Market segmentation

Opinions: 

DMO Stories

Niche marketing is becoming more important in every industry. It has long since been established that it is better for companies to target specific groups and persons with common, recognisable characteristics than attempt to sell themselves in a broad brush fashion. Even the world's biggest manufacturing companies assiduously pinpoint the market segments that they wish to target, and often assign a completely different niche for each of their product categories.

Thus, we have recently seen Apple - the world’s number one brand according to the authoritative Interbrand survey - heavily pushing the fitness-related aspects of their smartphones. This is being done ahead of the launch of their first smartwatch, almost certain to be called the iWatch, with market analysts assuming that this product will have a strong fitness focus. Even a company as vast as Apple, with a market cap of nearly half $1 trillion, does not merely release products and assume that they will sell due to their market prominence.

Targeting travel niches

The same principle applies to the tourist industry. If tourist boards are to successfully attract people to visit their country, then selling the nation to a potential market should not merely focus on making the country here as attractive as possible. It is also necessary to identify precisely what type of people might wish to visit that nation, and what can be done to particularly appeal to them.

In accordance with this principle, Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs) are increasingly engaging in market segmentation in order to more efficiently target potential tourists. Less obvious tourist destinations need to emphasise the elements of their make-up which may not be immediately apparent or obviously tourism-related. But they're also finding that some groups are in fact attracted to their unique characteristics.

So recently tourist boards from Finland and Denmark have underlined this trend toward market segmentation with their particular approach to attracting visitors. The Wonderful Copenhagen organisation - the tourism and event destination organisation for the Danish capital - recently went to great lengths to understand the digital behaviour and needs of travellers in an attempt to appeal to this distinct market segment.

And the Finnish National Tourist Board has also made great capital from successfully translating the qualities associated with Finland into into a compelling and successful branding strategy. Its Visit Finland campaign targeted so-called ‘Modern Humanists’; a primary target market comprised of individuals with high levels of education, seeking ‘authentic’ insight and experiences, and who are drawn to nature and cultural activities centred around art.

Business traveller segmentation

Additionally, research conducted by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) of a group of frequent business travellers found that many of them share common characteristics. The contemporary business traveller is likely to be connected with multiple forms of technology, enthusiastic about the process of business travel itself, and high value being able to keep in touch with loved ones while on the road. But though GBTA found business travellers generally in concurrence on these matters, they were also able to identify archetypal segments among the business travelling community as a whole.

GBTA used sophisticated statistical analysis to group travellers into these different segments, and were able to recognise five distinct niches. 97 percent of ‘Passionate High- Tech Travellers’ found that travel opportunities make their work more pleasurable. Most ‘Veterans’ value connectivity with family particularly highly, and do not wish to be hindered by a lack of equipment while on the road.

‘New Recruits’ are that marketers’ dream group; the idealised 18 to 35 ambitious, upwardly mobile sector. According to GBTA’s research, 96% of New Recruits find excuses to travel more frequently for work than is actually necessary. The ‘Wide-Eyed and Anxious’ group was also young and enthusiastic, but found to be uncertain about navigating through new places, and could benefit from guidance and travel information.

Finally, ‘Road-Weary Travellers’, as the title of the group would suggest, travel often but frequently under duress.

Understanding your target market

For DMOs to target these different demographics means understanding their needs and desires. Offering entertainment and hotel discounts, for example, might appeal to the ‘Road-Weary Travellers’ segment. ‘Passionate High-Tech Travellers’ love using online platforms, so this provides an obvious route of contact for marketers.

The increasing sophistication of consumer technology means that market segmentation is both increasingly feasible and viable. Many tourists and travellers who appear to have similar portfolios in terms of travel in fact want completely different things. Identifying traveller demographics and then effectively targeting market segmentation can really pay off for all DMOs and tourist boards.

More from #DTTT

  • In June we present:
    Creating an Inspiring Staycation Campaign with Visit Greenland – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 12
    DTTT · Creating an Inspiring Staycation Campaign with Visit Greenland With the staycation set to become the new travel trend as restrictions ease, how can destinations adapt to attract the domestic market and restart tourism? This is a key question for the industry which sees the staycation as a solution. The staycation is a movement [...]
    #Staycation #recovery #COVID-19 #strategy #tourism #Visit Greenland
  • In May we present:
    What’s the appetite for Travel? with Beautiful Destinations – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 11
    DTTT · What's the appetite for travel? with Beautiful Destinations Recovery is now in sight for many destinations and much is being done to improve destinations to make them safe and ready for travellers when they arrive. Whilst the focus has been on the impact to destinations for much of the pandemic, this has now [...]
    #recovery #COVID-19 #beautiful-destinations #industry #tourism #travel
  • In May we present:
    Sustainability Opportunities for Destination Recovery with Dr Cara Augustenborg – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 10

    Sustainability is a key issue for the industry as it prepares for recovery. The fast-moving pandemic has been severely disrupting tourism and its impact will change the industry, academic engagement, and customer behaviour. The question many destinations are now asking is how can we be sustainable post COVID-19? We dedicate our tenth Tourism Impact call […]

    #ecotourism #recovery #COVID-19 #sustainability #industry #tourism
  • In May we present:
    Digitalisation and Sustainability solutions for recovery – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 9

    As part of our efforts to react and support the industry, the #DTTT began hosting our popular Tourism Impact calls 2 months ago. Now going into the ninth consecutive week, we reflect on what has been an interesting and insightful journey so far. In many lively discussions, we’ve shared perspectives about COVID-19 impact, destination strategy […]

    #recovery #COVID-19 #sustainability #digitalisation #industry #tourism
  • In May we present:
    The Nordics COVID-19 Response

    How have the Nordic countries responded to the crisis? At the #DTTT, we have seen different approaches throughout the Nordic region and wanted to find out more. In a highly insightful interview we brought together the Tourism boards representing the capital cities of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark to discuss their response to the COVID-19 […]

    #The Nordics #Response #COVID-19 #DMOs #marketing #strategy
  • In May we present:
    What travel will look like in the future with Doug Lansky – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 8

    In our highly anticipated eighth Tourism Impact call, we discussed the different approaches of destinations who are at various stages of the recovery process. Recovering destinations are now looking for innovative product solutions as restrictions begin to ease and businesses start to re-open. Whilst for other destinations their recovery plans are still at the research […]

    #Doug Lansky #COVID-19 #DMOs #industry #strategy #tourism
Show more
© 2017 Digital Tourism Think Tank