The Ultimate Travel Marketing Psychographic Targeting Toolkit

Of all marketing spaces, the travel and hospitality vertical has some of the richest data at scale. The reasons are obvious. Many humans are nomadic in nature, a phenomenon dramatically perpetuated by global, easy, low cost, high tech and accessible transportation and lodging.

An exciting feature of growing data sets is easy accessibility to psychographic targeting for marketing via mainstream social channels: Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn and others. Each channel offers its own features for layering data (using “AND” and “OR” operators) and exclusions. Facebook remains the most robust platform for psychographic layers.

This travel and hospitality toolkit provides most mainstream and some off-the-beaten-path data objects, easily available to marketers in different combinations via Facebook, Twitter and Google data. Google, of course, includes YouTube. The data offered herein, dependent on which channel marketers utilize, can be used for:

SO, strap in for a tour of travel and hospitality psychographic layers available in Facebook, Twitter and Google. We’ll also share some layering examples in Facebook, which offer a glimpse into even deeper targeting power.

Navigation Instructions: Swipe the images on mobile and use the “PREV” and “NEXT” buttons on desktop. To jump between sections, scroll down to “Presentation Navigation” and tap your destination of choice.

Travel Marketing Psychographic Targeting Toolkit

Slide 1 - Introduction

This post chronicles multi-channel persona targeting for travel industry marketing. We’ll focus on Facebook, Twitter, Google and a sampling of boutique data partners.

Competitive Targeting Data

Slide 2 - Introduction

We’ll shred various angles to turn competitors’ customers into YOUR new customers.

World of Data

Slide 3 - Introduction

The world of data is always changing. Partnerships come and go. Some data objects are available in most countries. Others are regional data-partner specific. Geographic data differences are normalizing as a result of Facebook creating more branded complex behavioral data objects. The net result is cooler, more comprehensive targeting in more channels.

Some ground rules: The following words are interchangeable:

  • Audience, segment, target, users, customers, psychographics
  • Traits, qualities, personality, persona, attributes, signals, social graph
  • Likelihood, proclivity, affinity, portend, tendency, indicator, suggests, shows
  • Object, preset, chunk, inventory
  • In-market, shoppers, buyers

Psychographic "Roots" & "Qualifiers"

Slide 4 - Introduction

Think about the targeting herein as travel marketing psychographic “roots” and “qualifiers”. We root personas in one or more large segment targeting audience blocks (in the millions). Starting with a large, often complex data object leaves headroom scale for qualifiers, which layer affinities on targets. In Facebook, roots and qualifiers can be layered on top of each other using the “AND” operator to form dual-root personas.

Toolkit Table of Contents

Slide 5 - Introduction

We’ll start with Facebook (FB) roots and qualifiers, after which we’ll delve into Twitter, Google and boutique data providers.

Frequent Travelers

Slide 6 - Facebook

The mother of all FB travel behavioral targeting roots is frequent travelers.

Business Travelers

Slide 7 - Facebook

24.2 million people travel for business.

International Business Travelers

Slide 8 - Facebook

FB thin slices international business travelers, forming a powerful smaller root segment. 1.2 million is a large enough audience on which to layer qualifiers.

US Business Travelers

Slide 9 - Facebook

Here’s the US business travelers psychographic root, a segment formed from American gold.

Casino Vacations

Slide 10 - Facebook

Interesting to note just how many folks dig casinos enough that FB cites their predilection.

Commuters

Slide 11 - Facebook

FB indexes commuters in the travel behavior bucket. Commuting does portend portability.

Cruises (Behavior)

Slide 12 - Facebook

Cruises are a major travel persona root.

Currently Traveling

Slide 13 - Facebook

It’s easy to know where users are traveling in FB’s geographic targeting tool. This 28.1-million-person segment offers zoomed-out perspective on human movement. FB’s currently traveling behavior is an anthropological data point.

Family Vacations

Slide 14 - Facebook

The family vacations audience is smaller than some would expect, but still plenty large to make targeting sunshine!

Frequent International Travelers

Slide 15 - Facebook

So many people are frequent international travelers. 119 million globetrotters rock FB data.

Frequent Flyers

Slide 16 - Facebook

Of our travelers, 3 million do so often by plane.

Leisure Travelers

Slide 17 - Facebook

Nearly 39 million FB users are algorithmically fingered as leisure travelers.

International Personal Travelers

Slide 18 - Facebook

Which psychographic signals FB identifies to flag personal international travel traits are subject to conjecture. There are 12 million reasons to test for yourself.

US Personal Travelers

Slide 19 - Facebook

And then there’s the 30 million US personal travelers. Giddy up with your personal marketing wares!

Returned From Trip

Slide 20 - Facebook

Target FB users who returned from a trip one or two weeks ago. Use creativity to succeed with this zoomed-out audience, users recently affected (perhaps) by a travel experience. Latency of return is an interesting variable.

Timeshares

Slide 21 - Facebook

RCI is probably wondering what happens to users losing value in so many timeshare properties. Well, there’s a chunk of users here ripe for the poaching for sharing economy competitors like Airbnb.

Used Travel App

Slide 22 - Facebook

Target FB users who used a travel app one or two weeks ago. Use ingenuity marketing with this zoomed-out audience. Layer with other roots and qualifiers. Consider latency of app usage, an intriguing psychographic variable.

Facebook Purchase Behaviors

Slide 23 - Facebook

Useful buckets of FB travel affinities are filed under the purchase behavior top-level category. Think of the power! We know with certainty these targeting roots involve BUYING and MONEY. Obviously when root behaviors include money data, audiences have commercial (leads and sales) potential.

Travel Supplies

Slide 24 - Facebook

15 million FB users purchase travel supplies. Layered with other roots and qualifiers, marketers can easily zero in on which segments would purchase various travel supply subcategories.

Upscale Travel and Services

Slide 25 - Facebook

Cha-ching! Upscale means money may be less of a concern for FB users who want better and best. At 21 million people, the upscale travel and services audience is a pay dirt psychographic root!

Facebook Hobbies & Activities Travel Roots

Slide 26 - Facebook

A suite of large travel-related hobbies and activities roots mash in activity that FB users are inclined to DO. Think of the depth! FB knows these users are not only interested, but engaged. When root behaviors portend ACTION, audiences have a greater propensity to actually DO things. Some segments are so large, obviously many users overlap FB’s travel and purchase behaviors. Hobbies and activities roots provide an alternative psychographic lens on travel segmentation.

Adventure Travel

Slide 27 - Facebook

This 355-million-person army of potential adventurers is a stunner. From the Great Barrier Reef and rock climbing to Canadian fishing guides and parasailing, STRAP IN. Adventure is ingrained in these wayfarers’ algorithmic DNA. Adventure travel is a massive root on which multiple other roots and qualifiers can be layered whilst retaining scale.

Air Travel

Slide 28 - Facebook

The air travel hobbies and activities root is giant, likely containing FB’s 3 million frequent flyers. This audience is an awesome place to do major market branding, coordinated with other data and channels (TV, psychographic email, Google intenders, Twitter competitive air segments, etc.). Air travel is a groovy retargeting filter, given its scale. Use other data and channels as the first hop (top of funnel) to set the table for air travel retargeting. Use air travel top of funnel to begin layered persona construction (Top of funnel = hop 1, filtered retargeting/remarketing = hop 2).

Car Rentals

Slide 29 - Facebook

Car rental data in FB is SO useful as a retargeting filter for first-hop Twitter travel intender data. Two hops (top of funnel and filtered retargeting) allow marketers to concatenate destination market with car rental mojo.  

Also, run geo-specific RLSA search campaigns second hop to FB car rentals audiences. Again, we combine destination prediction and geo searches.

Yep! BE a psychographic targeting layers ARTIST.

Beaches

Slide 30 - Facebook

Suntan lotion to sunglasses, all the world’s a beach. Again, the beaches audience is so massive it works as both top of funnel and a retargeting/remarketing filter.

Cruises (Interest)

Slide 31 - Facebook

Search interest for “cruise ships” has been on gradual decline over the past 5 years, even in light of seasonal trends. FB has data with which cruise purveyors can mass brand a rebound. Market to these users sorted by income, adventure and regional qualifiers. Also layer with air travel and/or adventure audiences for integrated air/cruise travel products.

Ecotourism

Slide 32 - Facebook

As in most other areas of human culture, meshing with our earthly environment is a large human driver. Mashup with recycling, wilderness, native and cultural qualifiers to form fabulously focused personas. Also, most any 280-million-person segment is good for filtered retargeting at scale.  

Hotels

Slide 33 - Facebook

Hotels is one fat travel segment, at a girth of over 426 million FB users. Slice ‘em. dice ‘em. Mold this segment as a mass or uber-targeted multi-layer persona stack.

Lakes

Slide 34 - Facebook

254 million FB users have a sweet spot for lakes.

Mountains

Slide 35 - Facebook

This psychographic segment is magnificent, like a mountain, another massive view of travelers’ affinities.

Nature

Slide 36 - Facebook

Nature is the largest broad-view segment and a powerful root with which to target nature travelers.

Theme Parks

Slide 37 - Facebook

Market to mouse lovers and roller coaster junkies. The theme parks segment has so much data that adding more layers can target users at scale.

Tourism

Slide 38 - Facebook

Tourism is another audience that is generally interested in travel and just may be amenable to a destination suggestion. Layer with qualifying destination intent, one hop (top of funnel) or two (inter- and intra-filtered retargeting).

Vacations

Slide 39 - Facebook

Last, but not least, within hobbies and activities is the broad vacations targeting object. As always, layer and filter on the retargeting/remarketing hop.

Qualifier Layers Filter Personas

Slide 40 - Facebook

Secondary layers are called qualifiers. Facebook is the most versatile of the mainstream social channels, offering marketers four layers using the “AND” operator and one exclusion layer. Twitter is more rigid with a rather inflexible layering metaphor, which offers semi-useful “AND” layers plus exclusion (practical for clever marketers). Google provides interesting target layers, though difficult to use. Some DMPs holding boutique data partnerships provide cool layering (The Trade Desk, DoubleClick, BlueKai, etc.)

Facebook Layers

Slide 41 - Facebook

Let’s construct some personas using Facebook layers. Hey, we all love the Flaming Lips, right? Right! We’ll use FL because the audience is not as large as, say, the Rolling Stones. Sometimes layered inventory is more expensive. Yep! Layers usually sport a higher eCPC/eCPM; however, tipped with groovy vertical creative, high conversion can justify an investment in small segments.

Flaming Lips Lovers

Slide 42 - Facebook

Here’s your American Flaming Lips lovers. It’s a small segment. Let’s layer!

Flaming Lips Lovers + Income

Slide 43 - Facebook

These American FL lovers earn $100K+.

Film Festival Fans

Slide 44 - Facebook

Exclusion is powerful. Film festival marketers might not want to market to encumbered parents.

Snowboard Enthusiasts

Slide 45 - Facebook

Colorado-loving, high-earning snowboard enthusiasts are an interesting micro persona.

Creativity & Psychographic Qualifiers

Slide 46 - Facebook

In any psychographic targeting channel there is a cornucopia of qualifying interests as deep as your marketing wit. For travel qualifiers, think about signals ranging from travel magazines…

Opera Halls

Slide 47 - Facebook

…to international opera halls and artists.

Oktoberfest

Slide 48 - Facebook

Some beer-drinking, sausage-slamming va-va-VOOM! Filter psychographic roots down to YOUR right-size travel audience…

Relaxation

Slide 49 - Facebook

…or specific relaxation modes.

Red Light

Slide 50 - Facebook

Red Light peccadillo psychographic layers sure portend…cough…certain interests.

Yelp

Slide 51 - Facebook

Target all sorts of food affinities.

Orchestra

Slide 52 - Facebook

Coordinate layers with editorial calendars to capitalize on timed events, subcategories and other cultural signals.

Multi-Channel Psychographic Qualifiers

Slide 53 - Facebook

Multi-channel psychographic qualifiers are like #beautiful air shows. Give me my first cup of coffee in the morning, babe, and sky’s the LIMIT!

Twitter Travel Interests

Slide 54 - Twitter

Twitter is gorgeous and infuriating all at once. Twitter’s partnerships offer unique travel data objects, unavailable in other channels.  

Twitter Layering Capabilities

Slide 55 - Twitter

The problem is Twitter does not offer much layering using the “AND” operator, save roots and qualifiers like handset and gender. Crafty marketers use Twitter’s exclusion layer to include qualities. For instance, a Twitter user who does NOT earn a range of income DOES earn whatever ranges were NOT excluded. That’s a handful, and it’s why accomplishing positive psychographic layers using exclusion is for crafty marketers.   

Twitter Stock

Slide 56 - Twitter

Twitter’s smaller community size and arcane layering may be one reason Twitter stock is iffy…

Twitter Survival

Slide 57 - Twitter

…raising questions as to Twitter’s ultimate survival as a freestanding business. If Twitter sells to a larger channel that does allow layers, Twitter data could become more effective. Still, don’t be scared away by rants as to Twitter’s potential demise. Twitter is a delightful channel for creative psychographic targeting.

Travel News & General Info

Slide 58 - Twitter

This bucket is large for Twitter, as you’ll see. It’s Twitter’s version of lumping travelers together. It should be pretty obvious now Twitter is not nearly the targeting player as Facebook or Google. These numbers are small. Dramatically lower scale is because a) Facebook users outnumber Twitter’s at 1.79 billion to 317 million, and b) Twitter does not seem to have as sophisticated a social graph to categorize and subcategorize users.

Still, 2-4 million users is nothing to wave a stick at and these generalized psychographic targets are fertile for mass travel branding.

Adventure Travel

Slide 59 - Twitter

Audiences are smaller than FB. That’s fine. There’s little in the way of layers to diminish scale. Here’s the adventure travel crowd.

Africa

Slide 60 - Twitter

This African travel object, like a number of Twitter travel targeting objects, is a preset unique to Twitter. Small Twitter segments are cool because smaller audiences cost less to dominate. Google (therefore YouTube) does have intender data.

Air Travel

Slide 61 - Twitter

Air travel is a large part of the ubiquitous international air-travel-lovers segment.

Asia

Slide 62 - Twitter

Asia is another focused niche unique to Twitter preset data objects. We can hack Asia affinities in FB’s interest bucket, but there’s no FB preset. Google does have intender data.

Australia & New Zealand

Slide 63 - Twitter

Twitter’s a great channel for marketing to AU and NZ interests.

Bed and Breakfasts

Slide 64 - Twitter

Bed and breakfasts is a cozy little Twitter travel audience.

Business Travel

Slide 65 - Twitter

Business travel is a smaller audience in Twitter than in FB. Still, Twitter business travel users are in-channel. I’m one of those in-channel Twitter business travelers so you can target me.

Camping

Slide 66 - Twitter

Camping is another smallish, albeit potentially valuable, Twitter audience. It’s kind of a no-brainer to amplify your camping content to Twitter camping audiences for such a relatively small investment.

Caribbean

Slide 67 - Twitter

Remember all those FB beach lovers? These folks are likely overlaps with strong Caribbean travel psychographic traits.

Canada

Slide 68 - Twitter

These Twitter users may be scampering north after the latest American election. These community members have a predilection for getting north in North America.

Cruises

Slide 69 - Twitter

As expected, Twitter has its niche cruises psychographic audience.

Eastern Europe

Slide 70 - Twitter

Eastern Europe travel psychographics are substantial enough to register among Twitter’s psychographic targeting options.

Europe

Slide 71 - Twitter

Europe is a Twitter travel targeting option, but smaller for the explicit interest than some countries.

France

Slide 72 - Twitter

It’s interesting to note Twitter travel targeting for France alone is greater than Twitter’s social graph for Europe interests.

Greece

Slide 73 - Twitter

Greece Twitter targeting interests weigh in at a reasonably high number for Twitter.

Hawaii

Slide 74 - Twitter

Aloha to Twitter’s Hawaii travel segment.

Honeymoons & Getaways

Slide 75 - Twitter

Here’s a cute couple Twitter travel segment: Honeymoons and getaways.

Hotels

Slide 76 - Twitter

Again, a baby version of Facebook’s huge-ass hotels segment is represented in Twitter travel psychographics.

United Kingdom

Slide 77 - Twitter

UK Twitter travel interests.

Italy

Slide 78 - Twitter

Target Italy-traveling Twitter users.

Japan

Slide 79 - Twitter

Here’s Japan travel interests.

Las Vegas

Slide 80 - Twitter

Viva Las Vegas Twitter psychographic travel interests!

Regional Interest Psychographics

Slide 81 - Twitter

Bucketed together, here’s Twitter regional interest psychographics. There are some uses for this catchall segment, including generalized international travel products and services like insurance, luggage, aggregators, etc.

Luxury Travel

Slide 82 - Twitter

A palpable Twitter luxury travel segment can be an enticing target for publications such as Condé Nast to upper-crust business class services.

Mexico & Central America

Slide 83 - Twitter

Speak Spanish travel to Twitter Mexico and Central America travel interest segment users. This is truly a micro audience.

National Parks

Slide 84 - Twitter

National parks Twitter travel interests.

South America

Slide 85 - Twitter

South America Twitter travel interests.

Theme Parks

Slide 86 - Twitter

Put on your mouse ears and rock the dolphin show. Here are your theme park tweeple.

Traveling with Kids

Slide 87 - Twitter

Kids in tow, whilst traveling they tweet!

Destination + Travel Affinities

Slide 88 - Twitter

Somewhat larger audiences can be had by bucketing destination and various other travel affinities.

Airline Affinities

Slide 89 - Twitter

Twitter is unique among mainstream social channels for explicit, preset airline behavior targeting. Acxiom airline partner data is only available in Twitter among mainstream social channels. These segments are otherwise available via DMPs with Acxiom as a partner.

Business Travel

Slide 90 - Twitter

Twitter also partners with Datalogix to bring travel marketers a notable chunk of business traveler interests. This is another segment often accessed via DMP layers and specially available in Twitter at this time.

Frequent Flyers

Slide 91 - Twitter

Here’s more Datalogix psychographic travelers data objects. One happening feature of Datalogix in Twitter is occasional in-stream clarity as to data latency. Four years is a long time to track household tendencies.

Hotel Loyalty

Slide 92 - Twitter

Acxiom hotel brand affinity segments are unique to Twitter among mainstream social psychographic targeting. These audiences are money when used well. Target users other brands have cultivated.

More Travel Behaviors

Slide 93 - Twitter

Twitter is your best shot at Acxiom category and subcategory travel psychographics, from exotic and leisure cats to domestic and international subcats. Though small, these Acxiom and Datalogix segments transcend Twitter as a channel. These users just happen to be in Twitter for the sake of Twitter targeting. This is super duper data.

Travel & Entertainment

Slide 94 - Twitter

The Twitter category and subcategory Datalogix and Acxiom partner data party continues. Integrate these psychographic targets with deeper FB data (more layers) or broader, mass FB data plays.

In Market

Slide 95 - Twitter

“In-market” is not-so-secret code for shoppers. When a channel provides in-market targeting, that’s like shopping intent in a search keyword.

Travel Services

Slide 96 - Twitter

Specifically target Orbitz, Expedia, Kayak, Priceline and other Twitter travel bookers, likely online travel shoppers and category interests alike.  Acxiom provides data which is highly useable for marketers.

Seasonal

Slide 97 - Twitter

Tax refund vacationers and road-trip families audiences surface seasonal travel psychographics.

Lifestyles

Slide 98 - Twitter

Larger Datalogix business and leisure travelers audiences round out Twitter psychographic travel object inventory.

Niche Twitter Profiles

Slide 99 - Twitter

Twitter does not have enough data or a platform to filter psychographic audiences as “AND” operator layers. That said, keep in mind targeting Twitter users who are like followers (probably include actual followers) of highly focused niche Twitter profiles.

Travel Publications

Slide 100 - Twitter

Players range from major publications on Twitter to various influencers.

Travel Psychographic Targeting Creativity

Slide 101 - Twitter

Psychographic targeting creativity is limited only by a marketer’s guile.

Google Affinities

Slide 102 - Google

Lots of social psychographic marketers don’t think about Google as a go-to channel. Great! More Google targeting for Aimclear clients.

Like Facebook, Google affinity and in-market audiences can be layered, and with exclusions. Also similar to Facebook, remarketing (Google’s brand KW for retargeting within Google) can be filtered by more psychographic attributes (filtered display retargeting) or search (RLSA).

Affinities

Slide 103 - Google

From AdWords: Video campaign affinity audiences Google lets us target.

Google In-Market

Slide 104 - Google

From AdWords: Video campaign in-market data portends location intent, category and subcategory with colorful segmentation.

In-Market Travelers

Slide 105 - Google

Here are your air travelers by class, cruise aficionados and bus/rail travelers.

In-Market Car Rentals & Hotels

Slide 106 - Google

Target quirky (from a data perspective) psychographics like size of rental car and number of hotel stars.

In-Market - Asia-Pacific

Slide 107 - Google

From AdWords: Google’s in-market destination intent list is useful if these trip locations are what a marketer is selling. Here’s Asia-Pacific…

In-Market - Europe

Slide 108 - Google

…Europe…

In-Market - Latin America

Slide 109 - Google

…Latin America…

In-Market - Middle East & Africa

Slide 110 - Google

…the Middle East and Africa…

In-Market - North America

Slide 111 - Google

…and North America.

YouTube Qualifiers

Slide 112 - Google

Google/YouTube qualifiers are so potent some can be considered psychographic roots…

YouTube Qualifiers Continued

Slide 113 - Google

…which provide marketers with unambiguous psychographic insights as to what makes audiences tick.

Creative Targeting Roots & Qualifiers

Slide 114 - Google

In any channel, let your jocularity follow creative targeting roots and qualifiers.

Boutique Data

Slide 115 - Boutique Data

Whereas Facebook, Twitter and Google (including YouTube) are easily accessible to nearly every marketer, boutique data via partnerships requires access to a DMP like BlueKai or DoubleClick. Data is typically more expensive via these less-mainstream channels. Many companies have built their own DMPs, entering into data-partner deals. Aimclear will not maintain explicit coverage of all existing and emergent travel data partners. We will, as follows, whet your appetite with representative data and a pathway for researching if there’s special data for your specific marketing application.

Facebook and Twitter have data partners, including Acxiom and Datalogix. That said, FB’s so-called partner data does not include full libraries from each partner. Acxiom can unlock data in FB Ads accounts once a relationship is negotiated directly with Acxiom, say for psychographic email targeting.  

DMPs & Data Partners

Slide 116 - Boutique Data

Oracle has been buying cool data partners for the last few years. Its Little Blue Book gives a fantastic overview and detail of niche data purveyors.  

Little Blue Book

Slide 117 - Boutique Data

You can download the Little Blue Book for yourself.

Little Blue Book TOC

Slide 118 - Boutique Data

The table of contents is an education in boutique data partners, available in combination and layering capabilities via various DMPs.

Little Blue Book Info

Slide 119 - Boutique Data

The Little Blue Book shows each data provider’s focus areas, data sources, refresh rates, etc.  

Destination Intent

Slide 120 - Boutique Data

Many a splendid data object is available for pushing ad units into web, mobile web and in-app. Boutique partners are particularly rich in destination intent.  

Big Spenders

Slide 121 - Boutique Data

Layer big spending on any segment for additional persona clarity.

Hotels

Slide 122 - Boutique Data

These roots and qualifiers are partially available to Facebook interest bucket wildcard hackers. However, various data partners hold special segments unavailable in mainstream social targeting. Also, take note that sometimes multiple data partners have essentially the same data.

Hotels & Lodging

Slide 123 - Boutique Data

Additional travel personalities are revealed via niche data partners…

Hotel Enthusiast

Slide 124 - Boutique Data

…including cutthroat competitive segments. Bam!

Hilton

Slide 125 - Boutique Data

Major brand customers are sitting ducks…

Holiday Inn

Slide 126 - Boutique Data

…for shrewd competitive psychographic travel targeting.

Buying the Psychographic List

Slide 127 - Boutique Data

Finally, remember that anytime a marketer uses affinity, in-market, interests and other psychographic targeting objects, data can be captured by segmented cookies set on the destination page, be that content, landing page, etc. In Facebook and YouTube, build internal engagement lists of users who engage…even if they do NOT visit your website (engagement retargeting).

Either way, marketers essentially purchase data from the channel partner. Building segmented cookie pools of audiences is powerful, especially because:

  • Inexpensive retargeting STILL has the original targeting — which was perhaps expensive — attached; therefore, we don’t need to pay a premium to the referring channel again.
  • It’s easy to re-filter using next touch for cookied users with FB retargeting and/or Google remarketing.

Travel Marketing Psychographic Targeting Resource

Slide 128 - Boutique Data

Check back often as this toolkit of psychographic travel roots in Facebook, Google and Twitter is a maintained resource. Contact Aimclear for support in filtering these audiences or do it yourself! Either way, HAPPY TARGETING!

Presentation Navigation