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BCF 1. Sesquicentennial Qualitative Travel Research Conducted July, 2009 2.

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Presentation on theme: "BCF 1. Sesquicentennial Qualitative Travel Research Conducted July, 2009 2."— Presentation transcript:

1 BCF 1

2 Sesquicentennial Qualitative Travel Research Conducted July, 2009 2

3 BCF CONTENTS 1.Objectives of the research 2.Who did we talk to? 1.Why is history and/or the Civil War important? 2.When visiting sites, what do they expect? 1.What is the universal message? 1.How can we reach them? 3

4 BCF 1 Research Objectives 4

5 BCF Research Objectives: To better understand what will motivate Civil War buffs, heritage travelers and general travelers to visit Civil War sites in Virginia during the Sesquicentennial Commemoration To explore a universal message for all Virginia Civil War sites that attracts heritage travelers, historical travelers and buffs 5

6 BCF 2 Who Did We Talk To? 6

7 BCF Vacaters (General Travelers) Heritage Travelers Civil War Buffs 7

8 BCF Where did we find them? Civil War site intercepts: Appomattox, Manassas, The American Civil War site at Tredegar Museum/Heritage site intercepts: Colonial Williamsburg, the DC Smithsonian Museum of American History Source: The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell 8

9 BCF SOURCE: TNS Travel Panel Study, 2009 9 Target Vacaters - 20% of the concentration - Least likely to come - Broadest target - Most expensive to reach Vacaters Heritage Travelers - 40% of the concentration - More likely to come - Broader target - More expensive to reach Civil War Buffs - 40% of the concentration - Most likely to come - Smallest target - Least expensive to reach

10 BCF Psychographically: We found Mavens at Civil War Sites and Salespeople at museums and heritage sites 10 Source: The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell So the people interviewed represented a Tipping Point

11 BCF What makes someone a Maven? They are information experts They are the people we rely upon to connect us with new information They have the power to spark word of mouth because their opinion is respected 11 Source: The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell

12 BCF What makes someone a Salesperson? They are persuaders They are passionate You can’t help but like them This is how they persuade you Source: The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell 12 Source: The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell

13 BCF SOURCE: TNS Travel Panel Study, 2009 13 Target Vacaters -Not as interested in history -Not as influential Vacaters Heritage Travelers - Interested in history - They persuade their friends and family to come with them Civil War Buffs -Experts on the Civil War Influencers

14 BCF 3 The meaning of history/the Civil War 14

15 BCF “Virginia is THE state to come and learn about Colonial and Civil War history. More battles were fought here than anywhere else in America. ” - Civil War Buffs and Heritage Travelers 15

16 BCF Virginia is known for its History 16 Source: VTC Attitudinal Study, Southeastern Institute of Research, May, 2009

17 BCF Old Architecture…Old Architecture… War sites…War sites… Colonial people…Colonial people… Learning Boring…

18 BCF “I visit sites to envision a battle through the eyes of Robert E. Lee.” 18 Civil War Buffs

19 BCF Civil War Buffs They pride themselves on their knowledge of the Civil War so they like to share their knowledge with others. They visit sites to see “where it all happened.” Battlefields bring to life the stories and struggles they have read about in books. For them a war site is not only a battlefield, it’s a memorial. Sites are sacred grounds that hold a certain presence for them. Some admit feeling a force or energy from the battles that occurred there Most of them visit sites alone or with fellow enthusiasts. They will more than likely come to Virginia during the Sesquicentennial commemoration 19

20 BCF “History inspires me with a sense of pride in our past.” 20 Heritage Travelers

21 BCF Heritage Travelers Some people vacation. These people voyage. They like to explore the past because they discover new things about their world and themselves They find history exciting because studying the foundations of our society empowers them with a better of understanding today’s world. Curious and inquisitive, they want to see how all the pieces fit together. Most of them have a favorite historical genre. While they know a lot about certain types of history, they may not know a lot about the Civil War. That said, they do know the Civil War is an epic struggle for freedom, equality and unification that has shaped America’s modern identity 21

22 BCF “I know I should learn more about history. But it’s just such a snoozer. ” 22 Vacaters

23 BCF Vacaters For them, a vacation is a mental holiday Although they admit history should be more of a priority, it’s not something they want to do on their vacation. Most of them find it boring and would rather do something less intellectual on their mental holiday, like sit on the beach Others will go to a museum if they have some down time or if their friends/family drag them along They prefer to visit “must see sites” like the Smithsonian, Colonial Williamsburg, and Gettysburg They don’t know a lot about the Civil War. But they do recognize that it’s one of the most significant wars in American history 23

24 BCF “My kid does ten different things at once: text, listen to iTunes, play computer games, and finish his homework. He gets bored pretty fast standing around watching someone make shoes.” - Vacater, Virginia 24

25 BCF Vacaters Kids don’t hate history in their vacation. Older kids are learning about it in school so it’s cool for them to experience it first hand Kids just need history to be interactive - Hands on exhibits engage children longer. But make sure they’re kid proof! - Exhibits featuring technology keeps kids entertained and parents happy 25

26 BCF 4 Civil War Site Expectations 26

27 BCF 27 Expectations: Buffs Buffs don’t mind if a site is light in content. Since they read a lot of Civil War books, they don’t spend a lot of time reading information at sites They have visited the popular sites so they want to explore less well known battlefields. These are usually sites they haven’t seen yet They also have favorite sites that they frequent because of the connection they have with them

28 BCF 28 Expectations: Buffs Special events like reenactments are less authentic for Buffs who feel they’re staged interpretations with actors not from the time period They derive more from sites that are true to the historical account. That’s because they can better envision a battle when a site is closer to its original state Buffs feel passionately about the restoration of overgrown sites and preservation of sites threatened by urban development

29 BCF 29 Expectations: Buffs Sesquicentennial packages bundling lesser known battlefields and restored sites will attract buffs more than promoting its anniversary Cause marketing encouraging site preservation is something that Buffs feel passionately about as well

30 BCF 30 Expectations: Heritage Travelers Learning feeds their minds so information is important to them when visiting a site. But they don’t seek text heavy content full of trivial facts Heritage Travelers are most fulfilled when given another piece to complete the big picture They like reenactments and artifacts as long as they tell a anecdote relevant to the overall story Special events and anniversaries appeal to some, but only by relating their meaning to the broader historical context

31 BCF 31 Expectations: Heritage Travelers We can generate excitement for the Sesquicentennial commemoration by relating the Civil War to other types of American history. After all, the Civil War is one of the most important chapters in this country’s historical narrative Sesquicentennial packages that bundle Civil War sites with Virginia’s other historical sites have the most potential to appeal to Heritage Travelers

32 BCF 32 Expectations: Vacaters They are overwhelmed by sites heavy in content. For them consuming history needs to be easy to digest Sites lighter in content are more appealing. They do not seek a lot of depth Vacaters are excited by sites that bring history to life through reenactments, cultural immersions, personal stories, ghost tours, and trails where they can walk in soldiers’ footsteps While anniversaries create the expectation of special events for some, they are a marketing gimmick for others

33 BCF 33 Expectations: Vacaters Since history is not a priority for them, they are looking for places that mix historical and leisure activities Packages that bundle Civil War sites with shopping, living history and theme parks (i.e. Williamsburg) will increase appeal for Vacaters

34 BCF 5 What is the universal message that speaks to all targets? 34

35 BCF “Understanding history is important because it keeps us from repeating past mistakes.” - Civil War Buffs, Heritage Travelers and Vacaters 35

36 BCF “What if the Civil War had ended differently? Would we live in the same country that we do today?” - Civil War Buffs, Heritage Travelers and Vacaters 36

37 BCF 37 Buffs, Heritage Travelers and Vacaters agree the outcome of the Civil War helped shaped modern America A message like this appeals to all targets And encompasses all of Virginia’s Civil War sites

38 BCF 38 Universal Message Visiting Virginia for the 150 th anniversary of the Civil War gives Americans a greater understanding of how the Civil War is fundamental in appreciating The United States of today. Unlike Pennsylvania or Georgia, most of the Civil War was waged in Virginia. With 125 battles fought here, each site is an irreplaceable piece of the Civil War’s whole picture.

39 BCF 6 How can we reach our targets? 39

40 BCF The Destination Decision is Shared 40 Source: VTC Attitudinal Study, Southeastern Institute of Research, May, 2009

41 BCF While the destination decision is shared, women are in charge of researching the trip and planning the itinerary Two thirds of inquiries for VA brochures are made by women Source: TNS, National Travel Panel Study, 2009 41

42 BCF Important Information Sources When Planning a Trip Source: VTC Attitudinal Study, Southeastern Institute of Research, May, 2009 42

43 BCF Experience Mapping ™ The Trip Planner’s Journey… 43

44 BCF Getting the idea Research Book ‘em! Consumer Trip Planning Advice from Travel Mavens (friends & family) Magazines Articles Travel Shows Kids/Significant Other Advice from Traveling Salespeople (friends & family) Destination Sites & Key Word Searches Brochure s Online Price Comparisons Hotel Reviews/Amenities/Pho tos Chambers of Commerce 44

45 BCF Trip Planning with Kids “If kids aren’t happy, parents aren’t happy” - ALL moms 45

46 BCF Trip Planning with Kids Kids under 7 need food and sleep for parents to survive At this age, a slight drop in blood sugar or a missed nap leads to the much dreaded meltdown Kid friendly destinations are a make or break factor when planning trips 46

47 BCF Trip Planning with Kids If the destination is not less than one hour in the car, it’s best to target kids over 7 years old…after they have passed diaper, naptime, meltdown age 47

48 BCF Big Trip vs. Small Trip Planning “I want to visit the Antarctic before I get too old. I can see Virginia whenever. ” - Heritage Traveler, DC 48

49 BCF Big Trip Planning vs. Small Trip Planning Planning time is shorter for small trips - It’s more spontaneous because small trips are on the fly - Bargain junkies hunt for last minute deals online - Small trips are more frequent as they are less expensive Planning time is longer for big trips - Groups told us big trips were planned one year out - Includes travel outside the US for couples, but trips closer in proximity for families - For older travelers, big trips are on their “bucket list” - Big trips are less frequent as they are more expensive 49

50 BCF Half of Travelers Take One Big Trip and One or More Small Trips 50

51 BCF 51 Big Trip vs. Small Trip Planning: The Long Tail Bricks and mortar music stores sell less titles at a higher price While their profit threshold is higher per unit, they sell less units Pure digital retailers sell more titles at a lower price While their profit threshold is lower per unit, they sell more units Big Hits The music industry has traditionally squeezed millions from a few megahits. But millions can also be made by sales from niche markets No Hits The Long Tail by Chris Anderson Sales Titles

52 BCF 52 The Travel Market’s Long Tail Travelers take one big trip per year because they are more expensive While people spend less money on small trips, they take one or more small trips per year Big Trips Small Trips Number of Trips $$$ We can still squeeze money from a few big trips. But millions more can be made by increasing the number of small trips too

53 BCF 53 Lengthening The Tail Small Trips Number of Trips $$$ Increasing the number of small trips during the Sesquicentennial will lengthen the tail

54 BCF 54 Average Spend per Household Index (BDI) Travel to Virginia Opportunity Market Primary Market Families spend 3 times more than couples Families spend twice as much as couples SOURCE: TNS Travel Panel Study, 2009

55 BCF 55 Fattening The Tail We can fatten the tail by increasing the number of families trips to Virginia during the Sesquicentennial Big Trips Number of Trips $$$

56 BCF Initial Media Ideas 56

57 BCF General Media Usage Magazines Internet Newspaper 57

58 BCF 58 Target Vacaters There is a lot of media cross over between Vacaters (General Travelers) and Heritage Travelers Vacaters Heritage Travelers - 60% 25-54 - 40% 45+ - 58% w/ kids <18 y.o. - 50% male/female - 69% married Civil War Buffs -Median age 52 -53% male -63.1% married Media Demographics

59 BCF 59 Target Vacaters Heritage Travelers Heritage/General Travelers (History Channel) (Discovery Channel) -Virginia Living -Washington Post Magazine -Richmond Magazine -Some local newspapers (Sunday editions) Civil War Buffs (History Channel) -VTC Leisure Publishing Heritage Insert -Smithsonian Preservation Civil War Times Potential Media Vehicles

60 BCF 60 Potential Media Mix Heritage/General Travelers: Target primary and opportunity markets with regional magazines, local news websites, and possibly newspaper Buffs: Target national market with online and magazines

61 BCF End 61

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