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Can you really use big data to create a tourism marketing plan?

Everyone knows which Mediterranean nation ‘is different’ or can name the city that ‘never sleeps’. Big data didn’t exist back then so why might you need it now for your marketing plan for your destination?  

Sadly the era of intuition is long since over and nowadays all successful marketing plans are based on hard evidence – and this is where big data makes all the difference.  

So when the marketing departments of forward thinking destinations and tourism companies focus on creating a winning marketing campaign they look to identify opportunities, design the most appropriate programs to attract their target segments and make better use of existing resources. At the end of the day, the ultimate goal is to improve the competitiveness of their tourism product and the destination. 

 As a tourism intelligence platform, at Mabrian Technologies we accompany  destinations and tourism institutions in the four main phases of the preparation of their marketing plans. We assist them by providing them with information and the cross-referencing of real data that we handle and that can help them create a well-focused and tailored marketing plan that improves  profitability. 

What are those four phases? What does each one consist of?  Read on to find how using this four phase approach we at Mabrian we can add great value by helping your find the right information to act upon: 

Every marketing plan begins with a prior investigation to analyze the current situation and establish some pros and cons. By crossing multiple data sources, at Mabrian we offer a comprehensive diagnosis of  a tourist destination. Amongst many other aspects, we analyze: 

  • Ease and cost of access. Flight schedule data allows us to identify the countries and cities where the destination is more competitive from the point of view of its air capacity, as well as to establish those origins and periods of time where there is better connectivity both historically and in the future. To understand the position of a destination compared to its competitors, we compare its connectivity and flight prices to detect routes where we are more or less competitive, and thus establish the appropriate lines of action. 
  • Inspirational demand. Flight search analytics help us identify the markets that have the most weight in destination demand, while our  share of searches index measures the level of market interest for a destination. This information makes it possible to identify the most relevant sources of demand . 
  • In-destination experience. Using data from Mabrian’s interests and satisfaction indicators, based on the analysis of the mentions published on social networks, reveals how the different aspects of a destination – ranging from its tourist products to its accommodation –  contribute to its competitiveness. In this wayit is possible to compare a destination with the competition. We complement this information with the analysis of the evolution of spending by market of origin and category to have a broader view of the trends in the enjoyment of the destination, identifying aspects to be reinforced and opportunities. 

Knowing the customer segments that visit us and establishing priorities about these or new segments is a demanding job. But if we do it correctly, it will allow us to increase visitor satisfaction and improve the profitability of marketing actions. The tools we work with at Mabrian allows us to easily segment visitors according to different segmentation variables, for example: 

  • Geographical segmentation. Combining different data sources allows us to segment the market by country, region, city, and even zip code. 
  • Socio-demographic segmentation. We segment the information by age groups, gender or, through the analysis of spending at the destination, by the purchasing power of the visitors. It is also possible, through our air data, to segment our visitors by travel group: travelling alone, as a couple, by family or by groups. 
  • Behavioral segmentation. The semantic analysis of social networks and opinion platforms allows us to make a division according to visit motivations, analyzing the interest shown and the satisfaction with the offer of tourist products, attractions or accommodation in the destination. Likewise, and through air data, it is possible to segment travelers based on the length of their stay: business travellers, weekend getawayers, those on vacations and long-term tripers. 

Once we know the market segments that visit us, it is time to define which segments we would like to impact, and which are the highest priority. 

The diversity of data provided by the Mabrian platform allows these segments to be evaluated, especially from a market segmentation point of view, to identify those that add more value to the destination and where it is more competitive. 

We do this by choosing a series of platform indicators that allow us to measure attractiveness and competitiveness, and therefore determine levels of priority and type of strategy to follow. 

Personalization has become a key strategy for the success of any brand. Communicating in a unique and individualized way based on the tastes, preferences and behavior patterns of the person being targeted is a major challenge. Up-to-date information is essential to meet this challenge and approach our customers at the optimal time with relevant content. 

The information that we have available at Mabrian allows us to know the perception and brand image of the destination for different markets of origin. The data reveals what motivates them most to visit the destination, what keywords they use to describe their experiences, how satisfied they are and how safe they perceive it, amongst other aspects. 

This data is the information that marketing departments need to define their ecosystem of brand messages and be able to personalize them by segment. 

In addition, by cross-referencing the information from the search and reservation period in advance, we can identify the optimal moment to influence travelers interested in our destination, which is called the ‘window of opportunity’. Such marketing campaigns with personalized messages, launched at the most appropriate time, have a higher conversion rate and improve return on investment (ROI). 

This is the four phase approach that we use at Mabrian. What’s your approach? We’d love to hear your feedback as we accept there are different ways of tackling this challenge. But in our humble opinion all of them must start with an objective analysis based on hard facts. In that respect, big data yields big results.