Understand ultra-high earners and what makes them tick
Starting with a set of psychographic parameters including income and traveling habits, the team created what are essentially audience personas – pen portraits of ultra-high earning individuals describing: who they are, where they live, what platforms they use, what media they consume, and so on.
The client’s ultra-high earning audience were younger than expected, and GWI data revealed that when traveling, they’re particularly keen to support small local shops, markets, bars and - above all - independent restaurants unknown to most holidaymakers. The reason was simple:
Ultra-high earning travelers prize authenticity. They seek out unknown local restaurants because they make the best memories - and offer the best bragging rights to friends at home.
Armed with this killer insight, the team set about creating highly targeted content for The Thinking Traveller website, guides, and blog. To fuel their efforts, they spoke to their client’s network of concierges based around the Med to discover the coolest eateries in every location – exactly the sort of local knowledge that doesn’t appear in guidebooks or on websites. They also ran a campaign centered around an awareness day (called The Thoughtful Traveller Day), encouraging people to leave reviews of local restaurants they’ve fallen in love with while abroad – inspiring others to support these businesses in the future. And that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Knowing Facebook was this audience’s social media platform of choice opened up a marketing opportunity like no other.
Leveraging this knowledge, the team launched a secretive, exclusive Facebook group for The Thinking Traveller’s customers. Joiners received perks, discounts, and other benefits – like first refusal on cancellations at their favorite harbor-side bistro. Now here’s the really clever bit. The only way for someone to join this Facebook group was to prove they'd left a review for a local business while abroad, creating a virtuous circle of engagement. And to generate prestige, only 100 new joiners were allowed in any year.
This multi-layered approach soon gained traction. Not long after launch, the agency saw that local businesses being reviewed were sharing and promoting the coverage they’d received. Even other travel companies were doing the same, not realizing they were in effect amplifying the marketing efforts of a direct competitor.
The beauty of this solution is that it can roll on from year to year, pretty much indefinitely, refreshing itself automatically as word spreads.
The more people talk about the awareness campaign and the businesses it features, the more relevance and authority it gains, and the more people will talk about it. This open-ended, self-sustaining format means as long as the wealthy continue to travel and seek out local small businesses to support, it’ll continue to be as relevant as it is today.