Processes to Segment and Target Visitors

Effectively segmenting and targeting your visitors will result in much more effective marketing.

Focusing only on the demographics and geographic location of visitors, as many destination marketing organizations do, creates the danger of eliminating markets that can be effectively served based on lifestyle and other characteristics. For example, if the offering is white water rafting, the most likely demographic segmentation would eliminate all age groups over a certain age. Yet, white water rafters range from small children to 80-year-olds. There are many in older age groups that are very involved in fitness and maintaining good health and do not have joint pain which precludes robust physical exercise. Potential customers with healthy and active lifestyles can be carved out of the larger group, eliminating the rest of the particular age group that will not respond to the product.

Effective segmentation involves analyzing the offerings and experiences being delivered and the types of visitor markets that will most likely respond to the offering.  Outline the basics of demographics, psychographics, lifestyle attributes and other elements that offering would likely suit.  Then proceed to look more finely at various types of segmentation that apply including outcome-based segmentation, segmentation by media use, behavioral segmentation and so on.

A segment must have the following qualities:

  • The market must be large enough to justify segmenting. If a market is already small, careful segmentation could make it smaller.
  • Distinct differences must exist between segments, to make each a segment.
  • The anticipated profits must exceed the costs of attracting and serving the markets.
  • Each segment must be accessible by the organization and able to be reached with marketing communications.
  • Each segment must need different benefits and different personalization.

A profile or persona is created for each segment, which represent “people living in the real world” rather than faceless “segments.” Treating the personas – as the name indicates, a derivative of person – as real people, makes it possible to more effectively describe the lifestyles, motivations, priorities, expectations, goals, personalities, and other information that drives their purchase behavior.  The persona is intended to reflect the real needs of real people, who will be making the discretionary purchases. Organizations often describe the personas with names, pictures, and identities to make them as real as possible.

Case Studies

Learn more about how to create visitor personas and target the visitor markets right for your community.
Download the Visitor Segmenting and Targeting White Paper.