5 ways travel and tourism brands can market to the Hispanic traveler

September 25, 2012

Hispanics like to bring their families on business trips.

Travel Market Report recently interviewed Kelly McDonald, author of How to Market to People Not Like You on catering to the Hispanic traveler.

Although originally addressed to travel agents, Kelly’s recommendations are good advice for any travel and tourism marketer.

To understand why you should market to Hispanics, just look at the numbers

  • According to the 2010 census, Hispanics are now the largest minority group in the U.S.
  • There are 50 million Hispanics living in the U.S. and 1 in 4 of Americans under 18 are Hispanic.
  • The Hispanic population grew by 43% from 2000-2010, and accounted for 56% of the population growth in the U.S.

Here are 5 recommendations from Kelly on how travel and tourism marketers can help attract Hispanic travelers:

1. Make it operationally easy for Spanish-speaking guests to deal with your brand

  • Present a Spanish-language option for your website, even if it’s just FAQs.
  • Do the same for your phone answering system.
  • Many Hispanics are in service industries so they work late hours. Consider extending your hours to 8 pm on weekdays and opening on weekends.

2. Speak Spanish

  • This seems obvious, but what you may not know is that many English-speaking Hispanics prefer to speak in Spanish if the choice is given to them.
  • Make sure you have at least one Spanish-speaking reservations or information agent on staff. It’s important, too that they have good travel expertise and service skills.

3.  Develop expertise in what the Hispanic market wants and needs

  • Hispanics often bring family members on business trips, so cater to spouses and kid of the Hispanic business traveler.
  • Other trends in Hispanic travel include extended family and multigenerational travel and a love of shopping. Understand them and cater to them.
  • You can also cater your menu and service offerings to Hispanics. The Westin Hotel in San Antonio serves Mexican cookies in its afternoon tea time because American cookies are too sweet for their Mexican guests.

4. Market through social media

  • If your marketing budgets are limited, social media is an efficient way to reach Hispanics.
  • Hispanics spend a larger portion of their time on social sites than other ethnic groups.
  • They also trust what their friends say on social sites more than other groups.

5. Understand that Hispanics make decisions differently

  • Hispanics usually want to involve the whole family in the decision-making process. So your reservations and customer service reps need to be more patient and consultative.

Thanks to Nick Verrastro and the crew at Travel Market Report for this excellent advice.

How about you?  What are you doing to make your travel and tourism marketing more Hispanic-friendly?


5 ways your travel and leisure marketing can earn back the trust of women.

September 18, 2012

A study of women in 22 countries identified 5 ways brands are failing women, and 5 strategies to earn back their trust.

A landmark study found that women control 73% of household spending, but feel neglected by many brands.

Authors Michael and Kate Sayre, partners atBoston Consulting Group recently published a book: Women Want More: How to capture your share of the world’s largest, fastest growing market .

The landmark study upon which the book is based traced the attitudes and purchasing habits of 12,000 women in twenty-two countries.

The study found that women control 73% of household spending, and $4.3 trillion in consumer spending in the U.S. alone.

But it found that women the world over are dissatisfied with the products and services they buy. The reason?

Many companies don’t take the time to understand the issues modern women face, and create products that fail to meet their needs.

The authors found that women are having difficulty balancing all the roles they are called to play at home and in their job. They’re time-starved and stressed out.

And they  struggle to balance what the authors call “the job at the job and the job at home.”

The book reports that companies fail to meet the needs of women in five key ways:

  1. They are not addressing women’s need for time-saving solutions.
  2. They have poor product design and customization for women.
  3. Their sales and marketing efforts are clumsy and often insulting to women.
  4. They fail to align with women’s values or develop community.
  5. They don’t ‘give back’ to society as well or as much as they could.

The authors offer five ways that travel & leisure brands can earn the loyalty of women:

  1. Take the time to understand and tailor your product to their needs and values.
  2. Create products and services that save women time.
  3. Demonstrate your own values and commitment to the community.
  4. Empower your sales force to be more responsive.
  5. Offer 24/7 access to customer service, and product information that’s simple and easy to find

According to the study, women place a premium on the following values:

  • Love
  • Health
  • Honesty
  • Emotional Wellbeing.

Women want the brands they buy to understand those values, and offer them services that honor them.

According to Ms. Sayer, “Take care of those core values,and companies can really connect with women.”

How is your travel & leisure brand connecting with women? What changes have you made to reach better connect to women’s wants and needs? Talk to us.

The shocking truth about travel and leisure marketing to teenage social media influencers

March 3, 2012

Teenage Influencers like to be shocked.

Teen influencers on social media sites are more likely to read and share content that is shocking or humorous.

If you’re marketing your travel or leisure brand to teens, the Ketchum Global Research Network recently published a study on the holy grail of this target audience:  teen Influencers on social media networks.

The study defines teen influencers as the top 15% most active users of social media networks, and offers useful insights into how to speak to this target.

Teen influencers cruise more, buy more and share more.

  • They spend an average of 2 hours a day on social media sites.
  • From movie tickets to mobile devices teen influencers shop and spend more than their peers.
  • Once they have bought and used a product, almost 9 in 10 teen influencers share information on those products with their friends.
  • 1 in 2 trust the advice of their friends when they’re shopping, compared to only 9% who trust an adult

The more shocked they are, they more they share.

  • The are more likely to share content that shocks them or makes them laugh.
  • They also like to share content that contains gossip about celebrities.

If you’re a  marketer of a travel or leisure brand and you want to reach teens, start by identifying what social media sites teen influencers hang out in, and start talking to them:

  • To get your products into the hands of teen influencers, start by creating content that will surprise or humor teens.
  • Create pages on social networking sites that make it easy for them to share information about your product or service with their friends. And to let them share in a conversation about your brand.
  • Don’t assume that because you think your content is funny or shocking, they will, too.
  • Test your concept with teens and get their reaction before investing your marketing dollars in production.

The study, conducted by the Ketchum Global Research Network, surveyed 10,000 teens ages 13-19 who are members of a leading social media site.

Is your travel and leisure marketing built for Millennials?

February 3, 2012

If you want your travel or leisure brand to reach Millennials, study this Pew Research Center report that describes their distinguishing characteristics.

The Pew Research Center released a comprehensive study on Millennials, the roughly 50 million Americans ages 18-29 who have come of age in the new millennium.

The report explored the demographics, priorities, values and social behavior of this generation.

It uncovered these 8 important distinctions that any marketer of a travel or leisure brand should take note of:

  1. Millennials are more ethnically diverse than any other generation. Almost 4 in 10 Millennials classify themselves as a racial or ethnic minority, compared to less than 3 in 10 Baby Boomers.
  2. They are much less likely to be married or have children than previous generations were at comparable ages: Only 1 in 5 are married, compared to 2 in 5 for Baby Boomers at the same age. And 1 in 3 are parents.
  3. They consider their technology toys almost like a third appendage. More than 8 in 10 say they sleep with their cell phone by their bedside. Fully 2 out of 3 admit they text while driving. And 3 out of 4 have created a profile on a social networking site. By comparison, only 50% of Gen Xers and 30% of Baby Boomers have done so.
  4. Just 1 in 5 are married, but 1 in 3 are parents, owing to the high percentage of single moms in this age group.
  5. Despite coming to age during two wars, just 2% of Millennial males are military veterans, compared to 6% of Gen Xers and 13% of Bab Boomer men at a comparable age.
  6. Exercise is a big part of their lives, with 56% saying they had gotten vigorous exercise in the last twenty-four hours, compared to only 46% of the overall population.
  7. They watch less TV than other generations, with only 57% having watched more than an hour of television in the past 24 hours compared to 67% of Gen Xers and 80% of Baby Boomers.
  8. And most striking of all, 37% of all Millennials are unemployed

Here are a few examples of how this information can help guide your travel marketing efforts to Millennials:

  • Create promotions and highlight benefits that will appeal to singles.
  • Does your brand have a special appeal to physically active people? Tell them about it.
  • If you must reach them in TV, advertise on shows like The Daily Show, which reaches Millennials in large numbers.
  • If you’re doing mass media advertising, be sure to include a large social media component, since this is where they’re spending more and more of their time.
  • A huge FYI: If you’re marketing a high-ticket item, you may want to spend less on your marketing efforts to Millennials, until the economy gets stronger.

Click here for a downloadable copy of the full report, “Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next”

Millennials: Travel and leisure marketing to a moving target.

September 9, 2011
young man's head peeking out of computer

You can still find millennials online and on social sites.

A recent report confirms that millennials are harder to reach than older generations, but are less cynical about advertising.

My son Mac was 3 years old when we got our first Apple iMac.  He could barely talk, but the first thing he did the morning after we set up the computer, was turn it on and play a video game.

Researchers are intrigued by Millennials like Mac because theirs is the first generation raised with the help of computer technology and online media.

Recently, e-Marketer senior analyst Lisa Phillips, authored a new report, “Millennials Online:  Marketing to a Moving Target.” .

The  report found that millennials, which they classify as adults 18-34, are different from previous generations in at least four ways:

  1. They quickly adapt to new technologies and adapt them to their lifestyles.
  2. If something new comes along that suits them better than what they are using, they are quick to make the change.
  3. They don’t read newspapers or watch TV the same way their parents do.
  4. 78% engage with social media versus only 43% of their parents and grandparents.

The report also uses existing data from Experian Simmons to make the case that millennials’ attitudes toward advertising are different from other adults:

  • Only 32% (versus 37% of all adults) said they do not like advertising in general.
  • Only 33% (versus 41% of all adults) said advertising to kids is wrong.
  • Only 41% said they do not make purchase decisions based on ads, which is 5% less than all adults.
  • Only 44% said they removed their name from mailing lists, versus 51% of the entire adult population.

If you’re the marketer of a travel or leisure brand, the findings of this report might affect your marketing in the following ways:

  • Don’t invest all your marketing dollars in one medium, as millennials will migrate to new and better technology as it emerges.
  • Avoid newspapers and radio, but don’t be afraid to experiment with TV shows targeted to this generation. Augment broad reach media with complementary social media channels.
  • Use email marketing to reach this age group, as fewer millennials remove their names from mailing lists.

That’s what we’re using to reach millennials. Tell us what you’re doing.

Leisure marketing: What does Valentine’s Day spending say about men?

February 7, 2011


What are men trying achieve in their Valentine Day spending?

Men will spend twice as much as women on Valentine’s Day gifts this year.  What does that say about them?

February has two of the biggest spending holidays of the year:  The Super Bowl and the Super Bowl of Love, Valentine’s Day.


  • The average American will spend $116 on traditional Valentines Day merchandise this year.
  • That’s an 11% increase over last year, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2011 Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey.
  • Total spending is predicted to reach $15.7 billion, up from $14.1 billion last year.

But the real story of this holiday is the difference in spending between men and women.

  • The average man will spend $159 (up 17% from last year) compared to $69 for the average woman.
  • Men will buy more flowers (70% of them go to men) and the majority of the $3.5 billion spent on jewelry.
  • Women will buy more greeting cards (70%) than men.
  • Together, Americans will spend the most on jewelry ($3.5 billion), dining out ($3.4 billion), flowers ($1.7 billion), clothing ($1.6 billion), candy ($1.5 billion) and greeting cards ($1.1 billion).

What would make a man spend twice as much on gifts as a woman?

  • I know what you’re thinking.  And yes, that is a factor.
  • According to condom manufacturer Durex, prophylactic sales are 25% higher than usual on Valentine’s Day.
  • In the month following Valentine’s Day, sales of in-home pregnancy tests also reach their peak.

Could it be that men are more romantic than women?

According to Leil Lowndes, author of the book How to make Anyone Fall in Love with You, a number of university studies support this theory.

  • Men fall in love faster than women
  • Men are more idealistic about love
  • After a split, men felt lonelier, more depressed, unloved and less free.
  • Men love their wives more in comparison to their friends than women love men.

What do you think?  Are men more romantic than women?

What’s your personal and professional experience? What motivates men to spend more on Valentine’s Day? How can 5 to 9 brands like yours capitalize on these motivations?   Best answer wins a box of chocolates.

Personal wellness turning into big business for leisure marketers

January 21, 2011

With $1.9 trillion in worldwide sales, wellness products represent a major opportunity for leisure marketers.

1 in 4 U.S. consumers purchase wellness products and services.

Wellness has for years been labeled a passing fad or niche market even in leisure marketing.

But a landmark study released in 2010 by SRI International entitled Spas and the Global Wellness Market estimates that globally wellness products and services are now a $1.9 trillion market.

In the U.S. alone 25% of consumers purchase wellness brands.

Moreover,  81% of consumers surveyed in the report would be “extremely interested” or “very interested” in improving their personal wellness.

8 out of 10 consumers are interested in improving their own personal wellness.

According to the report, 100% of consumers interviewed worldwide were familiar with the term wellness, and 81% of consumers would be “extremely interested” or “very interested” in improving their personal wellness.

The study also identified nine core segments to the industry, with Beauty and Anti-Aging ($679 billion),  Fitness and Mind/Body ($390 billion), and Healthy Eating, Nutrition and Weight Loss ($276 billion) leading the way.

Wellness products and services include everything from fitness club memberships and spa products to yoga and meditation to nutritional and weight loss supplements.

Source: SRI International

Aging baby boomers are biggest consumers of wellness products and services.

SRI estimates that there are 76 million consumers who purchase wellness products and services in the United State, representing about 25% of the population.

As Baby Boomers grow older and attempt to slow the effects of their aging, they are driving the growth of the anti-aging, complimentary and alternative medicine and  fitness segments of the wellness industry.

But  the report also identifies a large and growing segment of younger consumers who are interested in wellness products and services, including adults 18-29 and 30-39.

Three major trends driving the growth of the wellness industry:

  1. An aging and increasingly obese population with growing health problems
  2. Failing medical systems with an emphasis on treating, rather than preventing sickness
  3. Globalization and a sharing of wellness ideas across cultures

SRI report hailed as a groundbreaking study.

If you’re a CMO doing leisure marketing, the SRI report should open your eyes to the possibilities of this growing opportunity.

Hailed as one of the first attempts to define the concept of wellness, the report identifies the size and segments of the wellness marketplace ($1.9 trillion and growing).

It also attempts to determine the consumer motivations driving the growth of these products and services.

You can download a copy of the report, Spas and the Global Wellness Market: Synergies and Opportunities

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