A traveler starts getting the itch to visit a new destination. He begins to picture a tropical locale, asks friends for recommendations, and starts doing some research. After exploring options, he books a flight, reserves a room and makes dinner reservations at local hotspots. Before he even packs his bags and boards his flight, he’s already taken a lengthy journey – and it’s not over yet.
In the marketing world, we call this the customer journey, and it’s made up of the stages a consumer passes through on his way to becoming a customer.
Stages of the Customer Journey
Although there are many versions of the customer journey, here are the most commonly accepted stages:
- Awareness: The traveler is aware of your destination.
- Consideration: The traveler is considering your destination.
- Conversion: The traveler decides to visit your destination.
- Advocacy: The traveler shares his experience with others.
At any given moment, there are hundreds of thousands of potential travelers at different points in this journey.
Each step the traveler takes in the client journey comes with its own unique questions, challenges and concerns – and should be approached using different marketing tactics. The one-note marketing strategies of the past are no longer effective. Developing a comprehensive tourism media strategy requires you to think about every step along the way.
For example, a broad reaching banner ad is a smart choice for targeting travelers in the Awareness Stage. It’s a go-to tactic for generating reach within specific audience segments on Morgan & Co. plans for clients like Visit Baton Rouge. As travelers move along in their planning journey, marketing becomes more and more specific. From the banner ad, their research may take them to sponsored content associated with their specific interests.
Here we employ tactics and content placement in the form of articles, videos and even sample itineraries. For the Louisiana Office of Tourism, our planning team enlists the services of direct publishers who have the ability to create more unique content that easily captures and engages travelers in the Consideration and Conversion Stages. Publishers like Afar, Smithsonian, influencers and video creators are included in the mix.
Just as your marketing tactics should speak to travelers at different stages in their journey, a traveler’s interaction with media can tell you just as much about where they are in their journey.
By examining metrics associated with a media placement targeting travelers in different stages of their journey, a destination can begin to estimate the number of potential customers with an interest in visiting, compared to those who are further along in the journey with an intent to visit.
If navigating the customer journey has you feeling lost, the team at Morgan & Co. can show you the way. We’ve developed comprehensive strategies for clients like the Louisiana Office of Tourism, Visit Baton Rouge and Hotel Monteleone that speak to travelers every step of the way. Email us. We’d love to be your guide.