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How Do We Persuade People to Travel

As a destination marketing agency, we work extensively in the tourism industry. Our client list is predominantly city, county, and state DMOs. Nearly a quarter of our employees have worked at DMOs. If it’s not already evident, we live and breathe travel. However, not everyone is like us. So, how do we persuade people to travel? 

Travel is not like other purchasing decisions. There are no “one-click” purchases delivered to consumers’ doorsteps overnight. There’s a lot more at stake (and higher costs) than buying some tchotchkes that inevitably get thrown away. In order to travel, consumers must be willing to put themselves through stressful logistics planning and invest a not insignificant percentage of their income to physically put themselves and their loved ones in sometimes unknown locations with strangers from potentially different cultures. Doesn’t sound so simple, does it? 

Fortunately, today’s consumers are craving real-world experiences. Weighed down by digital fatigue and pandemic induced periods of hunkering down at home, consumers want to explore new places and try new things. As part of their ongoing traveler research, U.S. Travel Association reports that since March 2022, the percentage of consumers with travel plans in the next six months has not dropped below 88% monthly traveler sentiment measurement

How can DMOs meet the moment and respond to consumers’ travel demands while navigating the intricate tourism industry and complex trip planning process? Madden approach to destination marketing can help DMOs craft campaigns that generate visitation and compel people to pick their destination out of their thousands of choices. 

Don’t Cast a Wide Net

Consumers are not a monolith. There are some people in the world who don’t like hot weather or sand and won’t spend their money on a beach vacation. At the same time, there are some people who find luxury resorts boring, sterile, and overpriced, and would much rather sleep in a tent. Depending on the characteristics of your destination, certain travelers will be more inclined to visit than others. It’s important to lean into your strengths and focus on targeting the travelers most likely to visit with your messaging. 

We analyze data to determine which markets contribute to a destination’s highest Length of Stay (LOS), visitor spend, and average daily rate (ADR). We pair this data with anonymized mobile device point of interest data and Google Analytics to understand the destination’s value propositions—WHY people visit. These insights inform the creation of target audiences defined by geographic location and traveler interests, which guides our media targeting strategy. 

Mapping Media Against the Traveler’s Journey

The industry’s “marketing funnel” is no longer perfectly linear. Fueled by changes to our industry and evolution in the media landscape, travelers gain inspiration close to traveling, and also book their trips farther out. Instead of a linear ladder to conversion, the Traveler’s Journey looks more like a jungle gym. 

How Do We Persuade People to Travel

This disjointed nature of decision making reinforces the need for DMOs to create an integrated brand ecosystem with paid, owned, and earned media working in unison. This understanding informs our media strategy—creating holistic brand touch points with tactics to inspire travelers to book their trip. 

New Creative Perspective on DMO Storytelling

Creative is the primary way a DMO’s stakeholders (including visitors, potential visitors, and residents) will engage with its brand. When working with a DMO, we look to provide a new perspective on creative assets so our client can differentiate itself from its competitors. We inject our insights and provide a strategic direction through campaign concepts, including imagery and messaging across all relevant and appropriate channels.

Madden has built its legacy of creating inspiring assets for DMOs, helping drive visitation and increase resident sentiment. Our creative team will use the ingredients from research and follow the recipe of our strategy to craft creative assets for print, broadcast, and digital advertisements. We then measure how effective those advertisements improve brand perception and increase conversion likelihood.

Travel Matters 

Madden Media lives and breathes destination marketing because when it’s done right, it’s the perfect blend of style and substance. Our agency is centered around our core values, collective impact, representative storytelling, and destination stewardship, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it matters to travelers. 

The above approach isn’t enough to convince people to travel if they don’t feel like the story the DMO is telling is not grounded in a larger purpose. That’s why we work hand-in-hand with DMOs to ensure our approach is imbued with their destination’s essence and tells the bigger story of the impact travel has on communities. 

Reach out today to drive travelers to your destination