Congratulations! The news of having landed your first job as a freelancer or entrepreneur will excite you. It will also make you nervous and wonder what comes next. Follow this 5-steps guide on information gathering as part of your marketing strategy.
The first emotional high is usually immediately followed by the arrival of first doubts, questions and fears. How do I act professionally? Will I be able to deliver the work the client expected?
Ask yourself why your client would have given you the job in the first place. Would he have done so if he was thinking you would be a good fit? Nevertheless, as the client has never worked with you before, you know that he took a risk. And knowing that you are this risk is what is making you anxious.
Risk is the price you pay for opportunity. -Tom Selleck
The good news is that every risk comes with opportunity. There is a good chance that you will not disappoint but exceed your client’s expectations.
This is where previous information gathering becomes the most important part of your marketing strategy. In destination marketing, knowing your customer’s expectations is key. By research I don’t mean endless data collection based on statistics, numbers and historical research. To help narrowing down this overwhelming word research, I have structured it in leading questions.
1. Who is your client and what does he stand for?
Your client could be a high-end real estate company, a local NGO Surf-and-Yoga-Camp for lonely souls and backpackers. Snell Media is focusing on destination marketing, so we would be talking of hotels, tourism boards or travel agencies.
2. Where does your client stand and where would he like to be in the future?
This point is very important for you to establish your marketing strategy. Understanding the difference between the pre-existing condition and the aimed for future goals means you understand what your client expects you to come up with.
What the client wants is a marketing strategy for a promotional product that can boost him from the NOW to GOAL position.
3. Who is your client’s target group?
In destination marketing you are usually working for a client who is equally offering some sort of product to his clients. In this sense, you as the content creator will have to think around the corner. A marketing strategy for a tourism destination means should make it shine. The outcome should make tourists want to immediately book their flights to this destination.
Realistically, nobody can promote a product that will be wanted by every single potential client. Instead, you should focus on the target group, that would be most interested in the type of product or destination you are promoting.
Here’s am example from the Surf-and-Yoga Camp we visited in Morocco a few month ago. Who likes surf & yoga holidays? Young, social and active people, looking for a relaxed atmosphere and fun experience. This target group is adventurous and enjoys having a good time with others.
4. What are the destination’s strength (and weaknesses)?
In order to create a marketing strategy that can win over potential future customers, we need to know our assets. I like to see destination marketing as a visualization of what a person can expect when traveling to a place. What advantage has the destination over another, why is the customer guaranteed an exceptional experience etc.
It is important to mention that strengths or assets don’t have to be material. Especially over the past decade, tourism destinations have been changing their strategy by focusing on sustainability and quality, authentic and unique experiences, instead of offering the largest swimming pool or the biggest variety of food on the all-inclusive-buffet.
5. How do I put my knowledge into practise?
After the information gathering and determination of the right target group, of your marketing strategy is almost good to go. From here we move on to the actual production phase. Now knowing what your client expects you to come up with, your can finally let your creative talent loose. Impress your client (and his clients) with an end-product that is different, precise and eye-catching.
I know this seams like a lot of work, but once done a few times information gathering is actually a rather simple process. The pre-work is time-intense but will give you more confidence going into the production phase. For a more visual approach to destination marketing, check out our Media Kit and Vlog.
Please share your thoughts with us and feel free to comment, post and ask questions!