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You need to research to understand the mindset of your new market
In May 2020 Bookster was invited to participate in the webinar by BookingPal.
The topic was to discuss marketing to domestic travellers, with a particular focus on recovering from COVID-19.
Thank you to all the team at BookingPal for arranging and managing a very professional webinar.
The presenters were from across the globe, from Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe.
They represented a cross-section of experts from property managers, marketing directors, and associations, each with insight into the strategies to move forward.
To listen to the webinar, please follow the link https://lnkd.in/gzDdtMr, with the password Bookingpal1!
Bookster answered 3 questions, which have been detailed below.
"When addressing fear I would recommend breaking down the task into 3 parts.
1. Understand the fear
2. Address the fear
3. Communicate the solution
There are many different fears that guests may have. Each of these fears may vary in intensity depending on the guest, who they are travelling with, their experience, health and history.
It way also depend on the location of the property, if it is in an area highly affected by COVID-19, rural or in a city.
Once you have identified what fears your guests may have, you can start to identify what will reassure them.
This could be through providing services in your property, undertaking extra activities, providing extra information, or adding new features.
This list could include (but is not limited to):
Consider every touchpoint you have when you communicate with your guests both before and after they rent your property.
Reinforce your message at each point to reassure your guests of your stance.
A recommendation to anyone when changing markets is to thoroughly understand the new market.
To do this, you need to research to understand the mindset of your new market:
This research will provide a foundation to understanding what makes your guest tick. This knowledge will help with every aspect of tailoring your marketing.
It will help you when you want to make a decision on:
Some use personas to help understand the customers. They can help provide a guide on the sort of questions to ask when researching your new market.
There are lots of persona templates on the internet, we particularly like the examples in Hubspot. They don't have to be super complicated.
If you already have personas completed, then remember to review these personas regularly, especially now.
Opinions, fears, and concerns have changed dramatically in the last few months, and this will affect their decision-making processes.
"There is no single channel that attracts all domestic travellers.
The domestic travellers that visit you will depend on your property.
The channels that best suit you can only be discovered with individual research to:
Domestic travellers is an umbrella term for many different markets, all who are travelling domestically.
eg single women, yoga groups, families with small children, couples no children etc"
Couples or families, singles or families with older children? Each group may use a different channel to search and book.
Each of these guest types may use different channels to research and book.
There are new types of channels which have been emerging over recent years:
You may see that there are groups of guests that are suited to your property, that haven't been coming. You should also research this group to find ways to attract them.
There may be a difference between people who travelled domestically before COVID and those who are travelling now.
Pre COVID domestic travellers: already have knowledge and expectations of domestic travel.
Post COVID domestic travellers: don't normally travel domestically, but have had to change their plans. They may have different experiences and expectations than those who usually travel domestically.
There are likely to be changes that we are unlikely to see and understand for a period of time.
Some travellers may drift to larger channels for the protection of their insurance/cancellation, and perceived professionalism. Others may actively seek specialist channels to support their needs.
Some travellers may have lost deposits or their full holiday, and this may cause them to change how they normally book and search for more flexible cancellation policies.
Others may have had their deposits and payments refunded, which will reaffirm their commitment to using that channel, as they felt they were protected.
The key is to research and be flexible to analyse what is going well, and what is not, and change tack and try new techniques."
Throughout the event we covered why marketing to domestic travellers will be key to your COVID-19 Recovery plan.
Domestic travellers will play an ever-important role in attracting guests to holiday rentals in the future, even once COVID has passed.
This guidance will be key to growing self-catering businesses revenue.