Research plays a key role in shifting the customer from the awareness to the motivation phase. Via research, the customer compares destinations or places to stay and things to do and see. The outcome of this research will lead to the customer making a booking, or not.
Customers research in a variety of ways including
- Google and social media searches:
- images are an important hook
- customer’s shared insights are key
- feedback from influencers can encourage customers to book
- Tourism business websites:
- compelling imagery and content are key
- for example, an accommodation provider referring things to do and see in their area via offline and online communications
- Guest review sites
- Researching customer feedback on their personal experiences
- Assessing if the business is professional and responsible in their responses to both positive and negative reviews
- Regional and national tourist sites:
- Important for tourism businesses to be present with an updated listing
- Offline: for example, via guidebooks, or contacting friends and family for feedback based on their experiences
Remarketing: when influencing online customers to purchase, many tourism businesses engage in remarketing campaigns. Remarketing is the practice of serving ads across the internet to people who have already visited the tourism business website.
Many tourism businesses find that remarketing drives their booking/conversion rate as it allows the business to specifically capture the attention of the visitor who visited the website but did not make a purchase.
As the cost for remarketing is much lower than other online marketing tools (including standard pay per click search campaigns), many tourism businesses use remarketing as a tactic to drive customers from the research to the booking phase so that a confirmed booking is made.
At the research stage, it is also useful for customers to be made aware of additional things to do and see that complement the tourism business, or its destination. For example, a tourism business such as an accommodation provider can make the customer aware of activities, visitor attractions, events and festivals. In so doing, the accommodation provider
- promotes their destination
- promotes their own tourism business by giving customers compelling reasons to stay
- gives the customer a reason to extend their stay if they make a booking
- gives the customer future reasons to re-book to try new experiences
Similarly, if all tourism businesses including accommodation providers, activity providers and visitor attractions make customers aware of diverse experiences within a destination, individually and collectively, tourism businesses give the customer multiple reasons to book and repeat book in the future.