In the year of the experience, your future guests need evidence that you have their interests, needs and preferences at heart.
It’s what they need to see before they will even consider booking with you. Simply promoting your product and leaving it to your audience to decide if it’s compatible with what they want out of their next vacation is risky. They may not start their search with a particular brand in mind, but rather a particular experience. So, you see: It’s more about tapping into what they want, and how that makes your product and service the right experience for them.
Show your client some TLC
In the year of the experience, tender loving care means demonstrating to your target markets that you understand who they are, their likes and dislikes, and what motivates them to travel and where. Here’s what each of them might tell you if you asked:
- I can’t leave a place without trying to learn everything about its culture and history – it’s like an addiction to knowledge! Show me the museums, old buildings, the traditional stuff… that’s my sweet spot. I love being able to observe how the local people live too.
- I want to be where the action is! I want to see and do everything as long as it’s fun. And I want to meet some fun people along the way. I’ll try anything new, love a good adventure. If there’s a party, hey, I’m there! I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
- Just give me a good spot in the sun – bliss! Don’t need much more than peace and quiet… My challenge is finding a new position every hour 🙂 No early rising for me and forget shuttling me around tourist sites. You’ll find me by the pool, on the beach, by a log fire or in a hammock overlooking some serene scenery.
- I need to re-connect with Mother Earth to re-connect with myself. Keep those coach tours to the popular tourist routes and away from me, please. I don’t mind getting a bit dirty if I can just feel something real, out there in the Nature of my dreams…
How do you get this precious information? You ask them, follow their discussions on social media, get stuck in some big data. It’s important – you don’t want to get stuck offering someone something they don’t care for.
Addressing their need
How do you influence a traveller’s decision-making? Once you understand their particular motivations, and you’ve identified that you have the right product for them, the next element of the experience is how you sell it.
What does your website or brochure content tell the about your brand? Check your content, engage with it and ensure you showcase your product optimally, digitally.
If, for example, you have the perfect product for a prospective client, but your content is only available one language – not in their native language – it might turn them off and they’ll go looking elsewhere.
A study by Common Sense Advisory found that 75% of buyers prefer to buy products in their native language.
By having your marketing content available in different languages, particularly those spoken by your target markets, you can eliminate a major pain point of theirs.
Don’t discount the power of visual. The images, videos and percentage of text that constitute your marketing content will determine whether or not, and how someone relates to your product.
Want to appeal to travellers motivated by harmony? Then use words like ‘relax’, ‘pamper’ and ‘tranquil’ to describe your experience, accompanied by atmospheric images in cool, muted colours in a 20:80 text to visuals ratio.
Wow thy client
Profiling your target markets only takes you part of the way. Your next most valuable resource is analytics: digitally generated data from visitor interaction with your digital sales and marketing assets.
There’s power in the mouse click. Your content is the cheese.
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 your content is getting the hits you want, which demonstrates your offering up a research and purchasing experience your audience enjoys.
For more wow factor, add value to your basic offering and create an end-to-end service that matches your future guest’s preferences. For example, combining private yoga sessions on a secluded beach with a hot air balloon/accommodation special, and including airport transfers. Or implement a 24-hour check-in service.
Any additional value that enables your guest to earn back some of their holiday time would be awesome and set your brand apart.
Connecting with the traveller
The travel buying experience needs a tech-savvy element in conjunction with the human touch. If you use technology to do the work of getting your brand message across and taking care of simple, mundane service tasks, you and your staff are free to attend in person to your guests and potential customers.
Today’s era of travel is being labelled as ‘The Age of Connection’ as technology and human guidance continue to merge together to personalise a travel experience.
Tech-empowered boons such as live availability, secure booking and payment options, and convenient access to travel documents and maps are becoming standard expectation, as is direct contact with you. Travellers want this because it makes them feel secure and taken care of, like you put them first.
What would it cost to invest some TLC into your experience? It’s better to think of what it could earn you.
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