If you want to better understand and serve your customer well in tourism, one of the best ways is to create personas. This tool is essential for building a marketing and sales strategy and developing successful products aligned with your customer’s needs. In this article, you will learn what a persona is and how to apply this concept within the Tourism industry in a practical and functional way.
Don’t forget to download our guide with an editable template to create personas for tourism.
What is a Persona?
In digital marketing, personas are semi-fictional and generalized representations of your ideal customers. These profiles contain information about demographic data, personas address information about specific behaviour, interests and challenges for each type of client.
I like to say that creating personas is profiling that customer you love and have everything to do with your brand. Your persona represents a profile of customers you want to work with and attract.
This concept is widely used in Digital Marketing for the creation of content and marketing and sales messages. It can also support other business activities, such as the development of products and experiences or customer service.
According to the field, the term persona can have specific nomenclatures, such as buyer persona (management and sales), marketing persona (marketing), user persona (ux-designer), avatar, etc.
What is the difference between personas and target audience?
The target audience defines the portion of society that represents your potential customers. Something like:
- Foreign tourists, men or women, over 25 years, English speaking, high purchasing power, adventurers and love to explore the local cuisine.
The persona, on the other hand, works as a way to humanize your target audience by creating an individual and more detailed profile. For this, it is necessary to define a strategic person within this audience, and then, create a fictional profile detailing their interests, behaviours, expectations and needs.
This makes it much easier to meet the needs of that customer. Want a practical example? Meet Bianca, the travelling businesswoman.
- Bianca, 32, single, very outgoing, love to go out with her friends to dance and visit new restaurants. She is a regional manager who travels 2-3 times a month on business. During these trips, she feels very alone and ends up working more than she wants to instead of resting and enjoying the destination during her free time. She would love to find more opportunities to balance her work routine.
More details about Bianca in the image below:
Analyzing this profile, it became much easier to understand what type of product I need to develop to meet Bianca’s needs. This model also helps me to define which media channels I can use to communicate with her and what type of message would most catch her attention. That is the power to create personas for your business strategy.
How to create personas for the tourism segment
The closer your persona is to reality, the better. For that, I recommend following these steps:
Define the relevant information
The first step in building personas is to understand what kind of information is relevant. The questions you must ask to define the persona vary according to the client profile and the business model. For example, if your business is a travel agency that sells directly to travellers, you can think of questions like:
- How is this person on a daily basis?
- How is your personality?
- What are their interests?
- Who does this person usually travel with?
- How does this person do his/her travel planning?
- How is the decision process to choose a destination?
- What is important for them while travelling?
- Any convenience they do not give up even away from home?
Now, if you are a tour operator that sells and negotiates directly with other agencies, it is interesting to have a persona who represents the agency as your client.
- What role does this employee have in the agency?
- What are your biggest challenges at work?
- What level of decision-making power does this employee have within the company?
- What kind of partners does she like to work with?
- What channels does she use to be updated with market news?
- How does she find new suppliers?
- What is she looking for?
Research and Collect data
The strongest personas are those built on the basis of market research and insights collected from your customer base. There are several ways to obtain this information:
- Interviews with existing and potential customers;
- Evaluate your CRM database;
- Analysis of the profile followers on social media;
- Customer satisfaction surveys;
- Chat with the sales and service team;
- Adjust your site’s contact forms to collect relevant information;
- Studying competitors;
- Market research on types of travellers.
Read also: Who are the Food Travellers
Develop the profile of your buyer persona
Now it’s time to gather this information, analyze it and start designing the profiles. Start by choosing a name and a photo or some illustration that represents your client, then use the answers you have defined as relevant to create the profile of your ideal client.
If you still have some doubts about the profile, don’t worry. Start with a draft based on the information you have at the moment and adjust the profile as you go through some validations. That means you can already use this tool during the planning and initial phase of the business.
And now? How can I use personas in the Tourism industry
Now that you have plenty of good and well-organized information, you can use it in countless ways to improve your strategies. Use the persona concept to tailor your ad campaigns, create content to attract the right customers and develop special products and experiences to serve them.
To help you develop your personas in tourism, we have created a practical guide with an editable template.