A successful travel promotion is on the horizon: campaign planning 101

With modern consumers replacing material goods with the thrill of experiences, travel is attracting more attention from today’s shoppers.

We are living in a generation of globetrotters; wanderlusters who drove £5.17 trillion into the global economy in 2014. (Statista) So there is truly no time like the present to launch a campaign with an enticing travel prize!

This is why we created Brands on Tour – our recent guide to running a remarkable travel promotion.

To get you started, we take a closer look at what it takes to plan an outstanding travel promotion and when to seek help from the experts.

Understanding the demand

To properly take advantage of any trend, you need to understand it. What are the ins and outs – why the sudden demand?

Never has it been so important to offer audiences appealing, money-can’t-buy experiences that drive real, meaningful engagement.

But why?

With the growth of the millennial generation comes the growth of the consumers’ online presence. Exposure to jaw-dropping content and inspiring imagery on a daily basis sparks a desire to do. To do – and see – the things they are exposed to everyday.

Travel, being one of these desires.

And who blames them? From relaxing white sand beaches to vibrant big cities, every corner of the world offers unique beauty and new adventures. This is why travel is at the top of so many to-do lists!

The opportunity to jetset abroad – all expenses paid – is appealing to pretty much all of us. And so travel and experience prizes are becoming commonplace in the consumer promotions space.

But how do you get started?

Your promotion should drive brand awareness and achieve meaningful engagement. This requires incentives that manifest genuine, tangible value.

If your business hasn’t run a travel promotion before, there can be a lot to get your head around…

Destination, accommodation, transport, cost, activities – the list goes on!

Seeking advice from experts in running travel and experience promotions can be the most beneficial step for your brand, but here are some of our top tips to launch your planning process…

Design a brief

Long before you start shortlisting destinations and excursions, it’s important to pinpoint the objectives and parameters of the campaign. By creating a brief, your brand has a strategy to refer back to throughout the process.

A successful promotional campaign relies on the quality of the brief.

So be meticulous during the planning phase of the promotion, and ensure all activities align with your brand’s values…  

travel promotion


Who is your audience?

Behind any successful promotional campaign is a brand with a clear understanding of exactly who their consumer is.

It’s all well and good knowing the latest travel trends, but if they don’t apply to your  target audience then that knowledge is null and void.

Males, females, families, students, retirees, athletes, party goers – whoever your audience is, they’re each going to have their own idea of what makes for the ‘perfect’ holiday or experience.

An awareness of the latest consumer trends is never a bad thing, but an outstanding campaign demands an outstanding awareness of your consumer. Make sure you take time to get to know them.

Outline your resource

Establish a budget from the get go to avoid any nasty surprises later down the line.

Whether it’s £1,000 or £20,000, outlining a budget and campaign priorities will keep you on track. Not to mention, your brand will enjoy more benefits.

A timeframe is equally important!

How long will it run for? Will it be more effective in one season than another? Would it benefit from running in conjunction with an event?

Simple questions – yes. But answering these questions now will improve the efficiency of your campaign moving forwards.   

Define a prize structure

There are several prize structures to build a sales promotion upon.

Are you going to offer one prize, a headline prize with smaller wins for a selection of runner-ups, or plenty of smaller prizes? Although it seems like an easy choice to make, it can significantly impact how consumers perceive the value of your promotion – and your brand!

Before deciding the ins and outs of your campaign, work out which structure your consumers will prefer.

Create a theme

To elevate any campaign, brands need to find natural synergies between their values and the product or prize they are offering.

Before choosing a destination or experience, outline the benefits and traits of your brand and product. Is there a particular travel or experience prize that enhances your brand message?

Whether it’s adventure or relaxation, creating a theme boosts the appeal and relevance of your promotion.

travel promotion
“It’s important to understand your brand identity, make sure your prize is remarkable, bang on brand and be prepared to tweak anything that doesn’t align with your consumer demographic.”

Also consider the mechanics of the promotion and the way you communicate it. If an 4 day trek and adventure holiday aligns with your brand and audience, then using gamification will probably resonate well.  

Being able to create a solid theme relies on your understanding of your audience. What mechanic is a best fit? How will consumers find out about your campaign?

What do you want?

Once you’ve established what your consumers want and the scope of what you can deliver, you need to ask ‘what does the brand want to achieve?’

Defining the purpose behind the promotion gives you something to measure. Whether it’s the number of valuable leads or product sales, or an increase in social followers – these objectives should guide the direction of the brief.

How to use the brief

You’ve finalised it, now what? It’s time to move it up a gear.

A thorough brief is the backbone of a promotional campaign. Now you have outlined answers for each stage, you can bring it all together for a creative and exciting prize package.

Just remember, every step needs to align. If your consumers will respond well to an all expenses paid, 4 day shopping spree in New York but you only have £1000 to work with, there’s no point. Use the brief to inspire your creativity, but be realistic.

Keep your options open!

There is always going to be a risk in terms of budget and timeframes, so keeping your options open and design several viable options. This way you’re not completely restricted if your chosen package falls through.

Looking for more advice on designing and executing a travel promotion? Download our latest guide to remarkable travel campaigns for FREE here:

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