By delving deeper than traditional demographics (the 25 – 54 age range, the $50k+ annual income, etc.) and ignoring misleading generational stereotypes, we identified an archetype of Experiential Travelers. Experiential Travelers are not following crowds—more often than not, they travel alone. Their goal is discovery and immersion; selfie stick owners need not apply. When their desire to explore comes to a boil (which is often), they’ll book a short trip. They’ll return to a destination over the course of a lifetime, but aren’t likely to make repeat visits to a single destination within a short timeframe. Fortunately, there are plenty of them finding inspiration differently and researching differently but predictably.
The simple, reasonable action we sought from experiential travelers was consideration. Measurable proxies for consideration include content clicks, video completions and landing page conversions. Where these actions increase as a result of investment, bookings and revenue follow (as validated by ROI studies). It’s no secret that when your goal is to affect consideration, word-of-mouth has the greatest utility. So, we tracked where and when our travelers were talking about Louisiana, and found seasonal, geographic and vacation-type nuances which sharpened our focus and aided in idea development.
Louisiana's reputation precedes it. Rather than positioning the State as something it isn’t and hoping for 7-day, annually recurring family trips which we aren't likely to get, we honestly revealed what Louisiana is to those who'd appreciate it. Louisiana’s personality came through in unapologetic previews of experiences that no other place can offer. The result was genuine, authentic, unpolished and motivating to the experiential traveler.
Advertising alone cannot directly cause bookings, so we closely monitored the activities that bookend the decision to travel. Specifically, consideration and spend. Leading indicators monitored the efficiency with which we moved the experiential traveler to specific content that served as a proxy for intent to travel. This reporting guided planning of seasonal campaigns as well as real-time optimization of messaging and vehicles in campaign. The lagging tourism indicators are reported annually and include visitors, spend, tax revenue and hospitality jobs created.
Boost In Campaign Performance (Over Former Agency's)
Annual Increase In Visitors + Tax Revenue