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Old 11-08-2012, 10:52 AM
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Default What would you like to see for an Alaskan Fishing trip?

I am a lodge owner and marketing is always a difficult adventure. So I thought asking a grass roots group of fly fishing folks what they would like. How you would look for the information to make a choice?

Do you read the ads in magazines?
Do you go to shows looking for information?
What plays the most important role in whether you decide to pull the trigger?

Are there other questions you want answered before you spend your hard earned money.

I have tried the local small business folks but my business doesn't fit into the small business marketing information that is produced. We are service providers but don't have a walk up store front. Any information would be most helpful.

I hope I am not offending anyone or breaking forum rules. Water is stiff water here in Alaska so tying and marketing is the focus now?

George
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: What would you like to see for an Alaskan Fishing trip?

Hey George...

1. Magazines - no
2. Shows - no
3. Relative value based on food, accommodations, fishing quality and especially quality and dedication of your people.

But most important is getting word of mouth recommendations from other fishermen who have been there. Period.

Whether your operation is a "5 star like" lodge with gourmet food and plush cabins or a tent camp with a canvas cookhouse and tents for sleeping...if your customers don't go home talking about the efficiency and friendliness of your staff and the quality of the fishing experience, I'm not interested.

-Mike
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:59 PM
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Default Re: What would you like to see for an Alaskan Fishing trip?

Quote:
Originally Posted by georg_riddle View Post

How you would look for the information to make a choice?
In media / forums like this. We can tune in from a hotel room, airport or from home when we have the time. I can't tell you the number of times we've planned and left on a spur of the moment trip while in transit / returning from a fishing trip.

Do you read the ads in magazines?
Rarely.

Do you go to shows looking for information?
Some years we take in the shows, but if those show schedules conflict with any other activities, like travel or fishing, you won’t find us there.

What plays the most important role in whether you decide to pull the trigger?
George there is no one “ most important thing “ to get us to pull the trigger.

Are there other questions you want answered before you spend your hard earned money.

In no particular order.

Cost. As a couple who fishes and travels together, we’d like to keep traveling and fishing together ( often ) and frankly speaking, it’s all coming out of one pocket. If additional costs are likely to be encountered, like fly outs. Let’s get those numbers upfront.


Honest assessment of the fishery. Keep in mind that many areas have more to offer than just being first in numbers or size and to some, those attractions can rank right up there with the fishing.

Want. There are literally thousands of locations in the world to pick from nowadays. Getting your lodge to the top of our list would require a number of “ intangible draws “.
See: Advertisements.

Planning. Much of what we prefer to do is spur of the moment. You’d have a better chance of getting us to book, with last minute cancellation fill-in trip alerts. Our schedules are always in flux. When we get the bug & the time, we can be out of here in a couple of hours.

Gear. Accurate and easily obtained gear requirement & packing guides are a must.
You won’t get a deposit from us, until we know what will be required on our end.
If you have any of the necessary specialty lines, leaders, flies, etc. for sale at the lodge, let us know up front. That makes a grab your gear and go trip a lot easier.

Attitude. My primary angling partner is a woman.

Referrals and customer comments. Those of friends mean everything, the rest probably wouldn’t carry much clout with us. Even those of angling celebs.

Advertisements. The one thing that’s missing from a lot of ads is the personal touch. Lodges want to put would be travelers in the mood by showing them landscapes, accommodations and fish.

But George, while we’re at your lodge a lot of our experiences will be shaped by you and your staff.
Make your pitch a personal one, an invitation if you will. I’d like to know who we’ll be spending the week with. I’m not speaking of a fishing or industry resume, but rather what drew you and your staff there and what you wish to share with us. That’s what hosts do, they invite their guests to share the places they love.
That’s a lesson many tourist and convention bureaus with all of their resources haven’t learned yet. The art of the invitation.

Good luck George, TT
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Last edited by trout trekker; 11-09-2012 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: What would you like to see for an Alaskan Fishing trip?

Im not a rich man by any means so i want quality on the cheep...surprise surprise. How can you offer that and make money? Have packages with cheaper food, cheaper lodging (I.E more guys per tent/room), but keep the fishing quality up. I dont care if i eat frozen pizza every night and get cheap beer...just give me a friendly guide, a gross of cold beer at night, and something to keep the rain and bears out and you have my buis!
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: What would you like to see for an Alaskan Fishing trip?

George, I guide in AK, wilderness rafting trips, and I give presentations to fly clubs about the trips and often obtain clients in that manner.
BTW, I never put down the lodges. I think the lodge experience is great if you can afford it.

I expected to see folks say they want cheaper trips, but they need to realize how difficult that is to do with the substantial costs the lodges have to cover (insurance, fuel, etc.) and the short window of time you have to be open and make your living.

I will say that one complaint I often hear about the lodge experience is it is too structured, in other words much of the experience is built around meals and being there exactly on time for meals so you don't upset the cook, when in fact many clients would rather fish a little longer - after all, that is why they are shelling out the big bucks (we can all go to nice restaurants at home).

I have had people come up to me after presentations saying they would have liked to have gone on my trip but they had already signed up for a lodge trip after seeing a presentation at a show. So I know the shows do work for some.

And I agree about the word of mouth from happy customers, but I suspect you already knew that.

Good luck and I hope you have a great 2013.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: What would you like to see for an Alaskan Fishing trip?

What you should do is offer a free trip for some forum members and we can review it for you , Now for serious talk, i read a lot of magazines so that would be good. Digital advertising is the future. The e magazines are where its at right now. I like to see big fish not many bears and friendly people.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: What would you like to see for an Alaskan Fishing trip?

George

I got on your web site and for me your model would work, I have 16 years of fishing experience in Alaska, so I don't need a guide, a good roof over my head at a great location works and it looks like you are offering attractive pricing considering the location. The hard part would be convincing the girlfriend to also go with the "cook your own meals" arrangement.....she wants to be pampered a little.

Larry
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: What would you like to see for an Alaskan Fishing trip?

Quote:
Originally Posted by grassonfly View Post
I like to see big fish not many bears and friendly people.
How about two out of three?
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: What would you like to see for an Alaskan Fishing trip?

ok fine big fish friendly people and an elephant gun.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: What would you like to see for an Alaskan Fishing trip?

When it comes to researching info for a purchase or trip i almost exclusively use the web. I do buy the mags and enjoy reading about all the lodges involved in destination pieces. However, hard to learn much about a lodge from a small ad. That ad will lead me to your website though. Booths at shows are great but shows come around so infrequently. I wont decide to purchase a trip or not at a show unless i have already researched a particular lodge.

So, for me i want to see as much information about the lodge and its services as possible on its web page. Lots of photos of the facilities and amenities. I also want to see lots and lots of photos of the waters being fished, the fish caught and the happy fishermen. Testimonials from clients is useful as well.

Please also include prices, menus and off water/down time activities.

The more i know about your place and you, the more likely i am to choose your lodge over a competitor at the destination i want to visit.

A great website is essential.
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