OK, you’ve gotten everything on your site optimized. Your social media marketing plan is humming along. The email marketing is all set to go. You even understand how to use Big Data (cool beans).
But have you remembered the most important factor in your travel marketing…the prospect?
In this frenetic era of ever-changing online marketing rules and SEO changes, it’s not surprising that some companies have forgotten about what appeals to their audience…the ones they want to convert into buying customers.
The author, Michael Brenner, relates a story where he and his daughter watch a really awful commercial, which then leads to a discussion about what’s wrong with a lot of advertising out there. Brenner provides plenty of eyebrow-raising numbers to prove his point and deducts that emphasizing content, where storytelling is highlighted, will improve most marketing campaigns.
Here’s the nugget of their surprisingly sophisticated interaction (I’m not sure how old Brenner’s daughter is, but I think she’s more insightful than some CMO’s):
I told her that too often we create marketing that we think will make the people inside the business happy instead of what will make the customers happy. She pointed out that if it stinks, it won’t make the business people happy and eventually things will get better.
How true – so what can your do to create marketing that will resonate with your target demographic?
Through my copywriting education and training, I’ve learned that the prospect is the most important element in the marketing process is the prospect. One elegant strategy to reach this special person is to create a core buying complex, as it relates to your product or service. This will, in turn, help you develop better marketing strategies and material.
Now, that sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. The complex consists of three parts (courtesy of Mark Ford, aka Michael Masterson):
- Beliefs: what do your prospects hold near and dear to their hearts?
- Feelings: what are their feelings, what really hits them in the gut?
- Desires: what do they really, really want?
These three elements are then woven together to create a picture of your prospect’s buying attitude, which can then show you how to approach your marketing.
So let’s use this practical adventure travel example to illustrate:
You provide luxury cycling trips to California’s Wine Country. Your ideal prospect is a professional middle-aged adult, college-educated, physically healthy and in the upper-middle socio-economic bracket. She loves fine dining and would love to know about wine. Finally, she would love to have a romantic but active getaway with her husband.
Here’s what her core complex might look like…
- Beliefs: We’ve worked hard to be successful, so we should reward ourselves with a great getaway. Since we both love food and wine, the Wine Country would be one of the best places to go.
- Feelings: We’ve both been really stressed out lately – work, kids, etc. I’m also more grumpy than usual, and feeling more tired.
- Desires: I really want to reconnect with John now. I also want to feel good and get exercise outside.
From these answers, you can then create copy and a marketing campaign that really pushes the buttons of your prospects and leaves them more open to your message.
Remember to include elements of the core complex throughout your ads. A big no-no here is to start off with it, then drop it in favor of static feature-laden copy. You want to show that you’re there for them, helping them solve their problem or alleviate their negative feelings. You do that by reinforcing you understand where they’re coming from.
What can you do today to show you really understand your audience?