In todays digital and Information rich environment, hospitality and tourism marketing is more important than ever. What should you know so that your Hospitality and Tourism Marketing strategies bring you not only more business bit also make sure that you are hearing what your customers are saying.
Growing at a rate of 3.9% and contributing close to $9 Trillion Travel and Hospitality are one of the biggest contributors to Global GDP. With the beahviour of Travellers and Travel trends changing on regular basis it is imperative that the Marketers pay a closer look to the latest trends.
1. What is Tourism Marketing?
Tourism Marketing is a marketing strategy that uses specific marketing plan and techniques to promote products and services such as destinations, hotels, experiences and other Ground arrangements.
Today Tourism Marketing needs to focus on digital marketing, because in tourism industry, more than any other, online communication plays a key role due to the dynamics involved customers maybe planning their trips a great distance away from the service provider.
Majority of the Techniques in the Tourism marketing would be similar to traditional digital marketing, but here the key focus has to be on theTraveler’s buying journey in the initial phase also known as the dreaming phase.
2. Travelers Journey
The Traveler typically has 5 stages he/she goes through starting with the Dreaming Phase and then moving on to the Planning phase before reaching the Booking phase. In case of Tourism Industry the next 2 stages are also very important which is experiencing and the Sharing phase.
Broadly speaking this would be The Pre Departure Phase while on the Tour Phase and sharing his experience phase. A good Tourism Marketing strategy would connect with the buyer at every phase and make sure that they are receiving relevant Information at each point. Your Pre Departure phase sets the tone for what the traveler is going to expect from the Journey they may have booked with you. By connecting at the during the Tour phase you ensure that everything promsied is being delivered and if not you can take corrective measures at that stage itself. If you have managed the first 2 phases right, the third phase is where you can get a lot of word of mouth of mouth publicity and your marketing strategy has to be build around that. Over 92% of clients would be happy to recommend you but as Data shows only 5% of sales people ask for it. Make your Tourism marketing Strategy has these 3 touch points totally covered.
3. The Tools which can help you get achieve results.
The first and foremost is to ensure that you are selling where the Buyers are shopping. In todays day and age the best place for this would be Social Media. Social Media continues to play an important role in Tourism marketing and if you wish to succeed, your Tourism Marketing strategy needs to cover Social Media Marketing. An Ideal combination would be to go for Facebook + Instagram ad’s and even if you have great content which has indexed well, have an Insurance in place with Google Ad’s. With over 90% searches happening on Google you ignore Google at your own peril. Another way to get huge traffic is to uploadyour pictures to Pintrest and make sure they are linkingback to your website. People seldom realize this but Pintrest can also be a huge source of Traffic.
Email Marketing: Take it or leave it but Email Marketing has the best ROI even today. Your Tourism Marketing Strategy needs to include a robust email Marketing strategy. There are quiet a few tools that get the job done, but in my opinion after having tested some 35 Email Marketing tools I have had a few learnings.
a) Text based emails have better open rates than one with images.
b) The IP Address reputation of your Email service provider has a direct effect on your deliverability. What good is an email which doesn’t land in the Inbox, but in promotions tab of your customer.
c) You need to have ability to add Tags based on what action the customers take when they open the email, ideally this should be an automated process and with a proper automation tied to the backend you can have trigger based actions being carried out in the backend. A simple example of this would be, when the prospect opens the email with the link to a program being promoted, a Tag is added to them which inturn notfies the next department to schedule a call or take action as per mandate.
d) For best results the Email Marketing service has a visual automation flow so that you can envision the journey your customer needs to take.
I am sure there are other software’s out there like Mailerlite who also get the job done, but in my opinion these tools do it much better and have stellar delivery records.
CRM Those who know me or have ready my other articles, I am a huge advocate of using CRM tool’s and have written two articles as well. CRM for Sales People (read here) and Pipedrive as a CRM for larger Travel Companies (read here) both these articles are self explanatory and go over the nuts and bolts needed to understand how to set them up.
There you have it, these are the best Hospitality and Tourism Marketing practises that I would recommend to anyone wanting to grow and succeed. If you are still stuck get in touch and I would help you out.
Travel Professional with over 3 decades of Global experience, building DMC’s, TMC’s and Tourism Boards across Geographies. A passionate marketer since 2007 with core focus on Scaling up Travel Companies using power of Marketing