Segmentation: The process of defining and subdividing your Customers into clearly identifiable segments having similar needs wants, or demand characteristics. Its objective is to design a marketing mix that precisely matches the expectations of customers in the targeted segment.
If you are here already and reading about Segmentation then I take it you are already familiar with CRM’s and what they are capable of doing. Also, Segmentation is purely Data Driven and in a Travel company, it would take at least 2-3 years of Data for it to make sense and make smart predictions and help you grow. (if you are still not on CRM and have not Automated your Business, you can read my posts on Pipedrive and Salesflare. Two CRM’s which would work well with Travel Companies)
Imagine this: You have clients “Family XYZ”, who usually Travel towards March end and its a Lazy Holiday for a week. This is the Family time for them, It is November and you receive an offer which has a special in March and you know that Family XYZ has not been there and this could be something which interests them thereby making them your Potential customers for this product. You share this offer in November with them and show them how if they book in advance they are making a huge saving. Family XYZ like the offer and book, Sale closed.
Thanks to the Data being stored Systematically, You were able to segment it, You knew whom to Share the offer with (which client had not been there, Sharing with everyone in your Database is nice, but sending a personalised email to Family XYZ, in this case, was even better) and where with a minimum of effort you could convert.
Your Advantage: You were able to retain the Customer, You helped your Customer Save money and You have achieved your Targets for March in November.
Using the same Data available to you, can also help you choose which new destinations to push for and how to best negotiate depending upon your audience size. (Imagine if you have a 360 degree view of your Audience in your Niche your buying power changes completely)
Most of the Bigger Travel Companies leverage the power of their Segmented Database to launch new destinations. It could be either price driven segmentation or Interest driven segmentation. Using the power of the data which already exists in their System, they have the numbers which help them make decisions with regards to which destination to push for and what kind of Hotels they need to contract there and at what price point.
Sitting in Business discussions of this nature, we have used the Data to get a distinct advantage. Here is an example which everyone from the Industry can co-relate to. This happened at a Trade fair, we were to meet with a Hotel Chain in a destination we were ready to launch. Being a 4 Star Chain they came with a certain set of pricing and we came with the data of what we could do based on the information we already had. The hotel agreed to give us the pricing for a 3 star hotel if we could Guarantee them a certain room nights. based on our Data we could. We asked the Hotel for an Override if we were to meet the Target they wanted us to achieve. The Hotel was more than Happy to.
Here is what happened after we had the Product at a price point where we had little competition, we were able to increase our Marketing spend and achieve 25% over the targets the Hotel had set and crush the competition in that Segment. We knew who our In-house audience (Database) was, we were able to create a Lookalike audience using Facebook with our existing data. (Since the overide guaranteed us a Killer price point, we started with the price which we would have had after achieveing the Targets.)
Segmentation is going to get you real ahead in the Game, someone who understands Data can read at your CRM data and predict for you the likely outcome for your Business year on year.
Sadly enough a lot of Travel Companies (small to mid size) are not relying on Data because they don’t understand the Importance of it. If your data is not segmented then it is what I call Spaghetti marketing, you take a bowl of Spaghetti and throw it against a wall and wait to see what sticks and what falls down. 95% of travel companies do this kind of marketing and wonder why they are not getting results. As mentioned above it takes usually 2-3 years before you can see really good data which can help you grow. It is never too late to start. You can start now and start seeing the results in a couple of years or you could wait and see your marketing efforts fail.
Lastly if you are not sure where to start, get in touch and I will explain the process to you. No Strings attached and No charges. I just want Small and Mid Size companies to succeed.
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