April 9, 2010 — From a marketing perspective it appears that those three words, “timeshares for sale” are of little use and have no value or meaning whatsoever to the developers’ marketing departments that are responsible for generating cost effective leads and converting those leads into prospects who will then visit the sales centers for a ‘…brief and informative…’
Now bear with me, but the real tragedy is that there is a plethora of other sets of words that also appear to be of no use or value to them such as: “vacations in Hawaii”, “vacations in Vegas”, “vacations in Branson”, “vacations in Mexico’, vacations in Texas”, “vacations in California”, “vacations in Florida”, vacations in S. Carolina”, “vacations in N. Carolina” and so on.
In the online universe, every second of every day, 24/7/365, millions and millions of consumers (just in the USA, Mexico and Canada) are sitting in front of their computers (or using hand-held devices) and they are all constantly searching the Internet looking for ‘deals’ of all kinds.
Yet that being a widely known fact, it seems in Timeshare Land, for more that a decade now, the industry has turned its back on the power, reach, scope and cost effectiveness of online lead generation and have failed at harnessing and using to their advantage what is universally understood as consumers’ ‘keyword’ searches.
Several years ago during an annual ARDA conference I was sitting with a couple of marketing people having a couple cold-ones and chatting about the online approach, and their biggest concern and reasoning for not pursuing that audience was, and I quote, “…the problem is that the Internet empowers people.”!
Yet, to my way of thinking, the best way to “empower” anyone is to ignore what is perceived as a ‘threat’ or ‘situation’ that is viewed as ‘uncontrollable’, etc. That is exactly what most of the industry seems to have done: flat out ignore the Internet and turned their backs on these qualified prospects.
Even more astounding is that Google and others offer ‘keyword’ placement for as little as 5 cents (per-click) to be on the ‘first’ page of Google (when people use specific search terms) so that ‘any’ business wanting to attract consumers to their offer will be seen by a googolplex (that is a very large number) of potential buyers; yet that dandy little marketing tool has all but been ignored too!
And it is also true that Google (and others) have other ‘key/ad’ words that cost much more, some as much as $25-50.00 per click, but just as an example, and using a nickel-a-click, developers apparently aren’t even willing to test the waters for say $500 bucks and attract 10,000 potential prospects to their online ‘OPC’ booth.
But it’s actually worse because even if a developer’s marketing departments have a ‘budget’ issue, as most certainly do these days, and do not want to ‘pay’ Google (or others) for that first page placement there is a way to ‘Git-R-Done on the first page at no ‘ad’ cost at all. But having pretty much turned their backs on the Internet, they are likely not aware of that either!
Frankly speaking, I place no fault on the developers because they pay their marketing departments really well and it is the responsibility of those departments to deliver lower cost qualified tours to the sales centers.
That said, and considering the tremendous downturn of sales in the timeshare industry this past couple years, perhaps it is time for developers to have a ‘Come-to-Jesus’ meeting with their marketing entities and tell ‘em how it was, how it is and how it is gonna be!
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