Market Segmentation: Who’s your Target?

It’s time to take advantage of the available data to get to know your target audience! Segmenting your market will give you the information you need to reach them all with relevant messaging both on traditional and on social, local and mobile media.

In this post we see three new destination marketing campaigns targeting specific market segments. So, based on your tourism product mix and brand positioning, whom is your destination marketing activity targeting? Is it for example the perfect match for the fabulous 40+, the LGBT market or the hip people?

Philly for LGBT Travelers

In 2004, Philadelphia broke ground with an advertising campaign aimed at LGBT travelers.

That campaign — “Get your history straight and your nightlife gay” — won accolades in the travel industry and generated business.

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp. has now introduced a follow-up campaign. A 30-second commercial spot, “Miss Richfield’s Selfie Tour,” follows the exploits of the character Miss Richfield 1981 as she snaps pictures of herself and friends at Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Rocky Steps and other sites. Miss Richfield is a flashy drag queen character created by Minnesota native Russ King.

Philly“Ten years ago, Philadelphia was proud to officially ‘come out’ as a gay-friendly destination when we invited LGBT travelers to visit,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of GPTMC. “With our new commercial, we’re going beyond our history roots and reiterating our invitation, celebrating both the city’s evolution into a premier destination and the LGBT community’s progress over the last decade.”

Starting next month, the commercial will air on the Bravo and Style networks in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. and on Logo TV nationally. It will also run on advocate.com, out.com and outtraveler.com. GPTMC says it’s only the third major campaign of this kind, behind Philadelphia’s own 2004 effort and a 2011 campaign done by Key West, Fla.

Destination D.C. is Cool- or is it?

Destination D.C., the city’s official convention and tourism corporation—has announced the “D.C. Cool.” campaign, aimed at luring visitors away from only seeing traditional tourism spots, like the National Mall, monuments and Smithsonian museums, and getting them to visit various other cultural landmarks and neighborhoods outside of downtown D.C. .

The campaign will launch in February, in order to coincide with an installation the Portrait Gallery is doing that month called “American Cool,” which will feature mostly black-and-white photos of American icons that define, well, cool: Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Miles Davis, which is where the organization got the idea from, according to Destination D.C. .

D.C Cool

The D.C. Cool campaign will also use Destination D.C.’s partnerships with Cultural D.C., the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, in order to introduce visitors to the the city’s vibrant nightlife and restaurant scene.

“So many people think of D.C. as big government, and money men, and serious history, and that’s all good. But there’s such a bigger piece to the city,” Maciejewski said. “D.C. Cool is all about getting them off the National Mall to experience the nightlife, and the neighborhoods, and the restaurants. To get a feel for the cool side of the city.”

The key pillars of D.C. Cool are the words “bold, original, unique, dramatic and inspiring.” The vibe the city is trying to portray is highlighted in a short video that attempts to embody cool: There’s deep-voiced narration that sounds suspiciously like Morgan Freeman, there’s the oh-so-trendy fish-eye camera shots, there’s jazz in the background.

While the campaign’s title may attract haters, since after a recent presentation about D.C. Cool to stakeholders and press not everyone was impressed, Destination D.C. is relying on the people of the city to tell visitors what’s cool, which is actually pretty cool.

Thailand:  The Health & Wellness Destination for the 40+

As part of its international “Find Your Fabulous” wellness and medical tourism campaign, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is unveiling a friendly global competition intended to salute ladies who are still fit and fabulous after their 40th birthdays.

The Fabulous 40+ Photo Contest invites women from around the world to submit images showing off their fabulous form, and the contestant showing the most youthful, age-defying appearance will be rewarded with an exclusive 3-day Find Your Fabulous trip to Bangkok.

Candidates become fans of ThailandMedTourism and the Find Your Fabulous campaign; then, they submit their most fabulous photos. The winners of the Fabulous 40+ Photo Contest will be determined by the number of “votes”. The one with the most votes will be the winner, followed by the first and second runners-up respectively. The winner will receive a 3-day/2-night exclusive health and beauty package for herself and one friend.

The TAT hopes that the Fabulous 40+ Photo Contest will further illuminate Thailand’s thriving medical & wellness industry and the wealth of top-quality, convenient, and affordable aesthetic treatments on offer for international tourists of all shapes and sizes.

Sources: Destination D.C.Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp.Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)www.bizjournals.com

LGBT Market Trends & Destination Marketing

As the global visibility of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community increases, there has a steady increase in interest in this community as a consumer group, a trend which is particularly evident in the travel industry.

A 2012 Global Tourism Report on LGBT Tourism published by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) shows that gay/bi men had taken an average of 3.9 trips in the past 12 months. With lesbian/bi women, that number was 3.3 trips.

As highlighted in an older post (see here), for destination marketing, caution is necessary against making assumptions about the LGBT market, with the international organizations publishing the aforementioned studies stating that the wedding market for this sector is a big driver, and that the LGBT sector appears to have bucked the recession trend, bringing higher-than-average spend to their holiday destinations. Generally savvy in digital media, LGBT travel is also influenced by social media and digital or actual word of mouth.

This year has also seen to major developments for the international LGBT community with the legalization of same sex marriage by several countries worldwide.

In April, New Zealand became the first country in the Asia Pacific to legalise same sex marriage and is now the 13th country to legalise gay marriage, after Uruguay passed its law earlier in the month, followed by France.

This comes in contrast with the latest news coming from Russia just a few days ago where Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law allegedly one of the most draconian anti-gay laws on the planet. The new law comes only seven months before Russia is to host the Winter Olympics in Sochi expecting visitors and visitors from around the world.

Meanwhile, several destinations have just launched dedicated tourism campaigns targeting the LGBT market. Here is a selection of the latest initiatives:

“Make History” in New Zealand

Tourism New Zealand launched a nationwide ‘Make History’ campaign in Australia this June, capitalising on the recent attention New Zealand gained by passing the Marriage Amendment Bill.

The tourism organisation is holding a competition offering the chance to be the first Australian same-sex couple to wed in New Zealand.

Make History

The new campaign has received significant attention from Australian media since the competition launched on Friday 21 June 2013.

The campaign is being conducted in partnership with the Star Observer, a weekly gay and lesbian community newspaper, with the competition winners set to be announced 15 July 2013. Prize includes return flights from Australia, accommodation, a special wedding ceremony and stylish reception.

According to the organization, the significant attention the change of legislation received in Australia has provided a great platform to further promote New Zealand as a wedding and honeymoon destination for anyone and everyone.

New York Loves LGBT

Since New York legalized gay marriage in 2011, there has been a continued push to promote the state as a same-sex wedding destination. With the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision striking down the Defense Of Marriage Act, the state is also highlighting the other big draw: same-sex marriage.

As New Yorkers celebrated pride weekend in the end of June, New York Governor Cuomo announced a new “I Love New York LGBT” tourism website- lgbt.iloveny.com. The new campaign invites LGBT travelers to explore why there is so much to love in New York State.

The site will help the LGBT community plan their New York State vacation by listing popular destinations while it also features a calendar of LGBT events and resources.

NY LGBT

The logo for the new campaign features the iconic ‘I Love NY’ logo with a rainbow-colored heart. The content is dedicated to the LGBT market segment while it also highlights the state’s long history with the LGBT community.

Sources: Tourism New Zealand, New York State Tourism, UNWTO, IGLTA.

Check out all the latest Tourism & Travel Trends here.

Who’s your Target? Destination Marketing & the LGBT Market

Identifying and selecting those market segments that have the best potential for the goals of the destination is certainly not possible without thorough knowledge of the needs, wants, and perceptions of the target market.

The LGBT market is generally considered an important contributor to tourism worldwide with an estimated annual economic impact of LGBT travelers of over US$65 billion per year in the U.S. alone. A report recently published by the UN World Tourism Association (UNTWO) in partnership with the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association found that destinations offering a tolerant culture were reaping the benefits of increased travel to – and spend by – gay travelers.

For destination marketing, the report also cautioned against making assumptions about this market, stating that the wedding market for this sector is a big driver, and that the LGBT sector appears to have bucked the recession trend, bringing higher-than-average spend to their holiday destinations. Generally savvy in digital media, LGBT travel is also influenced by social media and digital or actual word of mouth.

Destination marketing associations who were successfully attracting the LGBT market were working proactively at gay-targeted expos and fairs but were also aligned with equal rights organizations that promoted tolerance.

As June is pride month, it’s interesting to see how destinations and hotels have recently come out to attract gay tourism.

Win a Date with Stockholm

Stockholm has just launched a social media campaign targeting the LGBT Market called Win A Date With Stockholm.

The new social media campaign, Win A Date With Stockholm, is live online until June 30, 2012 at www.winadatewithstockholm.com and is organized by Stockholm Visitors Board, VisitSweden, SAS Scandinavian Airlines and the Stockholm Gay & Lesbian Network.

The campaign calls to ‘Discover the world’s ’Favourite LGBT-Friendly City’, fly with award-winning SAS Scandinavian Airlines and meet with a local Stockholm resident guide – to highlight some of the best of their own favourite things which the city has to offer.

Entrants choose between six guys or girls, depending on what most interests them, each being a Stockholm ambassador for a specific theme, such as Arts & Culture, Sports, Outdoor, Fashion & Design, Food & Flavours or Music & Nightlife.

Six men and six women represent their various favourite leisure themes in the city, and people can choose the person they want to meet based on the program they have tailored to their specific theme.

More info:  Win A Date With Stockholm

Marriott  “Be you, with Us”

Marriott International also announced this month a new marketing campaign aimed at LGBT travelers, friends and families – “Be You, With Us”.

The “Be You, With Us” campaign launches in celebration of Pride Season (often observed from June through September) in cities around the world that host gay pride parades and festivals to celebrate the LGBT community.

The campaign is filled with imagery and messages that welcome all guests to be themselves when staying with Marriott. The campaign comes to life through travel packages and amazing hotel experiences and culminates with a sweepstakes where one grand prize winner and guest will receive a trip valued at $5,000 to the 2013 New York, San Francisco or Berlin Gay Pride Festivals.

More infowww.marriott.com

“Stay Hilton. Go Out”

Stay Hilton. Go Out” was launched in early April, and offers special amenities and deals for LGBT travelers and friends of the community at more than 175 Hilton Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Grand Vacations properties worldwide.

Perks include: Reduced Room Rates, Double Hilton HHonors points, Late check-out (when available), Free High-Speed Internet, Free One-Year Digital Subscription to OUT ­ one of the world’s leading gay magazines.

More infowww.hilton.com/GoOut