessible? Should it be available for purchase online?"

And finish by taking an objective look at your product or service to determine if it is enticing, alluring, or tempting enough to attract buyers. Think about how perfumes are advertised. They look so good it practically doesn't matter how they smell.

How Can We Get You There?

We keep thinking about how Loop's services can help our customers fit with the "cruise approach". We can develop the element of ease of purchase. We can also make purchase instantly accessible. And through graphics and text - and even videos -, we can make your products and services more enticing.

As always, we are here to help. If you are interested in starting or improving on your eNewsletter program contact us.

Marcos J. Menendez