Insights August 3, 2020

How to adjust your marketing strategy to suit the increased appetite for staycations

Living Word
By Living Word

Everyone knows that knowing your audience is key. Resorts and hotels might confidently hone in on relaxation-hungry, sun-craving groups or thrill-seekers with trekking boots and backpacks at the ready; if you know what they want that you can offer, that’s what you need to be talking about, right? But what about cultural references and language? Are you talking to your neighbour or someone from a different corner of the globe?

Lockdowns have been lifted in many parts of the world, but different travel restrictions remain in place. Staycation is the word on everyone’s lips – a chance not just to dig deeper where you stand, but also to be a hero of sorts, taking one for the team and preventing the virus from spreading. What’s more, many people think that the local holidaying boom is anything but temporary; the kind of urgent anxiety and fear currently associated with the idea of flying doesn’t just go away.

So who’s your audience again? Interestingly, you might just know them better now than ever. They likely speak your language and understand your culture; they might even know a thing or two about the local village or beach. They’ll remember that news story that blew up recently but never made it beyond your country’s borders, and any negative connotations arising from it.

Translate and localise

If your offering has remained the same, you might think that the marketing strategy can too, but you’d be missing a trick. Why communicate in English if it’s both your and your local audience’s second language? Get a native linguist on the case – translate it, and localise it. If it suits your brand, you can go all in with cultural in-jokes and established puns, and you can really connect with your audience.

The pandemic isn’t over, of course, and there are issues to keep in mind. Even among those desperate for a break, many are still anxious about any form of travel to anywhere but the local park, so some reassurance certainly won’t go astray. If your images are from pre-coronavirus times, consider getting new ones – at least if there are people in them and social distancing isn’t being practised. Needless to say, demonstrating that you’re adhering to the latest rules and recommendations is key.

Don’t forget to consider placement. A full-page advert in a regional publication will cost a lot less than a banner advert on a big, international site that reaches sun-craving holiday-goers from all over the northern hemisphere. Be specific with the geographical filters for social media advertising, and perhaps add a morale boost to encourage local visitors to enjoy themselves while pulling their weight, supporting local business and doing the right thing?

Corporate social responsibility and a feel-good factor

When the going gets tough – say during potential future peaks and local lockdowns, should we need them – there’s always the opportunity for some CSR and to allow those in need of somewhere to isolate to stay at your resort or hotel. It won’t be what pays your bills right now, but it might just do your brand some good – and make you feel a little warm inside…