Why travel brands need to build buyer personas

Buyer personas are a crucial part of any successful marketing strategy. According to Hubspot, using marketing personas makes websites two to five times more effective and easier to use by targeted users.

Yet, less than half of B2B use buyer personas, as per ITSMA research. Meanwhile, just 37% of B2C marketers told the Content Marketing Institute this year that they document their content marketing strategy, which suggests they don't use buyer personas either.

Regardless of whether your travel firm is B2B or B2C, it's well worth your time to spend half a day drawing up fictional, generalised representations of your ideal customers – or buyer personas, as they are known.

Buyer personas are drawn from the interviews you conduct with your customers, the data gleaned from your marketing efforts, the information picked up during sign-ups, and the impression your sales team get about your customers from their one-on-one conversations.

That's the beauty of buyer personas: they are so easy to build because you've already done the hard work; it's just a case of bringing all that data together and combining it with a bit of (educated) guesswork.

The benefits of building buyer personas over just having a picture of your ideal customer in your mind's eye lie in the detail. Buyer personas require you to give your ideal customer a face, a story, a name even.

Once you have information documented on your office wall for all to see, it will serve as a constant reminder of your ideal customer's background, needs and challenges. So, the next time you're struggling for a piece of creative inspiration, unable to grasp what it is that your customers are craving, you can simply walk over to your buyer personas to remind you of their likes, dislikes, goals, challenges, and more.

To get you started, check out these traveller profiles – commissioned by TripAdvisor, identified by Ipsos. Which travellers form the basis of your buyer personas?

• Value seekers. Predominantly aged 25 to 34, are often travelling with children and like beach holidays. They want to make the most of holidays and carries out research via smartphone.

• Luxury travellers. As the name would indicate, they spend big, are mostly aged 25 to 49 and like beach holidays and city breaks.

• Social travellers. Fall into the 25 to 49 years old age group and often go away with others. Their income is medium to high and they are said to be influenced by word of mouth and recommendations. They, too, like beach holidays.

• Independent travellers. Like to travel alone and are looking for adventure. They are typically aged between 25 and 49, rely heavily on online research and seek culture.

• Researchers. Again fall into the 25 to 49 age group, and devote a lot of time to researching where to go, where to stay and what to do in a destination. They are often high earners and prepared to part with a bit more money for something special.

• Habitual travellers. Can be aged anywhere between 35 and 64. They return to the same place again and again and want things easy. This segment is said to be mostly male, low earners who go away by themselves.

As we alluded at the start of the piece, using buyer personas will improve your website. First things first, however, you need to make sure that you have a website that is easy to manage so that it can be tailored to suit your buyer personas' needs. To find out how we can help with this, please get in contact.