FERNANDINA BEACH WEATHER

+9-6 Market segmentation & its impact on purchasing behavior

By Malcolm Noden
April 29, 2020

“One major issue that is going to be on the minds of every visitor is the cleanliness of the places that they visit. Starting with hotel rooms, bathrooms, restaurants, cafes, retail stores, etc. It not only has to be CLEAN, but we will need to continuously demonstrate our ongoing cleaning activities where they can be seen by the guest.”

A University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension photo.

One of the important tasks associated with any marketing program is establishing the various sub- groups within the overall consumer demand for the destination, service, or product involved. In doing so it is critical to follow established research models, in order to determine the commonality of the purchasing behavior within the separate groups.

However critical, it is never an easy task, and many dollars and much effort go into careful examination of the related research data in order to ensure its accuracy and thus enhance the effectiveness of any marketing program.
So it is that in the aftermath of the current health crisis our community is going to face some very different kinds of demands for our tourism services, and we will need a great deal of preparation in advance of the reopening of our tourism demand.

One major issue that is going to be on the minds of every visitor is the cleanliness of the places that they visit. Starting with hotel rooms, bathrooms, restaurants, cafes, retail stores, etc. It not only has to be CLEAN, but we will need to continuously demonstrate our ongoing cleaning activities where they can be seen by the guest. Visitors will be looking out for those situations where the human contact requirement as a prelude to any purchase is reduced to an absolute minimum.

Before COVID 19 we already had a significant segment of our incoming demand market that were actively seeking various forms of alternate accommodations. Among the market segment known as millennials, and the centennials, there was already a rapidly increasing demand for Airbnb as their favorite portal into any tourist destination. After this pandemic is over, I suggest that this market segment will expand, and folks who are older may well decide to join them in their search for safe clean places to stay.

What this means is that while Gil Langley and his associates at the Tourism Development Council, are carefully watching the changing market trends in demand by inbound tourists, it is critical that all businesses that serve our tourists need to understand the need for them to continuously and publicly demonstrate that their daily operating procedures are fully focused on the maintenance of sanitary conditions in every part of their physical plant.

If Grandma was correct when she told us that “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” then the immediate future is the time for us to demonstrate that we know how true, and how important, this concept is to the continued viability of our community as a visitor magnet into the foreseeable future.

Noden is the past Chairman of the New York State Tourism Education Task force, an advisory board appointed by former Governor George Pataki of New York. Noden serves on the editorial board of TEOROS International, a theoretical research journal for education in tourism, and was the Cornell University representative to, and a founding member of, the World Tourism Organization, Educational and Training Board.

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