The Art and Science of Destination Marketing

Jenna Qian is CEO of Destination Marketing at Ctrip, leading a business that connects destinations with people. We asked Ms Qian how destination marketing is changing over time, and what is important when marketing towards Chinese travellers.

FROM OFFICIAL WEBSITE TO MICROBLOGS TO SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS, TRAVEL BRANDS NEED CONSISTENT, CONCISE, AND ACCESSIBLE CONTENTS

Chinese millennials are becoming the new force in China’s tourism. This massive group has a unique media consumption pattern. From PC to tablet PC to mobile; from official website to microblogs to social media channels, travel brands need consistent, concise, and accessible contents. Mobile internet has already surpassed TV in amount of time spent, and it is still growing rapidly.

You talk about the “art and science” of Destination Marketing. What do you mean by that?

The art & science is of equal significance to Destination Marketing. Though the marketing method varies, the logic and scientific analysis system behind marketing are unchanged. Through scientific analysis, we get a better understanding of target groups, their consumption preferences, and as a result, build strategy to have full marketing penetration on travellers’ decision and behaviour before, during and after the trip.

Here I would like to share an example: Ctrip’s marketing project with Peru. The first stage is branding & awareness. Through PC and mobile landing page, Ctrip website advertisements, social media posting, and KOL sharing, beautiful images are displayed in ways that make the destination immediately desirable.

The second stage is sales conversion. Ctrip leverages its large membership and corporate partnerships to precisely reach the target audience. Taking into account differences in purchasing power, interests, demographic information, browsing history and more, we push relevant travel product to each potential tourist, and heighten sales conversion.

The last stage is maintenance. After the initial launch, we assembled a Peru Online Flagship Store that incorporated tourism info, travel products, multimedia content, and sales functions in one place to create an interface that collages all relevant tourism-related information together. From scenic spots to hotels to restaurants, visitors can visually experience and instantly make purchasing decisions.


Photo: Jenna Qian – CEO of Destination Marketing, Ctrip