Whether you are traveling to a marketing conference or visiting one of your company’s locations around the world, as a CMO you need to ensure have an efficient travel strategy that keeps you on a budget, maintains your productivity on the road, and helps you actually enjoy the business travel experience.
1. Always travel light. Pack with the idea of just bringing a couple changes of clothes that will fit in a carry-on bag. It is cheaper to use a hotel’s laundry service than it is to check luggage and pay those excessive fees. Consider shipping any presentation materials or digitizing anything you have to take with you for meetings to save additional suitcase room. You will save time disembarking and have much less to drag around with you to your transportation, hotel, and back again.
2. Focus on your rest. Since you are most likely not flying business or first class in order to keep travel costs low, you may fear that sleep is out of the question back in those cramped coach quarters. It’s nothing that noise-cancelling headphones, an eye mask, and a neck pillow can’t solve for you. The ability to be fresh and ready for your meetings on the other side of the flight will make all the difference in how well that business trip goes.
4. Use travel apps for everything. Apps exist for the sole purpose of making everything more convenient so take advantage of them for all aspects of your trip. This includes booking an Uber to get you around or using a parking locator app like Spot Hero to reduce time finding that airport or garage parking spot. You can also take advantage of apps like Yelp to find restaurants or service providers in cities you are unfamiliar with so that you can guarantee a great experience.
5. Stay powered up and ready to work. While those long flights may be good for a nap, you can also use part of that time to get some work done so you can enjoy the sights and relax when you arrive at your destination. The last thing you want is to get on board and find out none of your devices work because you used them up in the flight lounge and all the power stations were taken or you didn’t have the right converter. Companies like Travel Inspira provide adapters, cables, and hubs that allow you to work anywhere. Their converters include dual USB charging ports so you can juice up multiple devices at once to be ready to work.
6. Avoid standing in any type of line — even customs. With a little planning and the right websites, you can avoid dealing with those excruciating lines that always appear at airports. Use sites like Global Entry, TSA Precheck, and Nexus through your airline or Universal Enroll. Also, use your airline’s service for online advance check-in to skip that lengthy process.
7. Embrace the experience of travel. Most people seem to dread business trips, but the best thing you can do is adjust your attitude and consider it as a great experience to enrich your life. So many don’t get the opportunity to see new cities, so do the best to plan your time so you can carve out some free time to have an experience in each place you visit. Even if it is just for a short time, get out of the hotel, take a walk, hit a local attraction, or grab a meal at a town favorite to take some of the flavors of each place with you. This positive approach will also permeate your business presentation and any other reasons for the trip, perhaps even helping you to close a deal on the road.
Now it’s time to hit the road and the airways with a travel strategy that will deliver on both your professional and personal goals that go into planning and taking business trips.
As you travel the highways and bi-ways allow us to provide you with some reading material. I know you love reading the inflight magazine of your preferred airline as much as I do but... after consuming take that consider something: As customer expectations continue to rise, businesses need to appoint a senior executive like the Chief Marketing Officer to deliver exceptional, end-to-end customer experiences.
Could that senior executive be you?
Download and yes read Should The Chief Marketing Officer Oversee The Whole Customer Experience? While there's no ads for growing hair by wearing a hat or matchmaker services for executives on the go, I think you'll find it a worthy read.
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Article based on original piece in Forbes.