Travel marketers often work the lowest conversion online rates of any industry. That may not be news, but it becomes all the more critical when the audience that you’re trying to target moves from one type of channel to the next, with more data given at each stage of the buying process, and you and your competition are struggling to keep up.
Tnooz staff writer Linda Fox recently explored this phenomenon, where marketers know the importance of familiarity with the customer journey over different media and touch points, but not figuring out how to implement it most effectively.
Most of the focus appears to be in social media, digital and email marketing, with mobile becoming more prominent. While the former three are still the biggest conversion makers, the most pressing concern for marketers overall is mapping out the process their customers would mostly likely go through. Tracking the results and interaction with their audiences also becomes a problem. Only 35% of companies surveyed through a study from Expedia revealed that travel companies keep this line of communication open.
How can you, as an adventure travel marketer, effectively map out your typical customers’ journey? You simply need to start with the basics, especially if you have a vague idea on where to start.
First, you want to start with one customer, not a whole crowd. Try to make this person as real as possible, like he or she exists as much as your family and friends. Give this individual a name to make them even more personal to you.
Second, think about where this person is going to hear about you the most and where you think they will take the most likely action. Does your lead generation come mostly from social media, emails or a more traditional mode like direct mail? Do a lot of them come from mobile sources, as many leads do lately? How are they responding to your blog posts or landing pages? Check your analytics and find out where people are coming to your site.
Finally, you’ll want to think of that buyers path itself. I once learned it as the architecture of persuasion, and it’s referenced with various other names. Basically, you want to take your potential customers through an irresistible promise by appealing to their emotions and painting a picture they can imagine themselves in. You want counter their skepticism with credibility and a track record in the form of endorsements and testimonials. You want to give a good strong close at the end with a call-to-action. Lastly, you want to weave the one big idea throughout the whole promotion.
The customer journey appears simple, but it’s deceptively so. Even though I’ve broken it down into three steps, each of these has its own moving parts, all of which can go wrong at any point. But if you take great care and thought into this process, you’ll find that mapping out your customers’ journey can not only be helpful, it might also be a little fun in the process.
How have you helped your prospects and customers along on their buying journey? Share your thoughts below!