With women comprising nearly two-thirds of all travelers, many DMOs are beginning to question how they should be tailoring their destination marketing to efforts attract this demographic. While women don’t make up a homogenous group with identical likes, dislikes and personalities, they do share some tendencies that can prove useful for DMOs. More-so than men, women tend to prefer a more immersive travel experience. They take the time to gather information about authentic cultural highlights and base their purchasing decisions on emotional responses to what their research is telling them. So, what does this mean for your DMO?
Tell Your Story
When it comes to attracting women of any demographic to your destination, it helps to have a narrative that they can get lost in. Featuring local business owners and their stories on your website or in social media is a great way to establish this intrinsic connection – turn your list of hot-spots and amenities into brief descriptive points that contribute to the overall narrative of your destination. How does that locally-owned boutique reflect the heart of your community? What can visitors expect to experience at your local farmers market? Tourism is about more than just providing people with items to cross off their bucket lists. It’s telling your story in a way that will capture the imagination of your visitors and draw them back time and again.
A common mistake that we often see when DMOs are tailoring their destination marketing to women is that they fail to acknowledge the complexity of the female demographic, often falling back on stereotypical marketing techniques that accommodate narrow views of what women want while on vacation. Dig deeper into the research and you will find that three-quarters of women between the ages of 20 and 70 years old take nature, adventure or cultural trips and are not necessarily drawn to shopping malls, spas and ocean-side relaxation. So think about the unconventional, adventurous or cultural activities that your destination has to offer, and make an effort to ensure that women are accurately represented in your marketing collateral with regard to these activities and points of interest.
Emphasize Safety & Security
A frequent complaint – especially among businesswomen – is that they don’t feel they are appropriately represented in certain advertisements. For example, women often appear as the companion of men in commercials that run on endless loops at hotels, disregarding the reality that increasing numbers of business travelers checking into these hotels are actually women. And these women value different things than men sometimes do when booking accommodations – such as safety and security. Thankfully, many DMOs are catching on to this and making a point to emphasize hotels in their area that offer things like secure on-site parking, discreet staff and around-the-clock reception services. With women making up nearly half of all business travelers, this is a great way for DMOs to stay relevant within the business community.
Another effective way to employ destination marketing to women, whether she is traveling for business or leisure, is through the use of social media.
With women dominating the social media landscape, it’s imperative that DMOs establish a strong online presence that encourages engagement. And while social media is important for getting your message out there, it’s also a useful tool for keeping the female traveler continually engaged as she explores your area. On average, women will “like” or recommend products or services through social media 10 times every month, request product or service recommendations 7.25 times per month and re-tweet or re-pin products or services an average of 9.5 times each month. Make this easy for her to do by keeping your social media activity relatable and interactive, encouraging a genuine relationship between her and your brand. Doing so will likely result in an overall uptick of interest in your destination in general. Not sure how to go about doing so? Building a social media action plan is a great way to get started.
We understand that not all destinations are looking to attract all demographics. Perhaps your points of interest appeal more to solo travelers, families or empty-nesters looking for adventure. You may be asking yourself, “How can I tailor my marketing techniques to target each demographic individually?” With research! Lucky for you, we’ve done the hard part and will be providing you with tips for reaching a variety of female travelers ranging from businesswomen to solo vacationers and moms with families to retirees. Stay tuned!
And, as always, don’t be shy! Contribute to the conversation in the comment section below. We’re always interested to hear about how your DMO is strategizing to reach your ideal target market.