Once the Mission, vision and goals are defined, it’s time to think about the necessary strategies to guide our efforts towards the goals. Prior to the mission statement, there has to be a marketing diagnosis to set the starting point from which we intend to achieve all these goals.
Beyond the conventional segmentation criteria according to geographical origin, sociological and motivational profile, the key target group to engage in order to succeed in the marketing 3.0 transformation are the creative activists, also referred to as creative society or tourists 3.0. The challenge is mainly expanding the network of mission driven activists and other like-minded contributors.
These kinds of tourists are more likely to be found in specific communities or social networks, for the conventional marketing channels are not likely to work. They are concerned about the impact of the tourism activity on the environment and the local communities, and are driven by the aim for contribution to make the world a better place, and for spiritual fulfillment above other motivations.
They are activists in the social media either criticizing the brands creating negative impacts on the society and the environment, or promoting brands concerned about positive impacts. Such networks are becoming the main and most trusted source of information for most consumers who increasingly trust other consumers rather than companies. It is through these social networks that consumers share their knowledge and are to share stories about the life-changing experiences offered in the destinations.
Unlike typical passive consumers, tourists 3.0 are willing to take an active role in their relationships with their favorite brands, through co-creation of products and marketing contents. They want to be active players in the brand’s marketing activities, mostly through the social media networks. They are the ones who hold the community’s trust, and so have the power to decide which brands are to be supported.
They are more motivated by self-actualization, which is what unleashes most of their creativity, and by giving them the opportunity to contribute in social and environmental issues the destination is targeting and appealing to their human spirit, their primary motivator. In the destination, they look for authentic experiences through which to develop new skills, learn about new realities, cultures, and ways of life, which open their mindset and ultimately change or influence their life.
Attracting, convincing and engaging them in the mission purpose turns them into brand ambassadors who spread the stories about the destination’s experiences, ultimately expanding the network of brand enthusiasts at no cost to the destination.
Another strategic target is that of the young generations, who may get engaged through special educational programs and game-playing activities. Furthermore, it is interesting to explore the many niches and segments of special interest travelers, characterized by a high educational level, sensitivity towards cultural and environmental issues, and high expenditure in the destination.
What percentage of the desired marketing impacts do you think we can expect from this type of brand ambassadors, compared to the impacts created through conventional marketing in mission driven destinations?