At the recent Vacation.com conference, the focus was on attracting millennials and the consortium’s newest tool, Agent Snapshot. It’s all about branding yourself and focusing on a specialty.
One of the messages that came across loud and clear at this conference was that specialty is key and getting that message about your specialty across to the consumer is fundamental. And how does Vacation.com hope to help you grab that consumer—millennial or otherwise? Through what they are calling Agent Snapshot.
This innovative platform that Vacation.com is launching, and which during the conference had travel agents excited and signing up for, can be accessed through Agent Universe, and the mantra surrounding Agent Snapshot is: Personalized, Specialized, Inspired. It’s important to keep in mind that today’s consumers want to be engaged, and they seek you out because they expect you to provide them with an expert voice and with something beyond what they are going to be able to find online. They’ve done their homework, they know what they want, but they want you to provide them with experiences and ideas that they can’t find online. And so this Agent Snapshot shows them who you are—shows them what you specialize in, and kicks off a conversation.
“After 16 years,” says John Lovell, Vacation.com’s president, “we are going to finally leverage our greatest organizational asset and it’s not our website, it’s our members. It’s not the agency owners and it’s not the agency names, it’s the individual sellers of travel. The URL that we’ve always had, it’s our name, we have the website, but it’s just a tool, it’s a benefit, but we can leverage that tool with our greatest asset, which is our members—to put them front and center with the emerging client. Ninety percent of all travel today begins online and it’s only, in my opinion, going to go higher and higher. We need to be at the forefront for our members, put them in the best possible position to reach new clients. So we are really excited about this announcement and we have a lot of heavy lifting to do over the next three or four months.”
And he says there’s still some heavy lifting because if you go to the Vacation.com website right now, you won’t find the Agent Snapshot profiles featured, because Vacation.com needs to gather all of its members’ profiles and propagate the back-end with those and then kick-off Agent Snapshot. “With the size of our organization, if we can get 20 or 30 percent of our members to submit profiles and populate the website with their profiles, we can make a difference moving forward. Those profiles will drive traffic to the website.” So the Vacation.com website will be enhanced and front and center will be Agent Snapshot.
Here’s how it works: It provides Vacation.com members with the opportunity to electronically introduce themselves by showcasing their travel experiences, their skills, their locale, and their passion for potential clients. In fact, it’s strongly urged that travel agents create a very unique profile because that will lead to a better match for the consumer looking for that very specific vacation experience. Vacation.com will, of course, be conducting webinars and training courses, and will show you, the travel agent, the difference between a good profile and a bad profile.
Agent Snapshot speaks directly, too, to today’s message that everyone needs to brand themself. In fact, says Tiffany Glass, Vacation.com’s COO, “We have a direct advantage with our URL, so we have direct consumer traffic, and I’m not even talking through search engines, I’m talking direct traffic, and what we can easily do is transform that message to all ‘about the agent,’” which is what Agent Snapshot, the Vacation.com principals point out, is all about.
“I’m really excited about this,” says Lovell, “because it will, in my opinion, be a game-changer.”
For more information, visit joinvacation.com.