Travel marketing – get to know your customers’ style
18 – 35 holiday operators, Contiki have recently discussed plans to divide their holiday offering into eight ‘styles’ in order to meet the diverse needs of their varied customer base*.
Each style will appeal to a different customer; therefore trade representatives will be able to tailor holiday options to this ‘style’, giving customers what they are looking for instantly. It’s a perfect way to offer a more personalised service.
Categorising customers into different styles or holiday-maker groups is a great idea for any travel company. But what happens before this, and what happens to your ongoing travel marketing when you have all of this data?
As travel experts, you’ll know your customers inside out. You know their family profiles, their budgets and their holiday habits and preferences. But what about those customers that you haven’t met yet, or those ones you have on your database that you haven’t heard from in years? They’ve probably changed a lot since last time you saw them, so how can you reassure them of your expert knowledge from afar, whilst also appealing to your more frequent customers? And how do you do this all at the same time?
Step 1 – start with your data
With the data you’ve gathered over the years, you’ll be able to assess your audience on a number of factors; those who haven’t booked with you in over 5 years, those who frequently travel with you, those who like adventure; you can segment however you wish.
When you’ve decided on your demographic segments, you can then start building your messages.
Step 2 – decide what you want to say to each segment
‘Sarah, we haven’t heard from you in a while, can we help with anything?’
‘Paul, as a valued customer of ours, we’d like to offer you a unique discount on weekend breaks until 12th April’
‘Joanne, planning on a ski trip this year? Here are some hotel suggestions for this season’s adventure’
And here’s the best part…
You’ll be able to send all of the above messages and more, as part of the same multi-channel travel campaign!
Step 3 – watch the responses come flying in
With the ability to evaluate each response on its own merit, you can see what Sarah, Paul or Joanne chose to do with your message. Your next actions will depend on their response.
And here’s some more good news…this will be automated because you’ll have set up the response for each of the individual recipients, before the campaign even went out.
Just say Paul jumps at the chance of taking you up on the offer and heads to your website to claim his discount. You can then send him a personalised voucher by email or through the post – this whole process will be automated.
Or say Sarah missed her message because she never checks her email any more. You have her address, so after a set number of days a personalised postcard will be printed and sent directly to her house to ask if she has thought about her next holiday. Again, this will be automated.
Finally, Joanne has decided not to go skiing this year because she wants to relax. If you link your email to a unique portal where Joanne can answer some basic questions, you’ll be able to find this out and stop sending her messages about skiing (she will get tired of these very quickly!) Instead, you can use this new information and send her some great ideas on the top relaxation destinations.
Step 4 – do it all again (but better every time)
The more data you gather through automated multi-channel travel campaigns like this, the better you’ll be able to tailor your communications for the future – giving you an insight into your customers styles before you even sit down with them to discuss their next holiday.
Sarah, Paul and Joanne are fictional representations of potential customers, just to give you an idea of the many demographic segments you can target simultaneously.Their messages are just the tip of the iceberg because the possibilities with Elanders Multi-Channel Marketing are endless. For a chat about your businesses objectives and what kind of messages we could help you create in order to meet them, it’s best to get in touch.
*Source: Travel Weekly, 12th March 2015, p. 21.