Travel industry can benefit from more tailored marketing strategies

16 November 2021 3 min. read

A pair of digital and travel industry experts from Bain & Company have identified five traveller archetypes, suggesting that travel companies should tailor their marketing strategies accordingly.

As the world continues to open up to international travel, two partners from global strategy consulting firm Bain & Company – Karim Henain of Bain’s Middle East office and Emanuele Veratti in Milan – have written of the possible 28 percent increase in travel advertising spend this year, but suggest that industry stakeholders operating in the different segments of the travel market are best advised to tailor their marketing strategies. 

Writing in a Bain & Company insight, Henain and Veratti argue that the various travel operators, such as airlines, cruise-liners and transport companies together with travel intermediaries, have missed opportunities in the past to capture customers by relying on a “one-size-fits-all” offering, with their digital marketing assets being inefficiently deployed. 

Traveller Archetypes

The experts outline the five archetypal travellers identified, with ‘High rollers’ heading the pack. This group of travellers is more likely to travel long distances and spend above average sums during their time away, with close to a quarter of the cohort burning through €1,000 to €2,500 per trip. 

Meanwhile, ‘Voracious travellers’ tend to be of the younger, digitally-savvy consumer-type who seek out the best accommodations, experiences, and services – requiring operators to lift their game in delivering seamless user experiences. 

The three remaining categories are ‘Comf-trotters’, ‘Sports enthusiasts’, and ‘Lazy voyagers’, the latter who tend to be older and spend less than €250 per trip, preferring to stay in rental homestays. Quite the opposite, ‘sports enthusiasts’ seek out physical activity and prioritise a healthy lifestyle, while ‘comf-trotters’ are the classic high-end vacationers, primarily interested in relaxing locations and luxury accommodations of the 4-to-5-star hotel variety.

Travels long distances, spends heavily, and frequently uses digital tools

Tailoring strategies 

Understanding these divisions, say the Bain & Company partners, can better help travel-related companies tailor their marketing strategies to consumer preferences. Here, the consultants point to a Google survey of almost 2,000 travellers which found that the different consumer segments shared specific preferences when it came to destinations, accommodation, and transportation among other areas, as well as all having varying budgets. 

Digging deeper into the data shows that High Rollers for example – who hold a 14 percent market share – are almost 80 percent more likely to travel to multiple destinations as compared to the average traveller, and 37 percent more likely to fly, with a preference for exotic locations and discovery and little care for all-inclusive packages. Comf-travellers meanwhile want someone else to plan their trip, ranking all-inclusivity as a top priority.

To differentiate themselves and stand out from the crowd in a post-pandemic world hungry for travel, companies can employ a hyper segmentation approach and customising strategies for each of the traveller archetypes, using digital tools and ad hoc techniques such as dynamic pricing, tailored value propositions, and personalised customer experiences. In addition, the targeted marketing strategy will serve to maximise a return on investment.