Published: 11 March 2014 Of course effective targeting is key to any successful marketing, but it is absolutely essential in travel. For the travel purchasing experience to be seamless and sufficiently dynamic, it has to be totally tailored at every touch point a customer has with your business. You should be gathering insights on your existing customer base at every opportunity. Combine those with general data insights about relevant types of traveller and use them to drive your marketing. Effective targeting draws in interested customers and engages prospects. This raises your chances of selling to new customers and increasing the value of sales to existing customers.

Who is your target audience?
Use your existing data to define your core target groups. In travel – even with a specialist offering such as, for example, luxury family skiing, there are usually three core groups that buy your product. They will probably share key characteristics – like income bracket, general travel patterns etc, but what appeals to them specifically will vary. So taking the example of a luxury family skiing company; the three groups that would tend to show most interest in their holidays would be: mothers of young children looking for a holiday that actually feels like a holiday with young children, dads who love skiing and are trying to find a way of making it work with young children and grandparents for whom the ski holiday is a family tradition and who now have the means to treat the family.

These groups all need targeting in different ways in order to draw them in to purchase. Looking at a more generalist travel company - a business traveller needs different touch points from your marketing than a young holidaymaker. Analyse your data, create personas for your different target groups and tailor marketing accordingly.

Know the cultural background of your customers
If you are selling your travel product internationally, the more intricate rules of web psychology come into play even more as regards your digital offering.  Each culture buys differently on and offline and how you target needs to reflect your understanding of those cultural differences. Marketing a luxury holiday in Scandinavia where men and women are absolutely equal purchasers will be very different from marketing a holiday in Japan where men are still the key purchasers. This localisation to marketing will ensure you create effective campaigns that are sensitive to the audience’s needs. 

How do you speak to your target audience?
According to research recently conducted by IPSOS, more people than ever will be booking holiday gifts online than ever before – conducting their research across multiple channels first. With more than 49% booking their travels online ( and an average of 148.3 million bookings made on the Internet each year (, the digital content you deliver and how you disseminate it is crucial. Provide useful information for each sector/persona. Make sure you ‘close’ every potential exit route from buying travel from you.  Think what will make them drift elsewhere at crucial stages in the purchase process. Is your site easy to use and clear? Do you have different versions of the site properly tailored to different territories? Are your social feeds properly monitored? Twitter is an increasingly popular first port of call for customer service queries. Make sure you are totally responsive. Not only is your target audience online, they are also going mobile, making enquiries and bookings on the go. At least 40% of online traffic related to travel queries is from mobiles and tablets (HeBS Digital). Although, tablets are preferred for making the bookings (with evenings being the most popular time) and mobiles more for on the move research. Therefore, to increase engagement with the target audience, engage with them on their terms: online, through user friendly appealing websites and accessibility through mobile devices.

Targeting your audience sensitively and accurately is key to increasing sales. Ensuring you have the right means/software in place to gather detailed insights about visitors to your site, actual customers and about their experiences of dealing and travelling with you is key. Knowing who your audience are, how they behave and how to reach them increases customer engagement and drives increases in conversions and revenue.

Intelligent Digital Marketing for Travel companies: Focus on the customer
Sagittarius is holding the first of a series of events on the 26th March 2014 designed to help increase conversions and customer engagement through intelligent digital marketing. This event is aimed at anyone with the remit of improving results from digital marketing within Travel. The aim is for delegates to leave the event with a greater understanding of how to maximise the benefits of a cohesive digital marketing strategy for your business. The event will also address some of the top challenges travel marketers face in the current climate and look at ways to overcome them.

If you would like to attend this event, please register your details here:

Sagittarius Marketing are experts in providing digital marketing solutions to global brands. If you would like to talk to us about your specific requirements, please do not hesitate to call us on: 01233 467 800 or email:

Paul Stephen

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