July 25, 2017

Visitor Personas Likely to Love Our Destination

Posted : July 1, 2016

Close your eyes and picture the average visitor to our region. Chances are we have similar images in mind (related to baby boomers, city dwellers, music and wine). Now think of all the resources we have in our region. Not only award winning food and wine but also Gold country history, art, music, festivals, friendly locals, caves, rock climbing, water sports, snow sports, backpacking, hiking, bird watching, etc. Each of these activities have the potential to inspire visitors to stay in local establishments, eat at local restaurants, shop in between trips and relax with evening entertainment.  Current DMO (destination marketing organization) best practices suggest the best way to spread the marketing love is to assess who our largest clientele currently is and envision outside of these groups in order to reach low hanging fruit in under-utilized demographics who would love to experience all that our area has to offer.

Earlier this June, at our 2016-2017 fiscal year marketing retreat, we did exactly that. In addition to continuing to market to our well represented demographics (such as music loving baby boomers), we have created 4 psychographics known as “personas” to tailor this year’s marketing to these individuals. Feel free to take a peek at these personas and ask yourself if your current marketing strategy takes these individuals into account and if it doesn’t, if it might be worthwhile to branch out.

If you feel you have a destination, product or service that these personas would flip for, make sure to let us know. In the near future we will be making itineraries for these individuals and want to make sure your assets are included. Without further ado, let us introduce you to our 2016-2017 personas and a brief (ie incomplete) list of what our county can uniquely offer them. Oh, and by the way, we’re pulling photos from our Instagram feed to demonstrate these persona examples.


PERSONA 1: The Experiential Millennial

Experiential Millennial example | Instagrammer: @patrickryanphotos

Experiential Millennial example | Instagrammer: @patrickryanphotos


What’s important to know about persona 1: The Experiential Millennial

My age ranges from 26 to 35 and as a millennial, my demographic is the nation’s LARGEST living generation. I’ve graduated from college but have not begun a traditional career. I do not have children, and lead a lifestyle that prioritizes travel. I watched my parents lose their entire life savings during the recession that hit in 2007. This has shaped my values and priorities. I work hard and save my money, not for a later date, but to have experiences today while I am young and single. I will save money by scrimping in facets of my daily life so I can splurge when I travel. I am always on the lookout for a local and unique experience. I am friendly, and love getting to know the locals. –Making memories by meeting quirky people and getting the inside scoop on the best places to eat and experiences to explore.  I am single-handedly changing the face of modern marketing and am interested in authentic personal reviews but distrusting of old school marketing strategies. I love places and people with personality and character. Show me peers having a great time at your destination through social media and I will give your service a try. I am a loyal customer and if I like what you do, I will vocally promote your brand via social media in the most flattering and artistic way I have the ability to produce, making sure all my friends want to go to your destination or try your product.

What our region has to offer The Experiential Millennial persona

Quirky and eclectic events and festivals, budget lodging, haunted destinations, gold panning, caves, distinctive photogenic landscapes, friendly locals, snob-free beer and wine, playful and eclectic menus at local eateries, local bands, awesome camping, backpacking, watersports and light outdoor recreation, smaller venues for live events and local theater.


PERSONA 2: The Fun Loving Friends

Fun Loving Friends Example | Instagrammer @jdelappe

Fun Loving Friends example | Instagrammer: @jdelappe


What’s important to know about persona 2: The Fun Loving Friends

I am 30 to 65 years old. I have my career and family life figured out and sometimes need to take a break from the routine of the daily grind by getting together with friends I only get to see once or twice a year at most. We love to go to unique destinations and have quirky experiences that will keep us laughing for years to come. Our priority is spending quality time together, since we don’t get to see each other much, the activity is a back drop for our time together. We like to research and plan our trips in advance and our taste in lodging varies from group to group. Most of us prefer something a little nicer where we can get a good night’s sleep to recoup from the shenanigans we’ll frequently get up to running late into the night. Wine will almost definitely be involved, but we also love tours and creating uniquely memorable experiences with a couple of highlight events. We’re friendly, and sometimes enjoy socializing with locals, but for the most part—we’re most focused on each other. We’ll promote your location with some classy and goofy photos since we want to capture the memories to enjoy at a later date.

What our region has to offer The Fun Loving Friends persona

Walkable wine tasting in a charming historic downtown setting nearby lots of lodging options. Charming historic towns with lots of antiques, shopping and Gold Rush era charm, friendly locals, lots of live events to choose from of varying scale, quirky highlight events from festivals to caving to haunted tours to live theater.


PERSONA 3: The Memory Making Family

Memory Making Family example | Instagrammer: @daniquerem


What’s important to know about persona 3: The Memory Making Family

Led by mom, we are determined to make a great memorable vacation for our young family. We work hard and plan ahead to make sure our travel budget can go as far as possible. We’re looking for bundle packages, and easy deals. We won’t jump through hoops for discounts, we’ve got too much on our plate for that. We’ll research our travel destinations through every means possible, reviews, phone calls, websites, and Pinterest. We love activities that are friendly for a wide range of ages and feature burning off energy, staying cool in the summer, and playful educational opportunities year round. We’re looking to make new traditions, and make memories that we can laugh about for years to come. We’ll promote your service/business incidentally, since we love to show our long distance friends and relatives where we’ve been up to.

What our region has to offer The Memory Making Family persona

Memorable annual events that can become a beloved family tradition, charming historic downtowns, hands on learning opportunities such as museums, gold panning, family fun centers, kid friendly wilderness spaces such as scenic parks, caves, bouldering, etc, haunted hotels, historic theaters, music outdoors where kids can run around. Kid friendly foods (such as pizza, bakeries and ice cream shops), safe neighborhoods, simple town layout making it easy to go from destination A to B without much fuss. And lots of places for Fido to join the fun!


PERSONA 4: The Techie Adventurer

Techie Adventurer example | Instagrammer: @savylikesyellow

Techie Adventurer example | Instagrammer: @savylikesyellow


What’s important to know about persona 4: The Techie Adventurer

I work hard to be able to play harder. I live a very fast-paced life in urban environments spending most of my hard earned income on the best high end travel and wilderness equipment. When I travel I am very organized and focused. I want to pack as much time in to my high priority destinations (such as bouldering, skiing, mountaineering) as possible–destinations whose silence tends to contrast with the hubbub of city life . In wilderness spaces I am a beast, in town I like to relax and unwind. I will spend more money for an upscale laid back atmosphere with good food and beer or wine. I’m not interested in talking to locals as much since I don’t have much free time or energy after my work week and hard-earned travel. I work hard and know that I deserve the best–be it beer, wine, gear or sunset. I’m not interested in a run of the mill business. I want to experience something with character in the brief time I have away from screens. I am social media savvy and will use Instagram as well as various apps to scout out the best places to eat, stay and play.

What our region has to offer The Techie Adventurer persona

Artisanal and national award winning food and wine with a laid back community aesthetic all within a short distance of a wide array of year round wilderness activities that allow visitors to maximize their adventure time.

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