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Understanding your customers is fundamental to planning and delivering any marketing activity. It will dictate your messaging, when best to communicate, and most importantly how best to communicate with your customers.

By grouping customers together by type, such as families or couples, you can craft bespoke messages for each target audience. This will allow you to enthuse exactly the kind of audience that's best suited to your business offering.

1. How to define your target audience

Research will allow you a better understanding of our key markets, different types of visitors, and their interests. This information can be useful to help shape your marketing strategy.

There are a few key things to think about when defining your target audience. Remember to keep it simple. You don’t need to delve deeply into demographics and behavioural research.

A great starting point is your current customer database. It will give you an idea about your current customer demographics.

What to look out for in drafting a target audience

  • Customer demographics

    Use knowledge about your current customers to identify similarities between them. You may even have a customer database to help you.

    • where do your customers live?

    • what age bracket do they fall into?

    • do they travel as a family, couple, groups or solo travellers?

    You can also make use of monitoring and insights tools on social media channels to track your website traffic and social media audience.

    Use Google Analytics to track users on your website.

  • Consumer behaviours

    How do your customers book? Are they booking directly with you, through an online travel agent or with another third party?

    Use Google Analytics to track referral traffic to your website.

    Check your social media activity and determine what content works and leads to strong engagement. Think of lots of likes, positive comments and shares.

    You will be able to build a picture of:

    • the channels that your customers use
    • how they access information
    • what inspires them
  • Competitor analysis

    It is always useful to carry out regular competitor analysis. This lets you understand what others are doing in the marketplace.

    • follow competitor social media channels to get an idea of what they are posting and how their posts are performing
    • keep an eye on other marketing such as print media, travel partners and other digital partners
    • check what your competitors are doing on OTA (Online Travel Agent) sites and where they appear in Google rankings

    Understanding what your competitors are doing gives you the chance to identify gaps in the market. Use this to develop your product and messaging accordingly.

  • Your product

    Think about your product:

    • what is unique about it?
    • what do you want to tell people about it?
    • what are your key selling points?
    • how do your key selling points link back to what you have identified as inspiring your target audience?

2. How to find out more about your target audience

Research will allow you a better understanding of our key markets, different types of visitors, and their interests.

Once you have completed your audience research, it’s time to take all that information and build up a profile of who they are. For example, you could establish the following for the majority of your customers:

  • is the majority based in a certain location?

  • does the majority have the same or similar relationship status?

  • is the majority of the same age group?

  • does the majority mainly book directly with you or via an online travel agent?

  • is the majority regularly visiting your social media pages too?

Building up your customer profile allows you to tailor your marketing activities to resonate with this audience.

3. Build a story around your audience

Once you have started to develop a profile of your audience, the next step is to build a story around them. This means talking to your audience. Ask them about your product in a way that you know will interest and inspire them.

Develop your messaging using your customer demographics, website, social media and competitor analytics.

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