What Do Travelers Look Like? Lessons in Marketing

When you’re working as a marketer with a travel company, you are expected to know one thing – who is your ideal traveler. We spend a lot of time defining and refining the target persona and it should dictate it all: the marketing strategy, the content strategy, the design and segmentation. As a content marketer, being able to clearly understand my target reader is of utmost importance to me.

We conduct surveys, listen actively on social media, seek out opinions from experts in the field but the truth is, sometimes we begin with assumptions of who our consumer is.

I’ve been trying to find an answer to the question: What do travelers look like?

Is he the millennial? The family man? The single girl? The bachelor?

You think you have the answer, but you’re always surprised!

A colleague, a silent, unassuming member of the team decided to go on leave for 21 days. Great! A good break in Goa, or his hometown, maybe, I thought. But this individual, nothing like my concluded persona of a traveler, was going on a road trip all-over India. Alone. Adventurous, much?

He is currently on this amazing journey and I’m still wondering … what do travelers look like? We may love numbers and we may think we’ve got it right, but the reality is Anyone Can Travel. And Everyone Loves to Travel. Makes my job very easy – or very tough!

The right answer then is that there are no right answers. As marketers, we need to keep an open-mind and let the numbers only guide us – not limit our creativity. Falling into old thought patterns and assuming that we know what our consumers and who they are will lead us to a dead end and are a sure shot way to zero growth. Be open to new ideas and people and let the world surprise you – in a good way – or learn important lessons.

Be like the seasoned traveler who studies his map but throws it away, just so he can discover a place.

Have you ever been surprised as a marketer? Share your story with me.