Way back in 2011 we set about solving a problem for Independent Travel Agents and Operators. How to showcase offers across all inbound marketing channels in the most effective way. Operators were making offers available for agents, but agents had no way of getting these offers to their customers due to lack of resource/time/expertise.
Being first into any market has its benefits and downsides. In truth there are many more downsides than there are benefits at first. When the software is new and there are no comparatives invariably potential customers ask the question ” do I need to have this?, it didn’t exist before, no one uses the software and can I get along without it ( cos it costs money!).
When we launched LateCards we had the added difficulty of trying to recruit Operators into the network and Travel Agents. Without Operators posting offers Agents were not interested and without a wide network of agents, Operators were not interested. A double whammy!
But we persevered because we genuinely believed that we had developed some great software that really enabled the Independent Travel Sector that were our customers. Luckily for us it worked and people very quickly saw the benefit of using LateCards and over the course of 2 years built up the network using the software to over 350 branches and 90 operators. Alomg the way we have continued to invest in the software to make it best in class with additions such as LateCards TV, Marketing Email integrations, Consortia management etc. Our vision was to enable Agents and Operators to transparently work together to sell more holidays. Of course there is a price to this, but by charging both agents and operators we kept this to a minimum.
It was only a matter of time before a competitor came along. This time in the guise of a Consortia. Of course it is the responsibility of a Consortia to enable their membership to market their products more effectively, that is why we embraced Consortia functionality and work with a number of groups and Consortia now in delivering offers to their members via LateCards.
Our software remains the largest facilitator of offers between operators and agents. Because we believe in transparency then Operators can see who promotes their offers and agents have the ability to show some operators rather than others, to develop unique landing pages with specific Operator offers on them and generally to be able to work more closely with Operators and their Consortia (if applicable) in generating business.
We remain one step ahead of any competitor software and our solutions are certainly far less than managing any of this individually. We are committed to the Independent Agent network, we support 3 Consortia in the UK in their Offer distribution and welcome any Operator to use our software, thus ensuring that agents have maximum choice and flexibility in deciding the marketing path that they wish to take.
For more information on LateCards comparison – check out our comparison tables here: https://www.net-effect.co.uk/comparelatecards/
I founded Net Effect to provide digital marketing tools and websites to Independent Travel Businesses who sometimes find it hard to compete online with the larger Online Travel Agents.
I started off my career in Zimbabwe with British American Tobacco having developed his love of travel from spending part of my childhood in Malaysia. I quickly realised that growing tobacco wasn’t the thing he wanted to devote his life to and so returned to the UK, trained as a Chartered Accountant and joined the travel industry as Finance Director of Simply Travel and then MD, later selling the business to TUI and after a brief spell with the travel giant, realised my passion was with small businesses.
Fast forward to 2011 and a number of different businesses I saw a niche to provide marketing tools and expertise to Independent Travel Businesses whom otherwise would be unable to find the right tools to help grow their business and Net Effect was founded
Net Effect now provide CRM and Quote software, email marketing, specialist holiday search and cruise search and marketing tools to over 200 clients.