Who are your ideal marketing targets?
How you answer this question can play an important role in determining the overall success of your marketing efforts. Many DMOs have a vague idea of who their ideal visitors are but fail to establish profiles, or personas, specific enough to be of real value in focusing their marketing efforts. And while it’s no secret that persona-based marketing is an important component of a sound digital marketing strategy, it’s also of great value when developing more holistic marketing campaigns that include traditional mediums as well.
Identifying Your Visitors
Profiling ideal visitors is an important exercise that begins with analyzing who is currently visiting your destination, why and when. Asking the following questions of current visitors can get you started on the right track:
- What is the gender, income, family status, and age breakdown of your visitors?
- What do their travel parties look like/consist of?
- How far will they be traveling?
- How long are they staying in your destination?
- What questions do they have/what were they looking for when planning their trip?
- What activities are they engaged in while visiting your city?
You certainly don’t have to limit yourselves to only these questions! Learning more about the different visitors frequenting your city will serve to help you better identify your target personas and deliver marketing that speaks directly to them.
Giving a Voice to Your Visitors
Working closely with an independent research firm retained by one of our DMO clients, we were able to develop a clear picture of who was visiting our client’s city, why they were visiting and what attractions drew them there.
By taking the results of step 3 of Marketing Action Planning and combining this client’s belief statement with the results of this independent primary research, we were able to take an informed approach to developing personas that represent the visitors to the destination. For this particular client, these personas were then used to guide the creation of visually engaging, persona-based marketing elements intended to grab the attention of the recipients and communicate what the destination has to offer them.
Generally speaking, the purpose of an outbound marketing campaign is to generate interactions with potential visitors in an effort to peak their interest, drive them to seek out more information about your offering and solidify your city in their mind as a favorable travel destination. Introducing a personal dynamic to the mix, through personas, demonstrates that you are genuinely interested in their overall experience as visitors to your city. Whether they are traveling for business, leisure (or bleisure!), or are just passing through, YOU are demonstrating that your destination is a good fit for them.