Local Blindness

I’m now preparing some marketing material for the upcoming tourism fairs in Milan and Berlin.
We’ll target potential Managers amongst the established online reservations companies around the world.
This requires a completely different approach as we’ll be talking to people who know their trade.
What do we have to offer to them?
Or, better: what’s the problem we can solve for them?

Back to the marketing material.
What is it for? Are we really going to get customers (Managers on this case) by delivering them shiny brochures in expensive looking folders?
I’ve been in exhibitions all over the world and I remember people carrying kilograms of brochures in 4-wheeled trolleys.
They probably burn them around a campfire when they get home.
I’ve been sitting in boots talking all day to agents from all over the world.
It’s interesting and tiring. But your brain can’t cope with all that information in one day.
Trade shows are there so that you can look your partner in the eyes, shake hands and get a feeling of the other person.
All the real work is done before and after that.

So, do we need a brochure?
Yes, because whatever we say in Milan and Berlin will be probably forgotten, but the brochure can bring it back.
It acts as an index in our potential partners’ brain: “Right, the guys with the elephant in the brochure. They had something interesting. Let’s see”.

The biggest problem for local online reservation companies today are probably the “Big Guys”.

You see, in the last couple of years, a lot of money has been invested in this field.
We are talking about companies who invested tens of millions and have, as you may expect, very nice websites.

Local companies feel, and are, threatened.
How can they compete?
The most advanced amongst them have already gone through the “get a programmer and make a great website” experience.
They know how hard, slow and expensive it is.

You can’t beat the Big Guys at their own game, you’ll never have a website as good as theirs.
But together we can beat them because they are what I call “Local Blind“.
They don’t know anything about your country/city/area.
They are sitting somewhere in an office with cool looking furniture.
Their big systems are conceived to work well anywhere and their biggest dream is probably a standardized (accommodation) world where everything is the same, so it fits better in their database tables.
But there’s probably more “localization” exceptions in one city than in the grammar of a language.
If you only know the rules of a language, you can’t speak.
Rules don’t take you far, exception management does.

Our system lets you build a local website which “speaks your language”, because it’s conceived to let you give life to it, to really localize it, not only internationalize it.

Who can build a better, say, Rome website than a Roman?

An easy way to explain this is: you know so much more than them about your city, all you need is a good system (website) to organize that information.
We’ve got it.

So, here’s a temporary version of our brochure.
Too daring?

3 thoughts on “Local Blindness”

  1. The phrase ‘kick their asses’ will alienate people. It sounds aggressive and combatative. I saw it used on your main website, as a guest, I want to go on holiday and enjoy myself, not get into a fight.
    Incidentally, your business model isn’t very clear, and you need to make it clearer to potential owners what it willl cost and outline the terms and conditions.
    Finally, too much of your page content appears below the fold, just a thought!
    Good luck in your venture, we do need competion to the behemoths!

    1. Hi Forthright,
      thanks for your comment!
      We are not using “‘kick their asses” on the main site, but only on a brochure we’ll bring to the tourism fairs :)
      The screenshot in this page is not of the home page, just the printed brochure.
      Guests will not see it.
      Our business model with Owners is the classic commission based.
      But what I was talking about in this blog post is not for Owners: it’s for vacation rentals websites Managers with many Owners in it.

      I am referring to those businesses who do not own accommodations but have websites where accommodations owners can list their own.
      With our software and network they stand a chance to give a better experience to the guest because they can enhance their local knowledge with a good website.

      Hope it’s clear and I’d love to hear what you think about it!

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