Business development and change projects by Nick Booker

Posted on November 14, 2008
Filed Under Business Development | Comments Off on Business development and change projects by Nick Booker


What makes a successful leaflet or tourism brochure?

Posted on November 10, 2008
Filed Under Tourism | Comments Off on What makes a successful leaflet or tourism brochure?

Paula Bardell-Hedley the Director of Research & Marketing at LDS Tourism Services Ltd Chester,  posed the Question: ‘What makes a successful leaflet or brochure?‘ on LinkedIn

 Paula rated my answer as the best one out of 23 – Thank you Paula!

 My Answer was as follows:


For more information on marketing for tourism and visitor attractions see

Also see my profile on LinkedIn


Networking – the three things we find difficult or dislike

Posted on November 2, 2008
Filed Under networking | Leave a Comment

Networking arouses a variety of responses from those who do it and/or are exposed to it. These range from “I loathe it” to “I love it” to “it all seems so false”. However, it is just one of the marketing tools in the kitbag for generating business and can be very powerful.

 I have just done some research among consultants on the likes and dislikes of networking, by running a question in September 2008  on Skillfair, the networking and resource web site for consultants and clients. 

 The question I asked was:

 ‘We all have to network in some way to develop business. Some love it, some loath it, many just go through the motions. You can learn more about it by helping me answer a simple question.

 Please tell me up to three things that you find difficult or dislike about networking to develop and gain business. This can cover working a room, following up a meeting or using one of the networking web sites such as LinkedIn’

 Some 37 keen or not so keen networkers responded so I guess you would describe the project as qualitative rather than quantitative research.

 The top three issues were: 

Some of the respondents were clearly accomplished networkers and relied on it for business but still found it uncomfortable, others loved it and were ‘naturals’

 What the research demonstrates is that there is a useful market out there for some ‘ how to network’ courses.

For more information on the research and how we can can help you be better at networking and working that room send a request to and you can find out about all the other things people have a problem with. And as for Linked In it’s complete mystery to some people!


A view on lobbying and public relations

Posted on August 20, 2008
Filed Under PR | Leave a Comment

See for a review and observation on a great satire on public relations ‘Thank You for Smoking’.


Fuel Price rises will impact on days out this summer

Posted on July 15, 2008
Filed Under Tourism | Leave a Comment

Attract Marketing, Booker & Hopkins sister company says that
52% OR 1 in 2 people who were drivers say that fuel price rises will impact on days out this summer, in a survey of close to 10,000 respondents.

Close to 60% of these were in the key family raising life stage (25 – 44) with a slightly higher proportion of women responding potentially indicating their concerns of how to juggle entertaining the family over the Summer months with using the car. The research was carried out in the last week by Attract Marketing the Midlands based tourism consultants.

“That looks like fewer visitors for theme parks, farms, stately homes, museums and other attractions this year ” says Attract director Nick Booker. “Unless operators of attractions can find innovative ways of keeping the visitors coming in and ensuring that those who come feel they are getting value for money, its going to be a very tough year.”

Consumers are being squeezed on all fronts says Nick Booker and they will be looking for activities that provide good value for money or are maybe free such as public museums and galleries and can be reached perhaps with just a short journey. Even when they get in to their favourite museum or theme park visitors will be counting the change and so secondary spend, that is spending on food and drink and souvenirs is going to be affected.

It will be even more important to get the visitor offer right, ranging from the advertising that attracts visitors in the first place to the experience of the visit including good customer service and the memories that are taken away. Those attractions that don’t get that package right will suffer most.

Equally operators themselves are being squeezed by increasing costs and so need to look at ways of improving their buying and their pricing.

For more information


Nick Booker – 01926 864 900 or 07802 281168 – Kenilworth ,Warwickshire

Hugh McCormack – 0115 914 2887 or 07768 324206 – Nottingham


Attract based in Kenilworth Warwickshire and with a Nottingham office works with operators, tourism bodies, museums, theme parks, stately homes, and other venues in the visitor attraction heritage, culture and leisure industry to develop better experiences in the economically important leisure industry.

Poll carried out on the Internet using Toluna :

Question asked:

Will fuel price rises reduce the number of day trips you make over the Summer (e.g. to theme parks, open farms, stately homes, museums etc)?

Total sample: 10942

A1: Yes (4883 Votes) 45%
A2: No (2799 Votes) 26%
A3: I don’t know (1606 Votes) 15%
A4: I don’t drive (1654 Votes) 15%


Six Point Marketing Checklist

Posted on April 14, 2008
Filed Under Business Strategy, FREE marketing advice | Leave a Comment

1. Try something new (or some old technique) for solving problems/seeking solutions eg Edward de Bono’s six hat thinking method. In summary this means role playing as follows:

Buy some coloured hats!

For a detailed description – read Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono.

2. Put yourself in the position of the customer. How do they see your business? What are they seeing and hearing and responding to? Customers do not see departments and certainly are not interested in your problems. There may be a thousand mirrors but there is only one view. For once, do not ask the market research department for a customer survey.

3. Try the “Back to the Floor” technique. Spend a day in the front line with your sales force, at the call centre, with your distributors, agents, on reception etc. Find out what your company is doing right, and what your staff think can be done better. Could also generate some great PR opportunities!

4. Ensure that your Marketing Plan can be reduced to a one-page summary with actions and that all those involved have up to date copies.

5. Look at your web site statistics – What are they telling you? Ask yourself whether you are capturing the enquiries and information requests that you really want. Should you do some work on your web site? Ask your Webmaster why you are not getting return visits. If it’s a good web site, people should want to come back.

Consider asking for an external view on some marketing problem or issue your company is facing – try Booker & Hopkins Associates – the first visit is always free!


Appraising New Products, Processes and Services

Posted on April 13, 2008
Filed Under Business Strategy | Leave a Comment

The following check list covers some of the KEY questions that need to be answered when appraising new products, services or processes. It covers the issues that are sometimes skated over or even forgotten when new projects are proposed, whether they be completely new or modifications of existing ones. The list is not exhaustive, but it should stimulate other questions to ensure that new ideas receive a thorough investigation before significant amounts of money and time are devoted to developing them. Some of the questions will be more or less relevant depending on whether the new venture involves a product, process or service.

Use of this list does NOT guarantee success nor will it ensure all unviable projects are rejected! Nevertheless at the very minimum, it should ensure that the issues are aired before wise or unwise decisions are made.

1. What is the proposition and in particular, its unique features?


Literally what is it – how would you describe it to someone who knew nothing about it?

Market need

How do you know there is a market need – will someone buy it – what evidence do you have?

2. What is the relevance to the sponsoring company/organisation?

Technology synergy

Does it fit with what you do already – will it enhance your existing way of doing things?

Market synergy

Will it complement or enhance your existing market activities and if so how?

Impact on current products/processes

What effect will it have on what you already make/sell?

3. What financial resources are required?

Research and development

Do you need to spend any money on further research to refine it – does it require additional development to ensure acceptance?

Capital investment

Will it require investment in for example additional plant or warehousing?

Return on investment

Related to the above – what are the forecast payback periods and/or percentage return on the money invested in the project?

4. What is the market?

Size and growth prospects

What is the size of the market for your new product/process/service – can you identify likely customers?


Who is already in the market – what do they do?

Proposed market share

What share of the total market are you likely to achieve and over what time scale?

5. What is the forecast scale of the business?

Timescale for development from idea to finished product/process

How long is it going to take to achieve your stated goal(s)?

Turnover, profits, assets, cash flow, people

Related to items 3 & 4 – what are likely sales, margins, profits – how long before it generates cash – do you have enough people to develop/manage it – what assets will be needed to ensure success?

6. What are the % chances of success?


What is the probability that you will achieve your forecast levels of sales and profits – what is the effect of varying levels of sales and cost structures?

Barriers to entry

Are there any legislative/statutory barriers to market entry, approvals to achieve and/or distribution/sales difficulties to overcome?

Impact of competitive responses

How will the competition (if any) respond to a new market entrant eg lower prices, special offers etc?

7. How is the product/process to be exploited?


Are you going to make/develop and use it yourself?


Are you going to sell the product etc yourself or sell it to someone else?


Can you licence production or sell a franchise rather than sell in all markets and all territories?


Can you get someone else to sell it on your behalf?

Joint venture

Should you share the risk with someone else – perhaps a company that has more experience than you in certain markets?

There are of course a whole series of sub sets of questions which follow on from each of the main questions listed above. It is hoped in due course to prepare supplementary lists covering these as well as Check Lists for particular projects eg new market development.

For more information on our to evaluating new ventures and appraising existing ones contact Nick Booker of Booker & Hopkins Associates.


Contact Us

BHA Consultants Ltd
Brook House | 4 Lawrence Gardens Kenilworth | Warwickshire | CV8 2GH
Tel: + 44 (0) 1926 864900