CFL hiking trails Manternacher Fiels
© Oliver Raatz

Content is King, Context is Queen

Building long-term customer loyalty

A key component of the new content strategy is “Inspiring travel stories from Luxembourg” – personal stories with an X-factor. Storytelling creates authenticity, enhances brand image and lays the foundations for a long-term customer relationship on an emotional level. Storytelling also allows for successful marketing in the media.

The primary segment of LFT’s strategy is the “explorers” traveller profile. At its heart are authentic experiences, travelling off the beaten path, discovering different countries and cultures, and encounters with locals. These “explorer” attributes can then be tailored to three further focus groups:

Nature-loving actives: This group’s focus is on orientation and reliability: outdoor and active themes are especially popular.

Perfection seekers: The visual experience is key, with exclusivity being a priority. Perfection seekers are globetrotters who are happy to take risks – in comfort.

Short breakers: This target group plans carefully, likes familiarity and avoids risks, placing great importance on short-term objectives.

The main topics are the result of a number of studies, such as visitor surveys, target group analyses and studies of image and potential. The target groups outlined are interested in certain themes more than others. In contrast, LFT is aware of the overall potential of these themes on the markets, and to what extent Luxembourg is associated with them. Consequently, themes can be prioritised according to target groups and markets.

LFT works at an inspirational level as a priority, positioning itself at an early stage of the customer journey. The goal is for Luxembourg as a travel destination to be firmly established in the customer consciousness, and Luxembourg’s popularity to grow by way of brand-building, positive and trustworthy communication. In addition, concrete themed offers should be promoted among partners, especially through year-round media partnerships and in the more mature source markets (the Netherlands, Belgium and specific regions of Germany and France). The initial priority is on fostering inspiration and establishing Luxembourg in customers’ minds, before moving on to concrete offers from search queries. LFT has access to weekly search and booking data (hotels, flights, Google search interest), monthly studies on travel intentions for the next six months, and data on social media sentiment.

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Online media and lighthouse projects

The selected media must correspond to LFT’s target groups. The continuous presence of content is already at the forefront through year-round, cost-intensive media partnerships. Luxembourg should be permanently visible, even in a non-tourism context. Furthermore, even more topic specific media should become involved in order to bring niche themes, such as camping or cycle tourism, to the right readers.

The majority of media planning is intended for online media, as these target groups prefer to do things online and these media types can react flexibly. Therefore, print and online articles should not be identical, but rather complement each other, and should be published at intervals.

Of even greater importance in the inspiration phase would be the core print “lighthouse projects” that LFT has planned, such as special features about a public holiday in the relevant country. These publications can also be complemented by live presence for a greater reach. These partnerships focus on key regions and key target groups, to which the partnerships will be limited, while online activities will cast a wider net.

Partnerships are currently more important than ever: alongside communication (Early Travel Inspiration), the focus is primarily on marketing experience packages. In addition, the coherence of the Visit Luxembourg brand should be worked on further. Synergies between “classic” media planning and alternative types of advertising are in demand. These could be live events; online initiatives such as competitions; promotions in various locations without a live presence, such as stands at branches of cycle shops, wine merchants, etc.; or B2B activities.

The pandemic has shifted the focus to local markets. At the same time, wanderlust is as prevalent as ever in all European core markets. Concrete travel intentions may bounce back rapidly depending on the extent to which lockdown restrictions are eased.

2020 has unequivocally shown that the situation can change on a daily basis. As far as media communications are concerned, events and budgets had to be postponed or cancelled at the last minute. This will likely remain the case in 2021. However, a sudden rebound is always possible, in which case we must react quickly by swiftly activating the relevant budgets and resources.