28/11/2016

Basics of Positioning a Travel & Tourism Product or Service

Author: Martina Lucić Čanak - Date: 28/11/2016

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Today everybody wants to have a successful brand – weather we talk about personal one or about a brand of a specific tourism product or service. During the branding process you might feel like in an enormous labyrinth wandering if your next step will guide you to the result. As soon as you become aware all your business processes firmly fit to each other including all your marketing and PR, ie. communication activities, you will be on the right way to so wished success. After you have produced your new tourism product or service and you like it so much, and aslo you do not have any doubt that your target customers will like it in a same way, still you have to make first steps and start positioning it in order to start making sales.

Our experience has shown that for quality positioning of a certain tourism product or service on a new market using B2C and B2B communication channels it’s necessary to invest from at least 6 months to 1 year of continuous everyday activities in order to potential customers perceive the new tourism product or service. This time frame understands that we have already developed a marketing and communication plan, and that we know and understand the market we were targeting. Remember, success is possible for everyone, but there is no shortcut and an overnight success.

 

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What is the most Relevant Information about Your Tourism Product or Service?

The content brands are creating today is very diverse, and finding innovative ways in order to strengthen your presence and to position your travel product or service through an unified story in a world of social, online, offline is challenging, but also crucial if you want to reach new audience and get a third party credibility.
I’m sure that you, as we all do, have special feelings about attracting quality leads and the revenue. But are you aware that those activities belong to the late phase of a buying cycle, and usually are assigned to a marketing and sales persons or departments? Do you really know what is happening in earlier stages when the awareness is created, or when your brand becomes visible? How much are you aware of the moment your potential customer or guest have contacted you, sent you a request or already bought your product or service and the fact that their decision has been made sometimes earlier? In other words they bypassed your competition and choose you.
Weather you brand will be „the winner“ or not, after the potential customer or guest is done with the exploring phase, depends on how easy are relevant information available about you product or service.

 

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Plan Your Communication on Long Term

At least once in a lifetime we all heard: „Failing to plan is planning to fail“. Take some time and think about what exactly you would like to communicate as well as about your ways of communication. Don’t just wait that news „happens“ to you in order to start the communication around your brand, your product or service. Creating and distributing relevant content weeks or months before, for example the main event or the main season, will emphasise your professionalism and get you the competitive advantage.

 

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Know where Your Audience is

Making a research where and what type of content your customers consume is of the great importance for you communication plan. All the information your PR team does not perceive as important enough to be sent to top media is still of a great importance for your target customers. „Small“ media are in constant search for the quality and relevant content as well as so called „big players“, and while creating a relationship where you will target your niche segment, it will be one of your advantages. If you also use the ability to adopt your content with a communication style your target media has, you will get better chances for even more visibility.

 

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Engage influencers with same values your brand has

I’m sure you have noticed that all of us become fed up with so called mainstream news, and that we will gladly hear, see or read someone’s recommendation for a specific product or service. Thinking about having a quality relationship and communication with those who have a big audience around themselves, ie. influencers in a specific niche you can efficiently find your way to a wider market. The obvious reason for that is – messages we get by a recommendation where someone describes its experience and emotions always comes easier to us and have a bigger impact.

 

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Analyse results

When doing any kind of analysis it is important to know which exactly segments do you want to follow, and what do you want to accomplish with those results. Three things you should consider when analyse:

  • Quality of your message – Is your story enough irresistible to be distinguished?
  • Timing – Did your competition released a campaign at the same time as you did and targeted the same media?
  • Other events – Did other popular themes draw an attention from your audience?

To sum up, all the conclusions you get while analysing it’s important to put in a certain context, and regarding to that you should adjust your further strategy, and plan your future in order to get better results.

 

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Let Your Guests do some work for You

At the end we can say that one of the crucial things in positioning your tourism product or service is the quality of the message and its planned placement through an on line space, because search engines are the places where your potential customers or guests will go and search for the solution of their problem. At that very moment you have the possibility to reach new audience and become more recognisable. The same audience will be happy if they’ve found the solution, and in most cases they will share it within their own social network, as it is in a human nature that people like to talk loud about beautiful things, and tourism product or service is a beautiful thing. In that way they will unconsciously have an influence on positioning your tourism product or service within search results what will lead you firstly to higher rank on search engines, and your brand will earn bigger credibility.

 

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If your target market does not perceive wished image, the image does not exist. If your target market does not believe in what your tourism product emphasizes as a benefit, this is not a benefit. If they do not believe that benefit can be delivered, your promises are useless. If benefit is not important to a target market, it’s not important at all. If that same benefit is not perceived as different, as the one that wholly satisfies specific customer’s/guest’s needs, you didn’t managed to distinguish if compared to others. But remember, while positioning your tourism product or service you want to dominate, not to compete with others. If you compete, you are not able to be creative. As early as possible become aware and learn how to dominate within your niche, as the situation on the market will not change if you do not change your way of thinking.

Look on a success within positioning as on a garden. In a garden you always have to do something: trim, mow, weed out, groom, dig, plant…. If you do not do all if that, weeds will take over the garden, and all plants and grass will fade away.

Do you need to position your tourism product or service on a specific market? Get in touch with us!

Photo credits: Slawa Bowman, Alejandro Escamilla , Gaele Marcel, Mantas Hesthaven, Ian Schneider, Robert Lukeman, Hope House Press – Unsplash