In our modern fast-paced lives we are bombarded with advertisements, information and pitches all the time. In our daily life we will see billboards, mail pitches, television ads, radio ads, phone ads, internet search ads, email ads and ads on our favorite websites, all trying to get us to buy into their product, service, or idea. With so much advertising going on 24/7, it can be easy to assume that customers have just gotten numb. However, there are ways of seeing phenomenal growth and one of those tactics has been found in emotional marketing in the travel industry.
Emotional marketing is certainly nothing new. Anytime you have ever seen an ad for an animal shelter, you have been targeted with an emotional advertisement. Emotional marketing in the travel industry is becoming a more positive phenomenon as the emotional marketing is not designed to pull heartstrings but to inspire. So what are some of these innovative emotional marketing techniques and how can you use them?
Just like any advertising or marketing campaign, it begins with gathering significant amounts of data about the relative demographics that you are intending to target. Working in the travel industry makes gathering travel customer data much easier. If an individual has traveled with your company before, then you already know significant bits and important pieces of information such as their name, where they went, and perhaps – if you were the chosen travel agent or travel agency – some of the things that they did there while they traveled. Why would you know these things? Because you were likely the individual who set them up.
Being able to use and leverage this travel customer data can be a phenomenally powerful market tool. Individuals often like to group themselves into different types of demographics. Some individuals love travel for the sake of adventure, while others enjoy it for business or more leisurely aspects. Getting accurate relevant information on your targeted demographics is crucial for being able to make an effective emotional marketing campaign. This is not to say that you are attempting to manipulate an individual but rather that you are trying to convey an emotional benefit to them and do something that you know they will enjoy and will make them feel better, too.
If you are working in the travel industry as a travel agent, then it is your primary responsibility to ensure that your clients are happy and enjoy themselves. If you know of a great trip that your client would absolutely love, then it would be almost irresponsible for you not to market that to the individual.
Using social media
Using social media is another way to be able to research and gather information on potential clients or demographics for whom you desire to provide a service. What is very nice about using social media is that people have already liked, commented, or clustered themselves into online communities which makes it then easy to target and identify them. If you see a fan page for Mexico spring break with thousands of users from your area, then there is definitely a market there for your emotional marketing technique to approach using targeted Facebook or email advertisements.
You already know these are individuals who love spring break in Mexico, so all you have to do is craft a dream trip within the economic price range of the majority of those on the page and you will be quite surprised at the response. However, emotional marketing is not just about identifying an individual’s likes and then catering to that person with a traditional sales pitch. You are trying to make your primary emphasis the happiness of the individual and selling to him or her with the promise of emotional fulfillment. This means that you cannot simply use a pitch and good pricing alone; there is a need for a personal connection and this is where the true strength of emotional marketing lies.
The emotional connection
The emotional connection is often formed by exceptional customer service. If you have already worked with individuals or a group before, then you know the most important thing is not the pricing or the trip itself but the emotional connection they have with their travel agent and with their experiences while on vacation. Does this travel agent care about them as individuals? Did they care about them as people? Or did they care about them as the bottom line? People want to know that they are cared for and in good hands.
Customer service is not just about the mechanics of sending individuals on a trip and ensuring that everything is booked correctly; it is also about the hands-on approach of letting that individual know that you have their best interests in mind just as they do. The emotional connection is a requirement for successful use of emotional marketing.
EasyJet recently leveraged emotional marketing to an exceptional degree when they sent out an email campaign. However, instead of the traditional great fairs and sales pitch pricing, they included stories of individuals who had flown with them before. Getting to read the experiences and stories of individuals, both those who had flown for the first time and individuals who have flown with them hundreds of times, struck a chord and Easyjet saw a far greater return on that email solicitation than they had had with similar advertisements in the past that lacked this emotional connection.
Individuals who read about inspiring stories or places where they want to go can make a difference, so this was a great way of touching hearts. Emotional marketing can even look like humanitarian tourism where individuals who have a desire to help people can work with travel agents with a desire to help get them there.
So if you are a travel agent, or working in a travel agency, then doing proper research, bringing the human connection to your clients and learning how to convey positive emotional well-being to them can all become effective tools for your emotional marketing in the travel industry in 2017.