Regent Seven Seas Cruises is ploughing big dollars into research and tools to assist travel advisors to hook new customers to the ultra-luxury cruise line.
In Sydney this week, Andrea DeMarco, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer for RSSC, revealed to LATTE details of a new webinar series set to be rolled out to local travel trade in November which will provide frontline sellers with insight, education and knowledge that she vows will be lead to results.
DeMarco, who joined Regent Seven Seas Cruises just over 12 months ago, said the luxury market “is the place to be, and we are the leading luxury cruise line”.
While the luxury segment was having record years before the pandemic, DeMarco says that the past two years have “magnified” the appetite of high-net-worth individuals.
“People were wanting to get out and live their lives again and they’re not taking it very lightly.
“I believe people underestimated how much travel meant to them and the pandemic taught us a lot, that we took things for granted. Most people are coming out of this saying I’m not going to wait to go on that trip anymore. I’m going to treat myself and I’m going to do it in style in a luxurious way.”
DeMarco told LATTE the consumer mindset and purchasing behaviour has changed, “and is all in favour for luxury”.’
“The opportunity, especially for the travel trade, is ginormous.”
Based on the research into the insights of existing, and potential new customers, over the past few years, Regent Seven Seas Cruises was able to drill down on the psychographics that drive behavior, and its that intel that the cruise line is focused on.
DeMarco said investing in the local trade follows a similar program that kicked goals earlier this year in the United States – Regent’s primary source market. That encompassed a three-part webinar business seminar series focused on increasing an advisor’s business, based on information that’s delivered in a “digestable format that’s actionable”.
“I don’t want to have a webinar your just listening to that goes in one ear out the other – I want you to be able to walk away that day and action something because that’s going to grow your business,” she said.
The series focuses on database segmentation, driving business through digital and print platforms and social media, and utilises the brand’s own in-house experts
“I really want to take trade to a whole new level as it’s a huge part of our distribution. And if they succeed, we succeed and so we want to be the right partner with them,” she added.
“We’re going to think through what is that right umbrella to develop different types of series too, again, keep investing in the trade. And so we’ve got some exciting things that are in the pipeline that we’re working on and you’ll hear us talk a lot more about trade and some of the things we’re doing in the coming months.”
Steve Odell, SVP and MD Asia Pacific for Regent Seven Seas Cruises said the webinar series – which can be tailored to suit the travel partner – would likely launch in November.
DeMarco continued: “What’s really so interesting is that I don’t think you’ve seen this level of granularity into strategic insights into strategic operating planning for businesses. We want to understand how your database looks. Let us help you create that strategic model for success in the future.
“We’re putting a lot of investment – not only money but our experts internally – to help people grow their business and I think that’s really, really important.”
“There’s a lot of other very out-of-the-box thinking that’s in the pipeline that’s different.
“We want to provide travel advisors with something that they can walk away with at the end of a webinar that will turn the light bulb on and they can say Wow, I can actually use that right now. And then how do I give you an offer to make it come to life?”
Odell said the platform will be similar to a sales toolkit, and topics covered will include paid search, what does it mean? What did we do? How can that help you? How can you interpret that?
“There are so many channels now that perhaps not everybody totally understands how they can benefit, so we’re going to try to do is be very focused and help travel partners that we work with,” he said.
“We’ll help you because luxury is where it is,” the Miami-based executive added.
“We may have the highest price point, which we’re not embarrassed about because our product is that solid, but at the end of the day, the trade is going to make the highest commissions in the industry working with us,” DeMarco remarked.
Lead image: In Sydney for the first time in her role as Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Andrea DeMarco, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer (centre) with Lisa Pile, VP Sales, Australia and New Zealand, and Steve Odell, SVP and MD Asia Pacific.