What is life stage marketing?
Life stages can by any major life event such as:
- Graduating from college
- Getting a job
- Getting married
- Moving to a new home, city or state
- Having a baby
- Raising a family
What does it mean for your DMO?
People are traveling to celebrate life. And during these life stages, travel habits change!
By digging deeper into analytics, you can uncover all sorts of opportunities.
We all know that understanding visitor demographics is incredibly important to the overall success of marketing campaigns. However, expanding that information and segmenting it to include exactly where in their life cycle your current and potential visitors are will help you target them more directly, address their needs and pain points, and more effectively appeal to what’s desirable for them at a particular point in their lives. You are not only targeting potential visitors with relatable marketing material, you are getting to them at the right time!
Now you are probably asking – does this really work? One of our DMO clients recently commissioned independent primary market research that identified young moms as a top leisure traveler to their destination. With that knowledge in hand, we modified the creative and interests for an ad planned for a late spring run – from illustrating a thrilling adventure attraction featuring only adults that ran the previous spring to an illustration of a more relaxed excursion also available at one of this destination’s main attractions featuring a child. For this targeted effort, we wanted to show moms that the attraction/destination is safe and fun for kids. We shifted the demographic from adults 25+ interested in vacations to adults 25+ interested in family vacations. Since this ad was set to run in May, this placement also gave families time to plan a getaway with the kids during the summer while the kids are out of school.
By digging into the data after the campaign ran, we were able to see that the strongest demographic response was by far women ages 25 to 44. Because this target had a pre-defined interest in family vacations, we began to refer internally to this persona as “Millennial Moms,” and we continued to evolve the creative and target media buys for this audience.
Another observation of the primary research that was also relatable to current travel and tourism trends was a growing incidence of multigenerational travelers (multi-gen). As we dug into the reporting, we also saw higher than usual CTRs on this more relaxed “family friendly” excursion creative with adults in the 55 to 64 demographic range – presumably grandparents looking for “family vacation” trip ideas with their kids and/or grandkids.
The multi-gen bonus: Look for multi-gen travel parties to more often than not book multiple rooms per night and for overall spending during the trip to be higher per person based on the presence of multiple household incomes.
Since we saw such strong results in digital with this strategy, the print budget was leveraged the next year to target the millennial mom and grandparents in mid-spring when plans are being made for the all-important summer travel season. And with these demos in mind, we decided to feature the destination’s dining and nightlife in a way that would appeal to the millennial mom (to presumably enjoy while the grandparents watch the kids for date night, or even as an opportunity to reach these millennial moms for “girl’s trips”). Another change to the creative: switch out the craft beer stein for a glass of wine.
With life stage marketing, you are making your marketing more relevant by showing how your attractions fit within the life stage of particular demographic segments. And more relevant marketing generally means more effective marketing.
Just remember: Life Stage Marketing is all about meeting people where they are in life.