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.


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”

Leisure marketing: What’s the best time of year to market to fitness fanatics?

March 9, 2011

Research confirms New Year’s resolutions do lead to an increase in exercise.  But more people get back into the habit of regular exercise later in the year.

According to the most recent Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, the number of people getting regular exercise increased by about 4% from December to January.

But that number rises about 5% a month for the next few months until it reaches its peak in June and July.

Motivation seems to change with the seasons.

Every night for years, Gallup has called 1,000 American adults and asked them how many days in the past week they have exercised for  30 minutes or more.

Over the years, the results have remained fairly constant:  People’s motivation and exercise habits rise as the temperatures and hours of sunlight increase, and fall with the…well…the fall.

Percentage of Americans Who Exercise 5 Days a Week or More

1 in 5 people who exercise in the summer will stop in the fall.

In fact, 20% of all people who report exercising at least five days a week at the peak of summer will lose their motivation sometime during the fall.

Then, beginning in January, each month an additional 4-5% of Americans will join the ranks of people getting at least 5 days of exercise a week, until their numbers peak in the months of June and July.

The best months to market your brand depend on your target audience and their favorite sport.

So when is the best month to advertise a travel brand that appeals to people who are exercising frequently?  That depends.

If you’re the marketer of a travel or leisure brand that appeals to people who start and stop their regime every year, a holiday campaign reminding them of the sport they love makes sense.

But you might want to reserve some powder for a Q1 message that speaks to the rising numbers of people returning to a more regular regime.

On the other hand, if your brand is geared to the 80% of people who exercise regularly all year round, your strategy might be different.

Here in Colorado, those of us who are daily disciples of running, cycling, rock climbing and other various sports like to buy our new gear at one of two points in the year:

Either at the start of the season, when our resolve and our wallets are fatter; or at the end of the season, when our wallets and your prices are leaner.

Here’s some more information about theGallup-Healthways Wellbeing Index

Leisure marketing: Will the rise of Kindle spell the end of our favorite leisure activity?

February 23, 2011

The Kindle may kill off the traditional book. But open up a whole new world for gadget freaks.

It’s official:  The leisure world as we know it is dying a very quick and painless death.

The evidence:  Amazon just reported that for every 100 paperbacks sold over the holiday season, they also sold 115 Kindle books.

In the words of the tech blog Dvice, “It looks like dead-tree books are going the way of the vinyl record.”

If you’re a leisure marketing specialist you may feel threatened.

Especially if you’re marketing a legacy brand like a chain of movie theaters or full-service restaurants, you might be wondering, “Are we next?”

I agree that the Kindle threatens our very way of relating to free time.

It may even alter the amount of time we spend on our most revered leisure activity.

I’m not talking about reading. I’m talking about watching TV.

In the latest American Time Use Survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spent 2 hours and 48 minutes each weekday watching TV.

And 14 minutes a day reading.

That’s the average.

If you’re 15-34 years old, you’re spending spends 10 minutes a day reading.

Now enter the Kindle.

Granted, it doesn’t look or feel or smell the same in your hands as a real book. But it has a few advantages.

It doesn’t kill any trees or require any inks or dyes to make. We don’t waste fossil fuels or paper products boxing and shipping it. So it’s cheaper to buy and easier on the environment.

It doesn’t take up any space on a bookshelf, so you can fit an extra chair in your study. It’s easier to hold on a crowded train or a bus.

But what I like best is it’s turned the book into a gadget.

You know who likes gadgets?  The same people who up until now didn’t read.

15-34 year olds.

Yeah, those same guys who would rather watch TV or play video games are now buying Kindles.

Last time I looked 1 in 3 Kindle owners were under 40.

That’s a good thing for the book industry.

And a good thing for 15-35 year olds who until now spent an average of 10 minutes a night reading.

Thank you Amazon. Got any more tricks up your sleeve?

Leisure marketing: Haven’t run a Facebook ad yet? Maybe you should wait.

February 18, 2011

Advertisers will spend double what they did last year on Facebook ads. But are they getting their money’s worth?

Webtrends just completed a study that determines how effective Facebook ads are.

All told, advertisers will spend $4 billion on Facebook ads this year, more than double the total from last year. But is it worth the cost?

Web analytics company Webtrends analyzed over 11,000 Facebook campaigns and measured Click Through Rates (CTR), Cost Per Click (CPC), Cost Per Thousand (CPM) and Cost Per Fan (CPF).

The verdict:  Costs are up, click through rates are down.

  • From 2009 to 2010, Web Trends estimates the CTRs for Facebook ads went down 19%, the CPC increased 81% and the CPM went up 41%.
  • The CTR declined from 0.063% in 2009 to 0.051% in 2010.
  • Ad rates increased from 17 cents per thousand impressions in 2009 to 25 cents per thousand in 2010.
  • By comparison, online display ad costs range from $2 to $8 per thousand on other sites, so Facebook ads are still a good deal comparitively.

Does that mean you shouldn’t advertise on Facebook?  Not necessarily.

  • Decreasing CTR and increasing CPC rates are a typical pattern for display ad networks, because the audience is becoming more savvy.
  • Ads are growing more expensive because many of them are sold through an auction system that’s getting increasing competition as more advertisers turn to Facebook.
  • Webtrends believes companies that get a head start by adding millions of fans now are going to end up spending much less money than other brands later.

Acquiring a fan is just the beginning of marketing on Facebook.

“On Facebook, the magic of marketing happens when brands activate their fans in ways that inspire people to share those messages with their friends.”

That’s according to Facebook spokesperson Brandon McCormick who was recently quoted in an article on the subject by the Digits blog of the Wall Street Journal.

The Webtrends study also found that CTRs increased with age and gender.

  • Men and women ages 18-24 have the same CTRs, but women 55-64 are 16% more likely to click through than men of the same age.
  • The study confirmed earlier research by DDB which found that because people are on Facebook for fun, brands that are more fun to discuss on a social network do better.
  • That has translated into higher CTRs and lower CPCs for these more social brands.
  • The highest CTR and lowest CPC were registered by tabloids and blogs, media and entertainment brands, ecommerce and travel brands.

Other findings of the research:  Cost per fan, click through rates by gender and education, and faster ad burnout rates

  • The cost of advertising on Facebook to encourage a user to become a “fan” on the brand’s Facebook page is $1.07.
  • Facebook fans without a college education were more likely to click through to an ad as college educated visitors.
  • But fans who attended college are twice as likely to click through if a friend liked an ad.
  • Ad burnout is much higher on Facebook, with the typical life of an interest-targeted ad being 3-5 days.
  • Friend of fan targeting can increase the life of a Facebook ad by 2-3 times.

Have you started advertising on Facebook? If so, what kind of results are you getting? Have you increased or decreased your expenditures as a result?

You can find a copy of the Web Trends study here.

Leisure marketing: 21 reasons you should be advertising in next year’s Super Bowl.

January 31, 2011


170 million viewers will spend $10 billion getting ready for it.

Whether you’re measuring viewership, ROI, Facebook “Likes”, or online viral effect the Super Bowl is a proven winner.

At $3 million per 30 second spot, advertising on the Super Bowl may seem like a crazy idea.  Until you look at the numbers.

No matter how you measure the success of your leisure marketing, these numbers are super:

  1. Last year’s Super Bowl posted a 45.0 HH rating, with a 68 share. The average audience of 106.5 million viewers eclipsed the final episode of M*A*S*H* to become the most-watched TV show ever.
  2. It was the third straight Super Bowl to set a record for average audience, and the 20th straight year the Super Bowl has achieved a 40 HH rating or higher.
  3. Of the millions planning to watch the 2011 game, 1 in 2 say the game itself is the most important part, but 1 in 4 say they watch for the commercials.
  4. This year over 100 million people are expected to watch the Super Bowl in the U.S. alone, and the broadcast will be seen in more than 230 countries, foreign locations, and military installations.
  5. In a poll following a recent Super Bowl,  two-thirds of respondents remembered their favorite brand advertiser from the Super Bowl but only 39% recalled the winning team.
  6. One Super Bowl ad can be as effective as 250 regular TV commercials, according to a 2010 analysis by Millward Brown Optimor.
  7. In the same study, Millward Brown Optimor reported that consumer packaged goods brands see an average sales lift of more than 11% in the month following the Super Bowl.
  8. In the last 10 years, 4 of the top 5 Super Bowl advertisers were leisure brands: 1. Anheuser-Busch ($235 million); 2. Pepsico ($170.8 million); 3. Walt Disney Co ($70.8 million); 4. General Motors ($61.1 million); 5. Coca-Cola Co ($54.4 million).
  9. Mega brands aren’t the only companies advertising at the big game. This year you’ll see ads from Cars.com, GoDaddy.com, HomeAway, Bridgestone and Sketchers.
  10. First time advertisers account for 20-25% of the roster of advertisers in any given year. This year, the lineup of newcomers will include Best Buy and Pizza Hut.
  11. GoDaddy has seen its market share increase steadily since it began advertising on the Super Bowl in 2005, rising from 16% to over 48% worldwide.
  12. Over a five-year period, Careerbuilder saw its sales increase an average of 40% each year in the three months following the Super Bowl broadcast.
  13. A recent Teleflora Super Bowl ad aimed at getting consumers to buy more flowers for Valentines’ Day. Sales went up 5% in a tough market, and the average value per order rose 8%.
  14. Total Super Bowl-related consumer spending on the big game is expected to reach $10.1 billion.
  15. 22% of Americans plan to be on Facebook during the game, and another 22% plan to be texting.
  16. 25% say they will be talking about the ads on their social networks.
  17. 43% plan to re-watch their favorite ads and 31% plan to pass those along to others via email or social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, up from 26% last year.
  18. Americans are also almost as likely to “like” a brand on Facebook that advertises during the Super Bowl (20%) as they are to “like” a team (24%).
  19. The notion that Super Bowl ratings decline in the fourth quarter is a myth. Average ratings for the last 19 Super Bowls (1992-2010) increased each quarter: 1st quarter – 40.6; 2nd quarter – 42.4; 3rd quarter – 43.3; 4th quarter – 44.0.
  20. The median age of Super Bowl viewers: 43, and the audience is split 56% male, 44% female. (By comparison, the breakdown for an average regular season NFL game is 66% male; 34% female.)
  21. In a recent survey, 75% of viewers say they see the Super Bowl commercials as part of the entertainment.

    Sources:  Kantar Media, AOL Daily Finance, Venables, Bell and Partners, The Fox Network, Retail Advertising and Marketing Association’s 1011 Super Bowl Consumer Intentions Survey

    Leisure and hospitality marketing: 5 reasons McDonald’s prospered during the Great Recession.

    September 25, 2010

    It's not well-known menu items like the Big Mac, but other strategies that have accounted for most of McDonald's recent revenue gains.

    Leisure and hospitality marketing pros take note. If your brand has suffered during the recession, borrow a page from the McDonald’s playbook.

    Joshua Ritchie, writing for the MintLife blog, analyzed several reports on McDonald’s recents sales gains, and outlined 5 strategies that have helped the QSR giant ride out this recession in style.

    1. Recession-friendly pricing.

    As early as November of 2008, Forbes was reporting that McDonald’s recession-proof pricing was helping it weather the economic tsunami better than Burger King and other competitors.

    Specifically, Forbes gave credit to two pillars of the chain’s low-price strategy:  a.) the chain’s dollar menu; and b.) the fact that McDonald’s is the low-cost producer in the industry.

    2.  New products for new markets.

    CNN reported that McDonald’s current strength is due to the fact that the chain has “given more kinds of people more reasons to head to its stores throughout the day, buying an ever-wider range of products.”

    The report cited the company’s successful introduction of premium coffees as just one example.

    3.  Reduced advertising costs.

    CNN also reported in August that the fast food chain has taken advantage of lower costs for local TV.

    Other sources have reported that the company’s president and COO pushed the company’s ad agencies to negotiate hard with local TV stations.

    4. Improved operations.

    The Wall Street Journal reported last year that McDonald’s also benefited from a push to improve the efficiency of its operations by then President/COO Richard Alverez.

    Some of his changes included pruning gas-guzzling cars from the company fleet, and putting the brakes on building new outlets on street corners where nearby development showed signs of weakness.

    5. Rapid price adjustments.

    McDonald’s now closely analyzes everything from whether customers are trading down to smaller value meals or dropping coke from their orders to exactly how much they’re willing to pay for a Big Mac.

    This allows its restaurants to rapidly adjust prices based on current customer demand.

    That’s what McDonald’s is doing to prosper during the downturn. What is your leisure or hospitality brand doing or not doing, and how’s it working? Let’s talk about it.


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