Ready, set…May 25th
It seems like we are all collectively holding our breath until May 25th, when we anticipate this BC Circuit Breaker to end and travel restrictions to loosen. No one is more anxious for and deserving of a break than those of us in (and affected by) the tourism and hospitality business.
To help, we thought we would share some of our thinking to help you regain as much revenue as quickly as you can. With this in mind, here are four easy wins to build business.
Start with the low-hanging fruit — your current or past customers.
Your customers should know you, trust you and have already travelled down the path to purchase. So, let’s get them to repurchase.
We already know who they are in multiple ways. First, you ought to have a permission-based email database, and so you can reach them directly. If you don’t have permission to contact email addresses directly, we can use “email anonymizing” to reverse engineer the email addresses you have to find the customer’s IP address. From there, we can serve up ads on the websites they visit and the social media channels they engage with.
The second part of this is improving your closing ratio with the leads you are getting from active or passive methods. They are coming to your website but not converting. If you don’t have a retargeting pixel installed on your website, do it now. We can identify those that come to your website but don’t purchase. These are hot prospects, and we shouldn’t give up on them. You should follow that prospect around online for a few weeks delivering your brand message or even a tactical offer that tells them why they should book/buy with you now.
The other part of improving your closing ratio – probably the precursor to retargeting—is making sure your site is designed to convert—easy one-click to purchase. Video rich, providing all the logical and emotional triggers to purchase.
Reach those in-market who are planning their trip/excursion.
The days of yelling “road trip” and everyone piling in a car are gone for now. Travel takes some planning, even if within your health region. Hotels need to be found, things to do investigated, and all this leaves a digital trail that we can follow to the prospective customer. Many of us are already doing this with SEO and Google search, but you may be doing it based on old-world search terms. We noticed in March 2020 that the barely used search term “Vancouver Island road trip” went from an obscure search term to one of the top terms in a matter of days.
Place yourself in the mind of today’s consumer. Looking for safe travel, outdoor activities (that are allowed under our restrictions and meet the consumer’s risk tolerance).
Leverage mobile beacon technology.
Come May 25th, we will be presented with a universe of potential customers who are here or on their way here, depending on travel restrictions. Once consumers are in the market (this applies to residents), let’s bring as many as possible to our businesses.
Beacon targeting (our ability to place and connect to a phone within meters of a specified location) has opened a world of marketing opportunities. We can target phones in visitor information centers, in an airport, on a ferry or even at a competitor’s location.
We can use this technology to deliver highly targeted messages to the mobile device and the computer linked to it. You can also apply a variety of other filters to make sure you are reaching the prospects that match your target profile.
With this technology, we can take the reporting beyond how many people clicked on an ad, visited your site, and determine whether they physically visited your location and didn’t just move on to the next. These are called verified visits.
This conquest targeting is being applied in many consumer categories already and is highly successful.
Our overall goal should be to maximize the value and economic contribution of every visitor we can.
We’ve been working with our clients and have been ready for a while. The wonderful thing about digital marketing is that it can be turned on and off on the same day. It is easily redeployed and is iteratively and consistently improving its performance based on daily learnings.
Whatever you do. Do it now. Make a plan. Develop your assets and be ready, set to win.