Destination marketing in the “new normal”
Questions and answers from our eleventh webinar, Destination marketing in the “new normal”, recorded 17 November.
Please note information provided in these responses was correct at the time of recording.
There is no cost to join as a supplier. No booking, no fee. You pay a 2.5% booking fee only when a booking is made (and distributor commission for the channels you have chosen).
We will be updating our Escape the Everyday toolkit ready for January. This will include more information on the campaign and the key themes for the next few months.
TXGB is an "agnostic" system so the choice of distribution channel is very much in the hands of the supplier. We are, however, committed to growing bookability for businesses which are not yet online, and to enabling low commission channels e.g the 40+ DMOs who are signed up.
A large part of our Escape the Everyday campaign includes content partnerships with the likes of Buzzfeed, NetMums and NewsUK. With these content partners, we link directly to the tourism businesses featured.
Yes - if your channel manager is already connected to TXGB. Our full list of connected tech partners (booking system and channel managers) can be viewed at https://www.txgb.co.uk/our-partners. You’ll see that Siteminder is already connected, for example.
We suggest using our domestic sentiment tracker reports to understand travel intent and the main barriers and concerns that consumers currently have and how these are evolving over time: https://www.visitbritain.org/covid-19-consumer-sentiment-tracker. You can also use other tools such as Google Trends, Twitter etc. to monitor sentiment and judge the best time to push your message. As suggested during the webinar, be as authentic and honest as possible in your messaging to connect with your audience.
ETE at Home is our message during a lockdown scenario. We are currently developing post-lockdown plans. The three need states that sit at the heart of the Escape the Everyday campaign, Freedom to Explore, Treat Yourself, and Discovery, will remain the same.
We recommend scenario planning. There are many unknowns but based on the information that you do have, plan for different scenarios and consider objectives and routes to market for each scenario.
This is a very delicate balance and something to judge at an individual business level. Consider the barriers to booking (check out sentiment tracker to gain insight into consumer concerns at https://www.visitbritain.org/covid-19-consumer-sentiment-tracker) and consider how your content or booking policies can address those barriers.
This should be decided at an individual business level based on your objectives and measures of success. Digital channels will provide more detailed insight into actions taken as a result of your marketing.
The need states at the heart of Escape the Everyday will remain the same: Freedom to explore, Treat yourself, Discoveries. We will also be looking to piggyback on key dates such as Valentine’s Day. More information will be available in the campaign toolkit.
This should be decided at a specific business level so that it feels authentic for your business and your objectives. Some businesses have used lines such as “dream now, travel later”, “plan for 2021”, etc.
Identify who the audience is, where they are, how best to reach them, barriers, motivations, and ideally the size and value > position the product appropriately > build a marketing plan (e.g. 4ps), choose an appropriate model to optimise spend (e.g. AIDA), b2b2c vs b2c, think about balancing brand building (long term) vs booking/direct response (short term).
A cost effective route to market means finding a distribution channel that works for you. By finding distributors that sell to your target audience, this will help grow your visibility and reach. A platform such as TXGB (Tourism Exchange GB) gives you that choice of distribution channel, so that you can see which channels target the right people, by interest (e.g. activity-orientated distributors) or by geography (e.g. regionally focused distributors focusing on your location).
Consider whether there are any ways to maintain interest while it is closed so that it stays top of mind for when it does reopen. Provide inspiration and example itineraries using the youth hostel as a base for when it does reopen.
It’s important to ensure we continue to speak to audiences where there is opportunity to cut-through and win them. Ensuring the UK is seen as both attractive and safe as a holiday options is key.
Absolutely! We are in unprecedented times with many businesses facing the same or very similar challenges. Those businesses who are speaking to each other, in many cases, are coming up with great ways to problem solve together and we mention some of these examples on the webinar recording. We’d recommend keeping an open dialogue with other businesses and brands to ensure collaboration is possible.
Having an online availability calendar should help with this. If customers can see your availability, and it is possible to then book on your website, the barriers to conversion are much lower.
We are using Escape the Everyday campaign to shine a spotlight on all destination types, including the icons as well as the hidden gems and off-the-beaten path. The need states of the campaigns should support all product types in recovery.
Think about how you can keep your business top of mind while you remain closed. Can you inspire audiences to think about future trips? Can you share any recipes? Can you share memories?
We suggest adapting your messaging based on the Tier or lockdown area you are in. Can your messaging be adapted to work for local audiences with an ‘on your doorstep’ message? Can you encourage dreaming for the future? Messaging lands best when it feels authentic and honest.
Think about how you can use your local community as advocates. What is it about your business that might appeal to locals? How can you use local people to spread the word about your business and share the reasons they love it with those outside the destination? Word of mouth recommendations is one of the most powerful forms of influence. Can you offer anything to incentivise locals to experience your business? For example, ring-fenced opening times for locals only, discounts for locals, preview events for locals etc