It’s risky to promote products and leave it to the public to decide if your offering matches their interests and needs.. a gamble for those still labouring under the illusion that it’s a seller’s market out there. You love your product – you probably think it’s the best in the world. Newsflash: It’s not about your product!

Love thy client

In the year of the Experience, you’ve got to pour generous doses of tender loving care (TLC) into showing travellers you have their interests, desires and preferences at heart. Start by understanding your target markets: who they are, their likes and dislikes, what motivates them to travel and where.

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How do you get this info? You ask them, follow their discussions on social media, get stuck in some big data. Personalised travel experiences can be defined as tailored experiences based on personal data from prospective or repeat clients.

Personalisation entails creating offers & information built on travellers’ preferences, which can ultimately lead to cost saving…

ASATA

Understanding Why

What influences a traveller’s decision-making? Certain traveller attributes inspire particular motivations, like the excerpt from an Ipsos MORI study below shows. You may have the right product, but the content presented on your website or wherever you promote your product might not resonate with travellers. When you understand why people travel, you can create customised experiences and sell/market your products accordingly.

Check your content, engage with it and ensure you showcase your product optimally, digitally. Your product may be perfect for a prospective client, but because your content isn’t available in their native language, they choose to look elsewhere.

A study by Common Sense Advisory found that 75% of buyers prefer to buy products in their native language.

SKIFT

By having your content translated into the languages spoken by your target markets, you can eliminate a major pain point for so many travellers.

Remember the power of visual. The images, videos and text you use determine whether or not, and how someone relates to your product.

๐Ÿ‘†๐ŸปClick the images above and below.๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿพ

Words like ‘relax’, ‘pamper’ and ‘tranquil’ used to describe an experience related to your product can appeal directly to travellers motivated by harmony, especially accompanied by atmospheric images in cool, muted colours. Using words like ‘learn’, ‘interesting’, ‘experience’ and ‘observe’ with images of people participating in relevant activities in bright, vibrant colours appeal to travellers wanting an enhanced perspective.

Know thy client

Profiling your target markets only takes you part of the way. Your next most valuable resource is analytics:ย digitally-generated data from consumer interaction with your online sales and marketing tools, website and SM platforms.

There’s power in the mouse click. Your content is the cheese.๐Ÿ˜‰

You can always swap your gouda for some emmental if the mouse dislikes and ignores it! Tweak and A/B test until you’re satisfied you’re getting the kind of engagement with your product content you want.

Wow thy client

Do you keep track with the latest trends and demands? Being in the know helps you give the traveller what they need and exceed expectations.

There are some staple services that are almost mandatory at this stage, like end-to-end service with added in-destination experiences that match the traveller’s preferences.

Try combining private yoga sessions on a secluded beach with a hot air balloon/accommodation special, including airport transfers for example, to tempt an Australian client. Think perfectly tailored experiences, based on personal data.

Something new and innovative worth looking at is the 24-hour check-in service offered by SALTO’s JustIN mobile technology.

..allows users to use their smartphone to access doors, a flexible solution that gives guests the choice to open doors, elevators (etc.)

HotelierAfrica

Travellers can score back some of their holiday time – no hanging around the reception area waiting for check-in time or scurrying to meet check-out time. Sounds awesome to me.

Convenience is one thing. Diversification presents different challenges and opportunities. Partnerships with other service providers work well if the combined offering continues to match client preferences. It could also mean adding on supplementary components like the Belmond Group does. 35 hotels + 6 tourist trains + 3 river cruises = genius! Here’s a concept with potential for your brand that’s worth investigating.

Belmond is now offering ‘some of the greatest journeys in the world’, which incorporate stays at its landmark hotels & its iconic Oriental Express trains.

Hotelier

Connect with thy traveller

Your role in the travel buyer journey is two-fold. As much as your traveller is tech-savvy, the human touch remains paramount to reinforcing loyalty to your brand, especially when it comes to crisis management and the special touches you’re likely to provide.

Today’s era of travel is being labelled as ‘The Age of Connection’ as technology & human guidance continue to merge together to personalise a travel experience.

Siteminder

While tech empowers selling through analytics, it also makes travel purchasing easier. It’s effective if it’s efficient at making accurate, current content easily and quickly accessible at any time of day, anywhere, on- or offline. Live availability, secure booking and payment options, and convenient access to travel documents and maps are standard expectation, as is direct contact between client and agent/consultant.

14 10Travellers want this because it makes them feel secure and taken care of, like you put them first.

What would it cost you to invest some TLC? I prefer to think of what it could earn you.

But ask them yourself – they’ll gladly tell you.

On a Brazilian island trip years ago, my friend and I had our accommodation booked but were otherwise unprepared.. We could’ve used some advice on accessing sites on the other side of the island, instead of stupidly racing along kilometers of beach in fast-approaching dusk to clamber over some dangerous boulders cropping out into the sea. A dolphin-viewing cruise and a capoeira demonstration or lesson on the beach would’ve been awesome.. Actually, a personalised experience was all we needed. SUP

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