media update’s Aisling McCarthy chatted to Morgan about her work in the travel industry and the intricacies involved in marketing in the industry.

1. How important has Instagram become in the world of travel marketing, given its visual appeal and younger audience?

Instagram ranks within the top five most active social media platforms in South Africa and is one of the key social media platforms for Club Med today, globally. It is also a key platform used to leverage influencer marketing.

The influence is seen especially with millennial families who, for Club Med, now represent the largest growth segment and opportunity in the travel market.

Club Med regularly animates its global brand account with quality content to inspire future travelers; and our content and community managers locally animate resort accounts on a daily basis.

You can see an example of the newest Club Med resort on Instagram here.

2. What factors would influence how Club Med markets to a young person in their mid-20’s, compared to older persons or even couples in their late 30’s?

Millennial families are becoming a key target area for us. Knowing this, we studied their usage and expectations regarding holidays.

For instance, as they spend a lot of their free time on social media, Club Med has developed a strong social media strategy to address this target market daily. This strategy is always evolving to adapt to new platforms, features and usages.

As they tend to trust their peers and influencers more than traditional advertising, we multiply activations with key opinion leaders, but also encourage the sharing of user-generated content via social or word-of-mouth from all of our clients through several initiatives.

While millennial families are a growing market, they are not our only market.

Our marketing campaigns are designed to strongly focus on and emphasise the experiences our customers can have while on holiday at a Club Med Resort. We often utilise more than one platform across online and offline channels to get our message across.

There is a need for personalisation – something we try to do better every day to reach our different audiences and appeal to their specific interests.

3. How does Club Med lean on data and analytics when conceiving new campaigns? What insights does data not tell you about a customer?

While Club Med utilises data-driven marketing daily – it has its strengths and its limitations.

In utilising data analysis, statistics from one of our investigations showed us that women are the main buyers of our holidays. As such, we developed campaigns that focussed on women and the experiences they can have at a Club Med Resort.

What data could not tell us, is that although women have a large part of the decision-making process, they were not the only decision makers. In certain countries, the kids had the swaying vote!

This is something the data could not tell you, but if you know the nuances of the market, then this would be something you would take into consideration.

4. Over the course of your career, what has been the most important insight you have learned about customers and travel?

Now, more than ever, there is a growing need to remain relevant in the market and to customers.

For marketers, this can be a challenge with the rate of constant change. Knowing exactly who our customers are, being able to determine their needs within any given context and understanding the customer journey – from awareness all the way through to conversion – is essential.

Once all the campaigns are live, sales pitches executed and the customer has made the booking, what’s next is the experience.

We know that our guests want happy, memorable moments while on holiday – for themselves and to share with friends and family. This is an important thing I have learned, because a happy guest means a returning customer.

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Data and insights are a vital part of any good marketing strategy. Find out how Demographica uses anthropology to gain its data in our article, Why anthropology offers marketers an “outside view of an inside world”.