Stage 5. Markets & Audiences

An assessment of current market strategy in view of shifting demographics and the rise of emerging markets.

Every destination needs to have a clear picture of their key markets and audiences and how to play up to their needs. Every DMO should make an assessment of the current market strategy in view of shifting demographics and the rise of emerging markets, to understand where changes and opportunities lie in the future.

Every destination needs to have a clear picture of their key markets and audiences and how to play up to their needs. Every DMO should make an assessment of the current market strategy in view of shifting demographics and the rise of emerging markets, to understand where changes and opportunities lie in the future.

Knowing your audience is fundamental in any strategy and research is key to understand the travellers of today and their evolving needs and travel behaviour. But sometimes we might get lost in the Web with so many resources available to study the trends.

In this course of the Transformation Series, we will cover the topic of markets and audiences with a focus on the shifting trends in demographics and new generations as well as explaining how to conduct market and consumer research and analysis with the scope of identifying key interests and influences of target markets that are useful for the promotion of the destination.

We will then cover the key aspects of an audience strategy, guiding you through the creation of personas and identifying your local ambassadors and influencers who can speak adequately to your target audience and craft appealing campaigns to promote the destination. You can download the templates to start creating your strategies.

In this course, you will...

  • Be able to conduct a full strategic analysis of existing markets and segments identifying trends and opportunities
  • Devise a demographic strategy to engage new Millennials and Gen Z consumers according to their needs and interests
  • Explore the scope for deeper market research to identify key interests and influences according to segment
  • Run Sprints and build your own strategies with a pack of Templates

We also provide examples from our Case Studies and Talks of

  • Singapore Tourism
  • Geneva Tourism
  • Turespaña
  • Tourism Northern Ireland
  • Wonderful Copenhagen
  • Visit Britain
  • Dubai
  • Panel on Asia perspectives
  • Millennials and Gen Z

With this pack, you will be able to;

- Start a full digital transformation of your DMO
- Understand your destination's audience
- Work on your customer personas
- Use templates to create an audience strategy


Markets and audiences - Sprint

The first step in the creation of an audience strategy is a brainstorming Sprint. Gather your whole team and use the Markets & Audiences - Sprint template to map out trends, opportunities, consumer demographics, needs, key influences and interests of your existing target audience.

Use the sticky notes or write directly on each section of the template to gather data and answer these questions:

Trends

Which market trends are you seeing right now generally? Are there rising trends that your organisation should be tapping into? What market trends are you currently exploring?

Opportunities

Where do you see market opportunities for your organisation? Do changes in current and traditional markets present new opportunities for you? Where do opportunities exist which haven't yet been fully exploited?

Consumer demographics

How are visitor profiles changing? How successful is your organisation in engaging new types of visitors vs. old ones? How do you ensure your destination stays relevant?

Need mapping

How well-defined are your audiences? Who is your online audience and what are their needs? How can you support their needs to help form an opinion, develop an interest and support their visit?

Key influences

What factors influence their impression of your destination? How do factors like reputation, price, image, impact perception and the decision process? Are we successful at shaping this impression?

Interests

What are the key interests which resonate well with online audiences? Where do you believe your organisation stands apart from other destinations and which 'niche' audiences are key to engaging audiences online?

Get started with the sprint 🏃🏾‍♀️

A sprint is a great way to rally all your teammates around a big idea or produce great results by concentrating the team on a specific need over a short period.

  1. Print the attached worksheet in large format (A1 is best!)
  2. Find a great communal space, such as the canteen, to stick it up (double-sided tape!)
  3. Invite team members to scribble their thoughts and ideas on the wall
  4. Organise a stand-up session, where several members can express their thoughts
  5. Take a snap, keep it posted or even better 'scan the wall' and digitise into Mural

You'll be pleased with the results when you get everyone thinking collectively.

Understanding a Destination's Audience: From Demographic to Psychographic Segmentation

Understanding a Destinations Audience: Affinity and Niche Marketing

Understanding a Destinations Audience: Singapore's Passion Groups

Understanding a Destinations Audience: Emerging Audiences in Travel

Understanding a Destinations Audience: Resources to understand different markets

Understanding a Destinations Audience: References and resources to understand the market

With a too broad availability of resources on the web nowadays it can be time-consuming to start desk research to dig deeper into markets and audiences. We at the DTTT know very well that time is a very valuable resource and for this reason, we have made a selection of resources that can help you understand your audience. These resources all come at a cost, but there are many freely available on the web that sometimes takes a greater effort to be found. Free resources on travellers often come from big data providers such as Google, but some of them might be on your ‘virtual backyard’, like NTOs websites. We made a selection of the most efficient and important resources to consider when making a research about markets and audiences with our opinion and how you can use them.

Free resources

NTO research

Visit Britain

The trade section of the Visit Britain tourism website is full of very useful resources ranging from the latest research in travel trends to specific market segment insights where it’s possible to gather data about markets. From their website we suggest to take a look at these reports that you might find interesting:

Singapore Tourism Board

The official tourism organisation of Singapore has a section of the governmental website entirely dedicated to statistics and market insights which focus on data about international arrivals and visitors in Singapore, as well as reports for each market visiting the destination.

Brand USA

The DMO of USA has a section of their website dedicated to Research and Analytics. Within this section it’s possible to find individual market guides as well as a report on market profiles and other insights in form of report about consumer and industry trends. Especially interesting are the market guides which are made in partnership with the U.S. Commercial Service and the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) and provide snapshots of the economy and information about travel from 14 global markets.

Destination Canada

Among the NTOs, Destination Canada is the one that stood out the most to us for the layout of the website section dedicated to research. In the corporate section of the tourism website it’s possible to find many interesting and relevant up-to-date reports on travellers, markets and insights. Alongside Canadian tourism data and market profiles, DC and their partners conduct primary research focused on specific sectors in Canada's tourism industry, e.g. culinary tourism, indigenous tourism, millennial travel and ski tourism. Their Global Tourism Watch provides consumer-based intelligence on 10 markets around the world, and in Canada.

UNWTO

The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) is responsible for promoting sustainable tourism that can be accessed by everyone. Promoting tourism as a driver of economic growth, the UNWTO is a NPO (a not-for-profit organisation), and is the tourism industry’s leading international organisation.

For reliable, accurate and reputable sources of information, useful to your DMO and marketing strategies, we would highly recommend the UNWTO as a source for industry research. Being a part of a NPO lends with it certain privileges, as run by the UN, the data and research available is widely accessible and free-of-charge.

ETC

The European Travel Commission (ETC) represents the National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) of Europe, and have a mission to increase sustainable development within the continent and subsequently within each of its tourist destinations. Their industry expertise, reputable partners, market intelligence and best practice sharing, places them directly in the spotlight of European tourism, and currently focuses primarily on research, marketing and advocacy.

We would highly recommend using the ETC’s resources for your tourism marketing research, as they produce high-standard, detailed documents truly useful for not only European DMOs, but also for DMOs outside the continent with an interest in European travel, tourism and marketing. With their 70s years of experience and expertise, this organisation has the ability to truly encapsulate tourism issues and trends and provides a wealth of industry knowledge and insights.

Google

As one of the ‘Big Four’, the world’s four most powerful technology companies together with Amazon, Apple and Facebook, Google is an endless ocean of information, whether you use just the research function or its multiple tools that help you gather data quickly and cost-effective.

Think with Google is a platform dedicated to the latest consumer insights, statistics and trends in digital marketing spanning across multiple industries and audiences and it comprehends the Google Consumer Barometer, a tool that shows statistics about the use of internet around the world, Google Trends, a tool that gathers real-time data to understand consumer’s search behaviour and Google Surveys, a tool that gathers market-research data from Internet users through survey questions distributed online through content publishers’ websites in different categories to reach the widest mix of respondents as possible.

Amadeus

Amadeus’ key aim is to shape the future of travel, by constantly searching for the next travel-related technological trend, which connects the entirety of the travel sector.

There are four main areas where we feel Amadeus is a clear choice for DMOs. Their approach to personalisation allows a bespoke service for each client, treating each DMO as an individual and creating campaigns around their data and needs. With over 30 years in the industry, Amadeus are able to offer unequivocal market insights and expertise, making them a key choice for your data research and analysis. Their high-calibre data integration means they can assess your DMO and offer solutions with ease, and alongside their consulting services, can help you implement your strategies and campaigns quickly, ensuring maximum results.

Sojern

Specialists in travel data for over 10 years, Sojern have so far produced over $13billion for their clients through direct bookings. This has been achieved through their excellent multi-channel branding and performance solutions. They not only analyse global travel behaviour, but use data science to examine real-time information from a variety of sources.

We absolutely love how quick and easy it is to access detailed, interesting and informative research with Sojern. Just by filling in some basic details about you and your company, you have free access to everything, from case studies to reports. A reputable company, with a vast experience of working with DMOs, Sojern is able to identify your DMO’s target audience, optimise your campaigns and provide the best possible results, helping you to outperform your competition through its DMO data insights.

Skift

Specialising in helping DMOs transform and prosper, they represent intelligence and information within the epicentre of the travel research industry, providing a combination of news articles, research, marketing services and conferences. Skift’s aim is to help the travel industry and DMOs understand the ever-evolving behaviour of travellers and provide the resources to support this. By helping DMOs understand their consumers’ behaviour, they can adapt their marketing strategies to explore this information, and maximise on marketing spend.

Skift is an ultra-modern, forward-thinking research company with a great ethos. They’re fun and exciting, and provide truly interesting, insightful articles covering an array of topics. In addition to their qualitative studies, they also provide in-depth quantitative research, data analysis and consultancy with industry experts for a fee, but are primarily an excellent choice as a free resource.

Skyscanner - Travel Insight and Trends and Analysis services

The world travel search engine, Skyscanner, can be a super useful platform to not only find the best deals on flights and hotels, but to uncover travel trends, analysis and read up on travel insights. Your organisation can use Skyscanner’s valuable insights to create marketing campaigns based on real-time, thorough research and data analysis in the travel sector.

They provide regular super interesting and relevant articles on analysis and thought leadership in the industry, alongside great white papers, and is definitely a valuable research tool for your DMO.

Expedia Group

As the world’s ultimate travel platform, Expedia Group boasts an extensive array of brands and partners including some of the world’s most reputable travel brands. Through their travel advertising solutions, clients are able to access billions of travel and booking data insights, which help to inform clients how best to reach Expedia travel shoppers through marketing strategies.

Expedia Group have already worked with numerous DMOs, such as Singapore, Visit Finland and Travel Alberta, and design their own marketing objectives with the aim of increasing tourism for various destination marketers. This makes the travel platform an optimum tool for not only uncovering and using valuable data, but for creating relevant and accurate marketing objectives and strategies for your DMO.

Paid resources

There are many paid sources available to conduct market research over a variety of different industries and topics. From finance, to medical, to travel and tourism, there is an optimal market research company perfectly suited to your organisation.

Forrester

As a market research group, Forrester provides market insights serving a variety of industries, ranging from banking to medical insurance. They offer valuable up-to-date research focusing on the most important dynamics of the day, alongside analytics displaying how well your company is meeting its goals, and offering advice as to where best to invest in order to drive growth.

This is a great, reputable source of information, offering data and reports for a large variety of industries. Forrester not only offer data resources to their clients, but consultancy with their industry experts alongside informative and valuable events and workshops, with a prime focus on consumer trends and technology.

IPK International

A travel and tourism market research organisation, IPK International conduct global research. Their World Travel Monitor is an annual survey and unique tourism database, used as a tool for tourism strategies, marketing plans and master plans. These compare data on the European, American and Asian travel sectors, analysing travel demand and customer behaviour. Their tourism research offers specialised and bespoke studies, designing questionnaires, completing fieldwork, data-handling and analysing results. They conduct qualitative and quantitative market research across the globe, which can be consumer or B2B-oriented.

Their vast tourism database combined with tourism research, analysis, marketing and the construction of strategies, alongside assistance and guidance in implementing these strategies makes IPK International a key contender for your organisation’s needs. However, if you wish to focus your attention on data outside of Europe, America or Asia, then an alternative market research organisation would be better suited.

Oxford Economics

Oxford Economics are leaders in global forecasting and quantitative analysis, serving a variety of sectors from travel to energy to technology. They provide forecasts and models, helping their clients track, analyse and create models for national, industry and urban trends. Their economists and leadership specialists apply advanced economic tools in order to provide insights into current business, financial and policy issues.

Clearly a leader in global forecasting and quantitative analysis, Oxford Economics are the perfect choice for your numerical data collection, analysis and forecasting. Releasing information and data regularly on the current global financial state, their professionalism and experience in the sector is unequivocal. If your organisation requires a more qualitative stance in research and data analysis, then an alternative market research company may be more suited to your needs.

Phocuswright

Phocuswright is a travel industry research specialist supplying information, data and reports on how travellers, suppliers and intermediaries connect. They provide individual reports covering many regions and topics, and access to marketplace intelligence is available through the purchase of a subscription.

Phocuswright analysts provide industry expertise on a variety of topics associated with the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, including valuable information on consumer trends, mobile, destinations and technology. Their research subscription permits entry into the vast library of global travel research and data, supplying you with all the available material to boost your team’s travel industry knowledge and presentations.

Offering regular events, webinars, interesting and informative articles, research reports, valuable content, consultancy, speakers and uncapped access to marketplace intelligence, Phocuswright is the clear choice for your travel and tourism data requirements. An innovative company, keeping up-to-date with trends, recognising up-and-coming travel startups and providing fresh, new ideas to inspire travel and tourism organisations, boosted by their high calibre partners.

Comscore

Comscore is a powerful third-party source for a reliable measurement of cross-platform audiences, and is used for planning, transacting and evaluating media across a variety of platforms. It combines data across multiple sources, helping your organisation to discover and act upon new opportunities for business growth while understanding the impact of media and marketing in order to improve ROI. Comscore uses cross-platform measurement to help you make informed business decisions for sustainable growth and understand the potential impacts of marketing investment.

From a media standpoint, Comscore is the key market research company for your needs in accessing and analysing media data, including box office and TV show statistics. It is also an excellent source for cross-platform analysis, media marketing assistance and digital market overviews. If your organisation requires market research and data analysis in another sector, rather than in media, it may be best to look elsewhere.

Understanding a Destinations Audience: Netnography and social listening

Understanding a Destinations Audience: Copenhagen's Digital Traveller Project

In 2015 Wonderful Copenhagen, the tourism organisation for the Danish capital decided to better understand the digital behaviour and needs of travellers, but also of people with specific interests who could be potential targets of the range of cultural events that are held in Copenhagen. These demographics were identified through analysis and experimentations, and as a result, Wonderful Copenhagen has developed a digital strategy that is directly focused on visitors’ digital experiences.

UNDERSTANDING THE DIGITAL TRAVELLER

We often hear expressions used in the media such as Millennials, overconnected people and even digital travellers. But who are those who actually use a DMO platform when travelling? This was an essential question for the Copenhagen communication team to answer, once they noticed that nobody among them used such a platform when travelling. Thus, they decided to investigate further, to find out how travellers actually use digital technology, what they use it for, and whether their present and future needs in this area could be identified.

Wonderful Copenhagen_The digital traveller study

The digital traveller research was conducted by an internal sociologist in partnership with an external digital agency. It was composed of four main steps :

Desktop research. Explorative research has been carried out, based on published reports and statistics. The goal was to obtain a better understanding of the digital population and its behaviour.

Digital diaries were written by Danish and international travellers. The respondents will describe how they plan their travel and how they use social platforms at each stage of their journey (inspiration, planning, the stay and post-travel). The respondents have been recruited on Facebook and chosen based on demographics, nationality and interests to achieve wide a sample. The ordering of insights in importance and the method of presenting them was delegated to respondents. After this phase, in-depth interviews have been carried out with each participant to gain a better understanding of any insight gleaned.

Interview and observation in Copenhagen. Rendezvous were set up with tourists in a variety of hotels and hostels at the beginning of the day. They were asked about their plans and what kind of devices they had brought with them. Each individual was then asked to note during the day trip when they used their mobile device, for what reason, and also if there were things they would have liked to carry out, but couldn't due to a lack of functionality. The following day, further interviews were carried out with respondents, so they could comment on any insight gained from the experience.

Netnographic analysis. Once travellers’ needs and behaviour have been identified, different social platforms were analysed to understand how these needs are communicated through social platforms. The primary aim of social platforms is not always a social connection; it is dependent on which social platform is being used. The ethnographic analysis gives a better understanding of the social media environment, the main aim of social platforms, and the needs of travellers.

GOING OVER STEREOTYPES

People don’t change their digital behaviour while they travel. They utilise the device that they usually favour, and visit social platforms they are accustomed to visiting. The digital traveller research identified three separate digital profiles, which differ depending on how important digital platforms are for travellers. The most important group of travellers found that it is nice to have access to social media, but they only use it when they have a problem to solve. Thus, social media and mobile have to be considered as tools to help travellers to find information and solve a problem.

WonderfulConpenhagen-Study-results-300x173

With the digital travellers' research, it becomes clear that when demographic segmentation is utilised, campaigns will not be successful, as people do not identify with, or easily place themselves within, a demographic sector. On social networks, the users filter the advice that they receive, listening to people that they trust and that they identify with because they have the same interests or expectations. Therefore it is logical for segmentation to be rather based on interests, as opposed to other possible characteristics.


COPENHAGEN COMMUNITIES PROJECT

This strategy of interest segmentation has been followed by Wonderful Copenhagen since 2013, within the community projects that they run and fund. The goal is to better understand the specific nature of the behaviour of visitors to Copenhagen events on social media and digital platforms and to try to make this community of visitors grow. Wonderful Copenhagen therefore constantly experiments with new ways to communicate messages to narrow communities.

Research and analysis are an important part of promoting an event, as they assist in improved understanding of the targeted community and its digital behaviour. They also enable researchers to pick up specific knowledge and jargon, and to familiarise themselves with popular platforms within the community. This enables organisers to better plan an event to meet the needs of the community. Even if similar platforms have been chosen by separate communities (eg. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc), all of these platforms need to be utilised differently with specific strategies and content.

A dedicated website is then developed for each main event in Copenhagen, as well as an app and relevant social media accounts. This makes it much easier to reach an audience interested in the themes and topics of the event, without saturating it with irrelevant information.

WonderfulCopenhagen_Event-website-700x404

FOCUSING ON INSPIRATION AND INFORMATION

With this new communication strategy, information and inspirational content have been prioritised above and beyond all other content on the DMO website. This has been a big policy change, as bookings were once the most important facet of the website. Different thematic gateways are now provided so that online visitors identify themselves with such themes and get immediate inspiration. Content is now built to be inspirational, to answer practical question travellers ask, and to provide concrete information. For example,  information such as date, time, address, price, as well as a TripAdvisor rating, are provided for each event.

Website-700x404

A NEW ORGANISATION

Following the study, a lot of changes were made within the DMO, to make the operation more efficient, and to ensure that marketing and communication work together, as “market communication”. While the organisation was once compartmentalised - with a PR team, a video production team, and an online marketing team - today the teams have merged into a singular, large entity. The communication team now amounts to sixteen people, all of whom come from different disciplines. The remit of this department is now wide, from creative work to digital work, and even embracing political stakeholder communication.

INVOLVING STAKEHOLDERS

Wonderful Copenhagen is involved in constant communication regarding what is experimented and analysed, and about the findings of its research. It also attempts to regularly highlight relevant insights and ideas that the tourism industry can use to understand its customers and targets. The goal is to actively involve partners and stakeholders and get people on board with the project. There is still some scepticism among partners, but this has been viewed as merely a motivation for the organisation to make continual improvements.

In line with this goal, Wonderful Copenhagen focuses on communicating with tourism businesses and stresses that one specific event and the arrival of a specific community can affect their business. It then offers goals and strategies to help companies take advantage of this rich opportunity.

KEY FACTS

OPPORTUNITIES
  • Strong knowledge of travellers’ needs acquired
  • Relevant campaign targeting
  • Event strategy with a strong target focus
  • Constant evolution and improvement
  • Segmentation by interests instead of being based on demographic statistics

CHALLENGES
  • Scepticism from some partners and stakeholders
  • Demanding in terms of social media presence and adaptation to the target group
  • The necessity to have a large communication team

Reaching the Right Audience: Customer personas, ambassadors, influencers

Reaching the Right Audience: Creating Customer Personas - Template

As we explained in the previous chapter, having customer personas is a great way to focus on your audience in a more targeted way, according to the characteristics of the audience segments. Customer personas are a great tool that each organisation should have because not only it gives a precise description of potential customers but it also helps the organisation to have common knowledge about their audience.

How to create personas?

If you have a clear understanding of your target markets it should be easy for you to start thinking about fictional characters that belong to each of them. But if you are not familiar with your audience or struggle to identify your target segments, there are 4 steps to take according to Buffer that could help you in the creation of personas.

1. Check your website analytics

It might be the last thing that comes to your mind but checking Google Analytics of your DMO website is actually a very accurate solution to find out who are the average visitors, where do they come from, what keywords they use to find you and which content they browse on the website, which also gives you a rough estimate of their interests.

2. Involve the whole team in creating profiles

The whole team means the whole team, not only your marketing colleagues. Gather them and work together in the definition of the characteristics of personas. The exercise has to be more like brainstorming at the beginning but with the ultimate goal to create a customer persona card.

3. Social media research

Social media is a goldmine of information about your audience. Most social media platforms have an analytics section that lets you discover data about your users like age, gender, interests, etc. Gather all that information and add it to the list for the final representation of your personas.

4. Ask your audience questions

Use surveys and interviews to find precise insight into your customers. Surveys are an easy way to gather data quickly if you already have a good list of customers to contact. Interviews can reveal deeper insight about goals, motivations and frustrations which help to get the picture of the persona.

Create the persona

When working on personas, it is important to start giving each person a name, age and provenience as well as mapping out their general interests.

Characterise the persona

It is also useful to create a quote for the persona that illustrates their attitude towards travel and holidays or their preference towards your destination.

Next, it is important to map out in detail what describes each persona best in six categories:

  1. Demographics: where does this customer live, income, occupation, marital status, children, etc.
  2. Behaviours: describe typical behaviour when planning and going on holiday
  3. Attitudes: highlight attitudes towards travel as well as specific interests
  4. Needs/ Challenges: describe the specific needs and challenges of the consumer
  5. Goals/ Motivations: what motivates the consumer to go on holiday, what are key motivators for travel
  6. How can we help?: define how the DMO could help these personas overcome their challenges along the visitor cycle, whether helping them take the travel decision or planning their trip.

Target the persona

Now that you have a clear picture of the persona, you can start thinking about ways to target the persona with specific content about your destination, through defined channels, maybe making use of ambassadors who can promote a specific experience to do at the destination which is perfect for the persona.

The data gathered through this template will ultimately help you in the final representation of the persona, through the Customer Persona Card.  

Reaching the Right Audience: Customer Persona Card - Template

After mapping out all the necessary information about your personas you might find it useful to create a sort of ID for the persona, what we call the “Customer Persona Card”, a visual and clear representation of the persona, with a real picture to portray it.

In case you have research around audiences that is up to date and relevant, the template can be used to visualise and illustrate findings and preferences a bit better. You can fill in the template as a group or individually. The goal is to be as precise as possible when filling in the persona descriptions, using an image and quote to humanise your customers. Each persona should function as a reminder to always keep the customer needs, expectations and preferences in mind when delivering marketing activities.

If you are operating in different markets, it is useful to adapt personas to the specific market needs, ensuring your messaging and communication is targeted and efficient. Circulating the personas internally can help to understand and focus on who you are targeting, humanising your customers to personalise your marketing activities.

Reaching the Right Audience: Northern Ireland Screen Tourism and Game of Thrones

Reaching the Right Audience: The Power of Digital - Millennials

Reaching the Right Audience: #DTTT Global Panel - Perspective on Asia

Reaching the Right Audience: Visit San Diego's strategy to reach the right audience

Creating your Audience Strategy: Dubai - Attracting and engaging Chinese visitors

Creating your Audience Strategy: Identifying Ambassadors and Influencers - Template

When you have well-defined personas to describe the audience of your DMO, you can start creating persona-specific content. The creation of content, in fact, should come after having evaluated the persona and identified which interests and affinities they have so that you have an indication of which messages they want to hear about and you can craft the correct one.

To even increase the chances that your audience will pay attention to your messages you should consider the opportunity of partnering with people your personas love. These people are influencing the opinion and the buying behaviour of your audience and they could become the ambassadors of your brand. Working with ambassadors and influencers will give your brand a competitive advantage because consumers trust them and are more inclined to listen to their messages, while you prevent miss-judged and potentially damaging brand-associations.

Through this template, you will be able to assign a specific ambassador and influencer to each of your personas and start creating the basis of the communication plan.

The left side of the template helps you brainstorm more in general about your audience, their interests and how you can get in touch with them. It also helps you think about your brand and the tone of voice you should use in your communication. Last it guides you on the creation of content, making you brainstorm about the channels and their distribution.

The central and right side of the template will help you identify the ambassadors and influencers that most suit the communication for your personas, themes, neighbourhoods and experiences at the destination.

Creating your Audience Strategy: Crafting the right message for your audience - Template

This template is the one that completes your audience strategy. It will help you define the strategy for the creation of a communication campaign or concept based on the personas you identified with the previous templates.

  1. Take the four personas you identified in the Creating Customer Personas template and for each of them define the products or experiences of your destination that might be suitable for them.
  2. Then think about the message you want to convey to that specific persona, think about a specific tone of voice or imagine a payoff for your destination or for those products and experiences.
  3. Next, think about the platform and format of the message you want to launch, think strategically based on which channels your persona most uses during the day and what is the best format for your communication with them.
  4. Last, brainstorm about the storytelling you want to create around the content. You might want to collaborate with ambassadors and influencers to create great content and storytelling or you might want to think about content created by common people to inspire those personas.

Use this template to have an acknowledgement within your DMO of the communication you want to put in place to reach your target audience and the personas you have identified.

Every destination needs to have a clear picture of their key markets and audiences and how to play up to their needs. Every DMO should make an assessment of the current market strategy in view of shifting demographics and the rise of emerging markets, to understand where changes and opportunities lie in the future.

Every destination needs to have a clear picture of their key markets and audiences and how to play up to their needs. Every DMO should make an assessment of the current market strategy in view of shifting demographics and the rise of emerging markets, to understand where changes and opportunities lie in the future.

Knowing your audience is fundamental in any strategy and research is key to understand the travellers of today and their evolving needs and travel behaviour. But sometimes we might get lost in the Web with so many resources available to study the trends.

In this course of the Transformation Series, we will cover the topic of markets and audiences with a focus on the shifting trends in demographics and new generations as well as explaining how to conduct market and consumer research and analysis with the scope of identifying key interests and influences of target markets that are useful for the promotion of the destination.

We will then cover the key aspects of an audience strategy, guiding you through the creation of personas and identifying your local ambassadors and influencers who can speak adequately to your target audience and craft appealing campaigns to promote the destination. You can download the templates to start creating your strategies.

In this course, you will...

  • Be able to conduct a full strategic analysis of existing markets and segments identifying trends and opportunities
  • Devise a demographic strategy to engage new Millennials and Gen Z consumers according to their needs and interests
  • Explore the scope for deeper market research to identify key interests and influences according to segment
  • Run Sprints and build your own strategies with a pack of Templates

We also provide examples from our Case Studies and Talks of

  • Singapore Tourism
  • Geneva Tourism
  • Turespaña
  • Tourism Northern Ireland
  • Wonderful Copenhagen
  • Visit Britain
  • Dubai
  • Panel on Asia perspectives
  • Millennials and Gen Z

With this pack, you will be able to;

- Start a full digital transformation of your DMO
- Understand your destination's audience
- Work on your customer personas
- Use templates to create an audience strategy


Markets and audiences - Sprint

The first step in the creation of an audience strategy is a brainstorming Sprint. Gather your whole team and use the Markets & Audiences - Sprint template to map out trends, opportunities, consumer demographics, needs, key influences and interests of your existing target audience.

Use the sticky notes or write directly on each section of the template to gather data and answer these questions:

Trends

Which market trends are you seeing right now generally? Are there rising trends that your organisation should be tapping into? What market trends are you currently exploring?

Opportunities

Where do you see market opportunities for your organisation? Do changes in current and traditional markets present new opportunities for you? Where do opportunities exist which haven't yet been fully exploited?

Consumer demographics

How are visitor profiles changing? How successful is your organisation in engaging new types of visitors vs. old ones? How do you ensure your destination stays relevant?

Need mapping

How well-defined are your audiences? Who is your online audience and what are their needs? How can you support their needs to help form an opinion, develop an interest and support their visit?

Key influences

What factors influence their impression of your destination? How do factors like reputation, price, image, impact perception and the decision process? Are we successful at shaping this impression?

Interests

What are the key interests which resonate well with online audiences? Where do you believe your organisation stands apart from other destinations and which 'niche' audiences are key to engaging audiences online?

Get started with the sprint 🏃🏾‍♀️

A sprint is a great way to rally all your teammates around a big idea or produce great results by concentrating the team on a specific need over a short period.

  1. Print the attached worksheet in large format (A1 is best!)
  2. Find a great communal space, such as the canteen, to stick it up (double-sided tape!)
  3. Invite team members to scribble their thoughts and ideas on the wall
  4. Organise a stand-up session, where several members can express their thoughts
  5. Take a snap, keep it posted or even better 'scan the wall' and digitise into Mural

You'll be pleased with the results when you get everyone thinking collectively.

Understanding a Destination's Audience: From Demographic to Psychographic Segmentation

Understanding a Destinations Audience: Affinity and Niche Marketing

Understanding a Destinations Audience: Singapore's Passion Groups

Understanding a Destinations Audience: Emerging Audiences in Travel

Understanding a Destinations Audience: Resources to understand different markets

Understanding a Destinations Audience: References and resources to understand the market

With a too broad availability of resources on the web nowadays it can be time-consuming to start desk research to dig deeper into markets and audiences. We at the DTTT know very well that time is a very valuable resource and for this reason, we have made a selection of resources that can help you understand your audience. These resources all come at a cost, but there are many freely available on the web that sometimes takes a greater effort to be found. Free resources on travellers often come from big data providers such as Google, but some of them might be on your ‘virtual backyard’, like NTOs websites. We made a selection of the most efficient and important resources to consider when making a research about markets and audiences with our opinion and how you can use them.

Free resources

NTO research

Visit Britain

The trade section of the Visit Britain tourism website is full of very useful resources ranging from the latest research in travel trends to specific market segment insights where it’s possible to gather data about markets. From their website we suggest to take a look at these reports that you might find interesting:

Singapore Tourism Board

The official tourism organisation of Singapore has a section of the governmental website entirely dedicated to statistics and market insights which focus on data about international arrivals and visitors in Singapore, as well as reports for each market visiting the destination.

Brand USA

The DMO of USA has a section of their website dedicated to Research and Analytics. Within this section it’s possible to find individual market guides as well as a report on market profiles and other insights in form of report about consumer and industry trends. Especially interesting are the market guides which are made in partnership with the U.S. Commercial Service and the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) and provide snapshots of the economy and information about travel from 14 global markets.

Destination Canada

Among the NTOs, Destination Canada is the one that stood out the most to us for the layout of the website section dedicated to research. In the corporate section of the tourism website it’s possible to find many interesting and relevant up-to-date reports on travellers, markets and insights. Alongside Canadian tourism data and market profiles, DC and their partners conduct primary research focused on specific sectors in Canada's tourism industry, e.g. culinary tourism, indigenous tourism, millennial travel and ski tourism. Their Global Tourism Watch provides consumer-based intelligence on 10 markets around the world, and in Canada.

UNWTO

The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) is responsible for promoting sustainable tourism that can be accessed by everyone. Promoting tourism as a driver of economic growth, the UNWTO is a NPO (a not-for-profit organisation), and is the tourism industry’s leading international organisation.

For reliable, accurate and reputable sources of information, useful to your DMO and marketing strategies, we would highly recommend the UNWTO as a source for industry research. Being a part of a NPO lends with it certain privileges, as run by the UN, the data and research available is widely accessible and free-of-charge.

ETC

The European Travel Commission (ETC) represents the National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) of Europe, and have a mission to increase sustainable development within the continent and subsequently within each of its tourist destinations. Their industry expertise, reputable partners, market intelligence and best practice sharing, places them directly in the spotlight of European tourism, and currently focuses primarily on research, marketing and advocacy.

We would highly recommend using the ETC’s resources for your tourism marketing research, as they produce high-standard, detailed documents truly useful for not only European DMOs, but also for DMOs outside the continent with an interest in European travel, tourism and marketing. With their 70s years of experience and expertise, this organisation has the ability to truly encapsulate tourism issues and trends and provides a wealth of industry knowledge and insights.

Google

As one of the ‘Big Four’, the world’s four most powerful technology companies together with Amazon, Apple and Facebook, Google is an endless ocean of information, whether you use just the research function or its multiple tools that help you gather data quickly and cost-effective.

Think with Google is a platform dedicated to the latest consumer insights, statistics and trends in digital marketing spanning across multiple industries and audiences and it comprehends the Google Consumer Barometer, a tool that shows statistics about the use of internet around the world, Google Trends, a tool that gathers real-time data to understand consumer’s search behaviour and Google Surveys, a tool that gathers market-research data from Internet users through survey questions distributed online through content publishers’ websites in different categories to reach the widest mix of respondents as possible.

Amadeus

Amadeus’ key aim is to shape the future of travel, by constantly searching for the next travel-related technological trend, which connects the entirety of the travel sector.

There are four main areas where we feel Amadeus is a clear choice for DMOs. Their approach to personalisation allows a bespoke service for each client, treating each DMO as an individual and creating campaigns around their data and needs. With over 30 years in the industry, Amadeus are able to offer unequivocal market insights and expertise, making them a key choice for your data research and analysis. Their high-calibre data integration means they can assess your DMO and offer solutions with ease, and alongside their consulting services, can help you implement your strategies and campaigns quickly, ensuring maximum results.

Sojern

Specialists in travel data for over 10 years, Sojern have so far produced over $13billion for their clients through direct bookings. This has been achieved through their excellent multi-channel branding and performance solutions. They not only analyse global travel behaviour, but use data science to examine real-time information from a variety of sources.

We absolutely love how quick and easy it is to access detailed, interesting and informative research with Sojern. Just by filling in some basic details about you and your company, you have free access to everything, from case studies to reports. A reputable company, with a vast experience of working with DMOs, Sojern is able to identify your DMO’s target audience, optimise your campaigns and provide the best possible results, helping you to outperform your competition through its DMO data insights.

Skift

Specialising in helping DMOs transform and prosper, they represent intelligence and information within the epicentre of the travel research industry, providing a combination of news articles, research, marketing services and conferences. Skift’s aim is to help the travel industry and DMOs understand the ever-evolving behaviour of travellers and provide the resources to support this. By helping DMOs understand their consumers’ behaviour, they can adapt their marketing strategies to explore this information, and maximise on marketing spend.

Skift is an ultra-modern, forward-thinking research company with a great ethos. They’re fun and exciting, and provide truly interesting, insightful articles covering an array of topics. In addition to their qualitative studies, they also provide in-depth quantitative research, data analysis and consultancy with industry experts for a fee, but are primarily an excellent choice as a free resource.

Skyscanner - Travel Insight and Trends and Analysis services

The world travel search engine, Skyscanner, can be a super useful platform to not only find the best deals on flights and hotels, but to uncover travel trends, analysis and read up on travel insights. Your organisation can use Skyscanner’s valuable insights to create marketing campaigns based on real-time, thorough research and data analysis in the travel sector.

They provide regular super interesting and relevant articles on analysis and thought leadership in the industry, alongside great white papers, and is definitely a valuable research tool for your DMO.

Expedia Group

As the world’s ultimate travel platform, Expedia Group boasts an extensive array of brands and partners including some of the world’s most reputable travel brands. Through their travel advertising solutions, clients are able to access billions of travel and booking data insights, which help to inform clients how best to reach Expedia travel shoppers through marketing strategies.

Expedia Group have already worked with numerous DMOs, such as Singapore, Visit Finland and Travel Alberta, and design their own marketing objectives with the aim of increasing tourism for various destination marketers. This makes the travel platform an optimum tool for not only uncovering and using valuable data, but for creating relevant and accurate marketing objectives and strategies for your DMO.

Paid resources

There are many paid sources available to conduct market research over a variety of different industries and topics. From finance, to medical, to travel and tourism, there is an optimal market research company perfectly suited to your organisation.

Forrester

As a market research group, Forrester provides market insights serving a variety of industries, ranging from banking to medical insurance. They offer valuable up-to-date research focusing on the most important dynamics of the day, alongside analytics displaying how well your company is meeting its goals, and offering advice as to where best to invest in order to drive growth.

This is a great, reputable source of information, offering data and reports for a large variety of industries. Forrester not only offer data resources to their clients, but consultancy with their industry experts alongside informative and valuable events and workshops, with a prime focus on consumer trends and technology.

IPK International

A travel and tourism market research organisation, IPK International conduct global research. Their World Travel Monitor is an annual survey and unique tourism database, used as a tool for tourism strategies, marketing plans and master plans. These compare data on the European, American and Asian travel sectors, analysing travel demand and customer behaviour. Their tourism research offers specialised and bespoke studies, designing questionnaires, completing fieldwork, data-handling and analysing results. They conduct qualitative and quantitative market research across the globe, which can be consumer or B2B-oriented.

Their vast tourism database combined with tourism research, analysis, marketing and the construction of strategies, alongside assistance and guidance in implementing these strategies makes IPK International a key contender for your organisation’s needs. However, if you wish to focus your attention on data outside of Europe, America or Asia, then an alternative market research organisation would be better suited.

Oxford Economics

Oxford Economics are leaders in global forecasting and quantitative analysis, serving a variety of sectors from travel to energy to technology. They provide forecasts and models, helping their clients track, analyse and create models for national, industry and urban trends. Their economists and leadership specialists apply advanced economic tools in order to provide insights into current business, financial and policy issues.

Clearly a leader in global forecasting and quantitative analysis, Oxford Economics are the perfect choice for your numerical data collection, analysis and forecasting. Releasing information and data regularly on the current global financial state, their professionalism and experience in the sector is unequivocal. If your organisation requires a more qualitative stance in research and data analysis, then an alternative market research company may be more suited to your needs.

Phocuswright

Phocuswright is a travel industry research specialist supplying information, data and reports on how travellers, suppliers and intermediaries connect. They provide individual reports covering many regions and topics, and access to marketplace intelligence is available through the purchase of a subscription.

Phocuswright analysts provide industry expertise on a variety of topics associated with the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, including valuable information on consumer trends, mobile, destinations and technology. Their research subscription permits entry into the vast library of global travel research and data, supplying you with all the available material to boost your team’s travel industry knowledge and presentations.

Offering regular events, webinars, interesting and informative articles, research reports, valuable content, consultancy, speakers and uncapped access to marketplace intelligence, Phocuswright is the clear choice for your travel and tourism data requirements. An innovative company, keeping up-to-date with trends, recognising up-and-coming travel startups and providing fresh, new ideas to inspire travel and tourism organisations, boosted by their high calibre partners.

Comscore

Comscore is a powerful third-party source for a reliable measurement of cross-platform audiences, and is used for planning, transacting and evaluating media across a variety of platforms. It combines data across multiple sources, helping your organisation to discover and act upon new opportunities for business growth while understanding the impact of media and marketing in order to improve ROI. Comscore uses cross-platform measurement to help you make informed business decisions for sustainable growth and understand the potential impacts of marketing investment.

From a media standpoint, Comscore is the key market research company for your needs in accessing and analysing media data, including box office and TV show statistics. It is also an excellent source for cross-platform analysis, media marketing assistance and digital market overviews. If your organisation requires market research and data analysis in another sector, rather than in media, it may be best to look elsewhere.

Understanding a Destinations Audience: Netnography and social listening

Understanding a Destinations Audience: Copenhagen's Digital Traveller Project

In 2015 Wonderful Copenhagen, the tourism organisation for the Danish capital decided to better understand the digital behaviour and needs of travellers, but also of people with specific interests who could be potential targets of the range of cultural events that are held in Copenhagen. These demographics were identified through analysis and experimentations, and as a result, Wonderful Copenhagen has developed a digital strategy that is directly focused on visitors’ digital experiences.

UNDERSTANDING THE DIGITAL TRAVELLER

We often hear expressions used in the media such as Millennials, overconnected people and even digital travellers. But who are those who actually use a DMO platform when travelling? This was an essential question for the Copenhagen communication team to answer, once they noticed that nobody among them used such a platform when travelling. Thus, they decided to investigate further, to find out how travellers actually use digital technology, what they use it for, and whether their present and future needs in this area could be identified.

Wonderful Copenhagen_The digital traveller study

The digital traveller research was conducted by an internal sociologist in partnership with an external digital agency. It was composed of four main steps :

Desktop research. Explorative research has been carried out, based on published reports and statistics. The goal was to obtain a better understanding of the digital population and its behaviour.

Digital diaries were written by Danish and international travellers. The respondents will describe how they plan their travel and how they use social platforms at each stage of their journey (inspiration, planning, the stay and post-travel). The respondents have been recruited on Facebook and chosen based on demographics, nationality and interests to achieve wide a sample. The ordering of insights in importance and the method of presenting them was delegated to respondents. After this phase, in-depth interviews have been carried out with each participant to gain a better understanding of any insight gleaned.

Interview and observation in Copenhagen. Rendezvous were set up with tourists in a variety of hotels and hostels at the beginning of the day. They were asked about their plans and what kind of devices they had brought with them. Each individual was then asked to note during the day trip when they used their mobile device, for what reason, and also if there were things they would have liked to carry out, but couldn't due to a lack of functionality. The following day, further interviews were carried out with respondents, so they could comment on any insight gained from the experience.

Netnographic analysis. Once travellers’ needs and behaviour have been identified, different social platforms were analysed to understand how these needs are communicated through social platforms. The primary aim of social platforms is not always a social connection; it is dependent on which social platform is being used. The ethnographic analysis gives a better understanding of the social media environment, the main aim of social platforms, and the needs of travellers.

GOING OVER STEREOTYPES

People don’t change their digital behaviour while they travel. They utilise the device that they usually favour, and visit social platforms they are accustomed to visiting. The digital traveller research identified three separate digital profiles, which differ depending on how important digital platforms are for travellers. The most important group of travellers found that it is nice to have access to social media, but they only use it when they have a problem to solve. Thus, social media and mobile have to be considered as tools to help travellers to find information and solve a problem.

WonderfulConpenhagen-Study-results-300x173

With the digital travellers' research, it becomes clear that when demographic segmentation is utilised, campaigns will not be successful, as people do not identify with, or easily place themselves within, a demographic sector. On social networks, the users filter the advice that they receive, listening to people that they trust and that they identify with because they have the same interests or expectations. Therefore it is logical for segmentation to be rather based on interests, as opposed to other possible characteristics.


COPENHAGEN COMMUNITIES PROJECT

This strategy of interest segmentation has been followed by Wonderful Copenhagen since 2013, within the community projects that they run and fund. The goal is to better understand the specific nature of the behaviour of visitors to Copenhagen events on social media and digital platforms and to try to make this community of visitors grow. Wonderful Copenhagen therefore constantly experiments with new ways to communicate messages to narrow communities.

Research and analysis are an important part of promoting an event, as they assist in improved understanding of the targeted community and its digital behaviour. They also enable researchers to pick up specific knowledge and jargon, and to familiarise themselves with popular platforms within the community. This enables organisers to better plan an event to meet the needs of the community. Even if similar platforms have been chosen by separate communities (eg. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc), all of these platforms need to be utilised differently with specific strategies and content.

A dedicated website is then developed for each main event in Copenhagen, as well as an app and relevant social media accounts. This makes it much easier to reach an audience interested in the themes and topics of the event, without saturating it with irrelevant information.

WonderfulCopenhagen_Event-website-700x404

FOCUSING ON INSPIRATION AND INFORMATION

With this new communication strategy, information and inspirational content have been prioritised above and beyond all other content on the DMO website. This has been a big policy change, as bookings were once the most important facet of the website. Different thematic gateways are now provided so that online visitors identify themselves with such themes and get immediate inspiration. Content is now built to be inspirational, to answer practical question travellers ask, and to provide concrete information. For example,  information such as date, time, address, price, as well as a TripAdvisor rating, are provided for each event.

Website-700x404

A NEW ORGANISATION

Following the study, a lot of changes were made within the DMO, to make the operation more efficient, and to ensure that marketing and communication work together, as “market communication”. While the organisation was once compartmentalised - with a PR team, a video production team, and an online marketing team - today the teams have merged into a singular, large entity. The communication team now amounts to sixteen people, all of whom come from different disciplines. The remit of this department is now wide, from creative work to digital work, and even embracing political stakeholder communication.

INVOLVING STAKEHOLDERS

Wonderful Copenhagen is involved in constant communication regarding what is experimented and analysed, and about the findings of its research. It also attempts to regularly highlight relevant insights and ideas that the tourism industry can use to understand its customers and targets. The goal is to actively involve partners and stakeholders and get people on board with the project. There is still some scepticism among partners, but this has been viewed as merely a motivation for the organisation to make continual improvements.

In line with this goal, Wonderful Copenhagen focuses on communicating with tourism businesses and stresses that one specific event and the arrival of a specific community can affect their business. It then offers goals and strategies to help companies take advantage of this rich opportunity.

KEY FACTS

OPPORTUNITIES
  • Strong knowledge of travellers’ needs acquired
  • Relevant campaign targeting
  • Event strategy with a strong target focus
  • Constant evolution and improvement
  • Segmentation by interests instead of being based on demographic statistics

CHALLENGES
  • Scepticism from some partners and stakeholders
  • Demanding in terms of social media presence and adaptation to the target group
  • The necessity to have a large communication team

Reaching the Right Audience: Customer personas, ambassadors, influencers

Reaching the Right Audience: Creating Customer Personas - Template

As we explained in the previous chapter, having customer personas is a great way to focus on your audience in a more targeted way, according to the characteristics of the audience segments. Customer personas are a great tool that each organisation should have because not only it gives a precise description of potential customers but it also helps the organisation to have common knowledge about their audience.

How to create personas?

If you have a clear understanding of your target markets it should be easy for you to start thinking about fictional characters that belong to each of them. But if you are not familiar with your audience or struggle to identify your target segments, there are 4 steps to take according to Buffer that could help you in the creation of personas.

1. Check your website analytics

It might be the last thing that comes to your mind but checking Google Analytics of your DMO website is actually a very accurate solution to find out who are the average visitors, where do they come from, what keywords they use to find you and which content they browse on the website, which also gives you a rough estimate of their interests.

2. Involve the whole team in creating profiles

The whole team means the whole team, not only your marketing colleagues. Gather them and work together in the definition of the characteristics of personas. The exercise has to be more like brainstorming at the beginning but with the ultimate goal to create a customer persona card.

3. Social media research

Social media is a goldmine of information about your audience. Most social media platforms have an analytics section that lets you discover data about your users like age, gender, interests, etc. Gather all that information and add it to the list for the final representation of your personas.

4. Ask your audience questions

Use surveys and interviews to find precise insight into your customers. Surveys are an easy way to gather data quickly if you already have a good list of customers to contact. Interviews can reveal deeper insight about goals, motivations and frustrations which help to get the picture of the persona.

Create the persona

When working on personas, it is important to start giving each person a name, age and provenience as well as mapping out their general interests.

Characterise the persona

It is also useful to create a quote for the persona that illustrates their attitude towards travel and holidays or their preference towards your destination.

Next, it is important to map out in detail what describes each persona best in six categories:

  1. Demographics: where does this customer live, income, occupation, marital status, children, etc.
  2. Behaviours: describe typical behaviour when planning and going on holiday
  3. Attitudes: highlight attitudes towards travel as well as specific interests
  4. Needs/ Challenges: describe the specific needs and challenges of the consumer
  5. Goals/ Motivations: what motivates the consumer to go on holiday, what are key motivators for travel
  6. How can we help?: define how the DMO could help these personas overcome their challenges along the visitor cycle, whether helping them take the travel decision or planning their trip.

Target the persona

Now that you have a clear picture of the persona, you can start thinking about ways to target the persona with specific content about your destination, through defined channels, maybe making use of ambassadors who can promote a specific experience to do at the destination which is perfect for the persona.

The data gathered through this template will ultimately help you in the final representation of the persona, through the Customer Persona Card.  

Reaching the Right Audience: Customer Persona Card - Template

After mapping out all the necessary information about your personas you might find it useful to create a sort of ID for the persona, what we call the “Customer Persona Card”, a visual and clear representation of the persona, with a real picture to portray it.

In case you have research around audiences that is up to date and relevant, the template can be used to visualise and illustrate findings and preferences a bit better. You can fill in the template as a group or individually. The goal is to be as precise as possible when filling in the persona descriptions, using an image and quote to humanise your customers. Each persona should function as a reminder to always keep the customer needs, expectations and preferences in mind when delivering marketing activities.

If you are operating in different markets, it is useful to adapt personas to the specific market needs, ensuring your messaging and communication is targeted and efficient. Circulating the personas internally can help to understand and focus on who you are targeting, humanising your customers to personalise your marketing activities.

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Creating your Audience Strategy: Dubai - Attracting and engaging Chinese visitors

Creating your Audience Strategy: Identifying Ambassadors and Influencers - Template

When you have well-defined personas to describe the audience of your DMO, you can start creating persona-specific content. The creation of content, in fact, should come after having evaluated the persona and identified which interests and affinities they have so that you have an indication of which messages they want to hear about and you can craft the correct one.

To even increase the chances that your audience will pay attention to your messages you should consider the opportunity of partnering with people your personas love. These people are influencing the opinion and the buying behaviour of your audience and they could become the ambassadors of your brand. Working with ambassadors and influencers will give your brand a competitive advantage because consumers trust them and are more inclined to listen to their messages, while you prevent miss-judged and potentially damaging brand-associations.

Through this template, you will be able to assign a specific ambassador and influencer to each of your personas and start creating the basis of the communication plan.

The left side of the template helps you brainstorm more in general about your audience, their interests and how you can get in touch with them. It also helps you think about your brand and the tone of voice you should use in your communication. Last it guides you on the creation of content, making you brainstorm about the channels and their distribution.

The central and right side of the template will help you identify the ambassadors and influencers that most suit the communication for your personas, themes, neighbourhoods and experiences at the destination.

Creating your Audience Strategy: Crafting the right message for your audience - Template

This template is the one that completes your audience strategy. It will help you define the strategy for the creation of a communication campaign or concept based on the personas you identified with the previous templates.

  1. Take the four personas you identified in the Creating Customer Personas template and for each of them define the products or experiences of your destination that might be suitable for them.
  2. Then think about the message you want to convey to that specific persona, think about a specific tone of voice or imagine a payoff for your destination or for those products and experiences.
  3. Next, think about the platform and format of the message you want to launch, think strategically based on which channels your persona most uses during the day and what is the best format for your communication with them.
  4. Last, brainstorm about the storytelling you want to create around the content. You might want to collaborate with ambassadors and influencers to create great content and storytelling or you might want to think about content created by common people to inspire those personas.

Use this template to have an acknowledgement within your DMO of the communication you want to put in place to reach your target audience and the personas you have identified.