Visitor segmentation for visitor attractions – in the current financial climate, the need to use resources effectively is more important than ever. However large or small, every attraction needs to think tactically to remain competitive. It’s tempting to try and appeal to every type of visitor but you then run the risk of not quite satisfying anyone. It’s also easy to fall into the trap of thinking you know exactly who your visitors are whilst potentially missing out on other audiences. This is where visitor segmentation modelling can help you.
Visit Britain refer to five different segments in their model (please see: https://www.visitbritain.org/visitor-segmentation) and the majority of major attractions now have their own set of segments specific to them.
Primary and trend research is the key element of understanding who your visitors are and companies like Planning Solutions Consulting can provide insightful data to help you really get to know your visitors. In conducting research, you can also understand the different habits of each segment:
- When do they visit?
- How long do they stay?
- What facilities do they use?
- How do they like to receive information?
- What events do they attend? etc.
But it’s only the beginning. Visitor segmentation can give you the confidence to admit that you can’t please everyone and help you to exceed the expectations of your key audiences. Once you know the current split of your segments you can evaluate how well you are currently meeting their needs and what this means for the business. Do you wish to attract more of the same segments and if so, how can you tailor your marketing to directly target and grow these audiences?
You also gain an insight into who are your most valuable visitors. Value may be measured in different ways, individual to different organisations but on a purely financial level this understanding can be hugely beneficial in helping you design your offer to drive income.
This knowledge can also help guide your capital investment programme. Once you know who you are designing your experience for, you can then review your attraction, highlighting peaks and troughs for each segment. Needs can vary quite dramatically, for example on a nature reserve a keen birdwatcher may desire complete silence in a hide whilst a family who are keen to learn may be excitedly pointing out ducks. Thinking strategically, conflict between different segments can be reduced, for example by introducing a family hide, designed to be bright and welcoming, with family appropriate interpretation and props. Whilst the birder may still choose to go into this hide, they will know exactly what is in store for them! Other segments of visitor may simply be attracted by beautiful surroundings and bypass the hide completely whilst more social visitors may only get as far as the cafe. And then there are fun-seeking families who may not be drawn to bird hides but seek play and thrill-seeking things to see and do. These audiences can be demanding but are high value in their spending so the pay back on capital investment can be great.
Visitor segmentation models for visitor attractions helps to shape your entire business and can be an invaluable resource to maximise opportunities and plan for the future.