The starting point for any successful marketing strategy is to define the target market and evaluate the opportunities they provide. Defining target markets makes it possible to attract customers who add more value to a destination, optimize the resources invested in visitors, the marketing and promotion strategy, or personalize communication based on the behavior, interests and preferences of future visitors. All this translates into a much more effective strategic plan for the promotion of tourist destinations.
In an environment as unpredictable as the current one, when the only constant is change, identifying priority markets can be a great challenge for tourism destination managers and marketing agencies.
At Mabrian, a leading tourism intelligence company, we think about decisions based on real-time data. For this reason, we have developed a methodology that analyzes cross-referenced data from different sources of information, easily and quickly. This technology makes it possible to identify the markets of origin with the greatest potential for visits and, at the same time, those that provide the greatest value to the destination in terms of spending.
How do we identify the target market objectives for the next season?
The methodology Mabrian uses to identify priority markets for a destination marketing plan or a specific marketing campaign is based on two key criteria:
- The competitiveness of the destination for the markets of origin. The objective is to identify the markets of origin that show more interest and at the same time have greater ease of access to the destination. For this we focus on three types of datasets from the Mabrian air connectivity module. To identify the markets with the highest demand, we use analyses of the volume of searches made from different source markets, and the Flight Search Index, which measures the global competitive position of a travel destination for a specific source market. In addition, we study air capacity data in order to measure the ease of access to our destination from different origins. The cross analysis of these sources of information offers us a ranking of the markets of origin with the greatest potential for visiting the destination in the coming seasons.
- The attractiveness of the markets. To identify the most attractive markets for the destination, we focus on spending data provided by MasterCard, which allows us to identify the origin markets with the highest average spending. In addition, we add data on the average length of stay
sin order to determine the markets with the longest average stays, since they are segments that provide the most benefit to the destination and local economies. To define the priority markets of origin, we apply weights to all the variables, based on the specific objectives of the tourist destinations. For example, if the volume of demand is more important than the value it represents, or if both have the same level of importance.
Once we are clear about the priority markets for the coming season, we can move on to the second phase: preparing the marketing campaigns. Today, it is getting harder and harder to capture the attention of customers, and it is no longer enough to create extraordinary and innovative messages. To achieve the greatest impact from marketing campaigns, we have to personalize communication with our key audiences, basing it on the tastes and preferences of each segment.
How do we help create personalized messages?
At Mabrian we know that data-driven decisions help define the messages with the greatest impact for each of the markets of origin. To do this, we use the analysis of the mentions shared on social networks or review platforms, in addition to information on spending patterns by category.
These sources provide us with valuable information about the interests and preferences of visitors when they are at our destination. From the extracted information we can identify the main reasons for coming to the destination for each market and based on this information create personalized messages with the most relevant information for each one. For a greater optimization of the messages, we also study search patterns to detect the ideal moment to launch a campaign.
A practical example:
The Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, OTCP, used Mabrian’s intelligence services to be able to plan the summer 2021 marketing campaign in the midst of a pandemic.
In 2021, when the pandemic was still a major challenge for tourist destinations, identifying source markets for a specific marketing campaign was essential. Spain and Italy were identified as the key markets to focus on, as the tier-one key markets of the USA and China were still strongly affected by restrictions.
The pandemic has completely changed travel habits, so relying on historical data to answer common questions (who are my home markets, how far in advance do we have to launch marketing campaigns, how long do they stay in the destination, what are their main reasons for coming, etc.) has not been possible.
In addition, since the restrictions to enter each different country were constantly changing, an agile methodology based on real-time data was needed to identify the best target markets.
Through the cross-analysis of multiple data sources (initial demand, interest in visiting the destination, air capacity, number of direct routes, spending data and length of stay) we were able to detect the target markets for the campaign. Additionally, the analysis helped identify source markets where additional action was required to stimulate demand and those that lacked ease of access.
Furthermore, ad-hoc target messages were identified for each key market based on the most mentioned tourism products on social media and spending categories. Due to the pandemic, the cultural product, which was the most mentioned in pre-pandemic periods, had lost its share. However, products related to gastronomy, family activities and outdoor activities were more relevant for the 2021 summer season.
In the words of this client:
“We needed a clear view of our market opportunities based on relevant data sets. Thanks to Mabrian’s user friendly tourism intelligence platform and the customer success team we were able to adjust our marketing strategy: identify which source markets to focus on, as well as what would be the best messages and the timing to reach each of them. This was done in a fast and agile way and based on real-time data in a complicated period due to the pandemic when historical data had lost relevance.”
Office du Tourisme et Congrès de Paris, September 2022