One of the vital rules for the successful marketing of your tourism business or destination is that you do not promote your product as all things to all people. The result of this is invariably being nothing to everybody.
We need to commit ourselves to a few target markets (people with similar needs and behaviours during travel) and put all of our promotional efforts into these. As we speak or tell stories in our own lives, we adapt our words and the way of saying things to suite the person we are speaking to.
So start by doing the same for your customers. See each market segment as a person (persona) and try to build a personality for each of them.
This would be the same as writing a descriptive profile for each character in a television ‘soapie’ as part of the plot.
What does your typical conference guest look like?
What are the aspirations and needs of disabled travellers?
If families are one of your targets, what are they looking for in their holiday?
If your target market is mountain bikers’, build a typical personality for them and know what they want that you can offer. Don’t get too hung up on being precise. Just start creating a personality for each that will help guide how you speak to them and what to say to them.
Let’s call your target person for each market Jacques. Here are a couple of questions that you can consider when you go through this exercise:
What is Jacques looking for during his stay?
What does Jacques need for a successful stay?
What does Jacques dislike during a trip?
What does Jacques worry about during the trip?
What would determine if he responds positively to the question of ‘why should I care about your offering?’
Start a page for each of your target personas and write down your initial thoughts for the persona representative of your group. Then start adding and adapting thoughts and insights from your observations of these clients as they visit you and as they rate you on sites such as TripAdvisor. Chat to them and try to get to know them a little better.
This is such an important step in doing effective marketing and promotion of your business or destination. Even if your only marketing is a brochure at your info office and a website, this process will help you to stand out from the crowd and multiply your occupancies.
All of the best for your preparations for the Easter holidays. It’s a good time to practice the process by developing a persona for your typical school holiday visitors.
Come on, give it a shot. Wonderful benefits await those who put in the extra energy and effort.