Forget about Dr. Frankenstein’s segmentation, Touristologists!

I go to a seminar, an in-company training or start-up meeting in order to define (or redefine!) their (OUR???) business model. I introduce to them the usual generic versus specialized tourism scenarios
You can follow Gauss’ bell and choose the segments with more potential customers (Leisure and Business), but remember this segments are strongly focused on low price, so the one who achieve economy of scale will win.
Or you can follow Long tail theory and focus on small segments with specific necessities, then customize your service and build/create and manage their chain of value…
This approach can be profitable but, there are two important things to remember however!
1) The world is the market! So, even though you have a small number of potential customers of this segment near to you (your hotel, restaurant, tourism destination…) you can get a fair number if you think about a global market (50 from Holland, 150 from USA, 100 from Korea…). Apart from that, if you are able to attract international tourism… then your place will be the place to go to get international contacts, different perspectives…. Good location? We decide what a good location is, remember?
2) You have to build up the chain of value.
This chain of value begins with meeting places. I mean, specialized Social Networking Sites, Magazines, TV programs, Clubs, Universities …
Do you remember all the study cases that I explain to you about using RFID, a community and a mobile app to attract people who love skiing OR the successful story of Wyndham with Business Women, OR Chip Conley and JDVhotels with a hotel for musicians…?
But Jordi – Asks the usual attendant who feels something like “ I see that this is important to you BUT, I don’t see why it is important to me!”- I was thinking about segments that don’t have this kind of meeting places. I want to create a boutique hotel life-style orientated!
I see -I reply feeling Touristology’s voice talking through myself…. This is an example of Dr. Frankenstein’s segmentation… you describe segments that are the fruit of a laboratory experiment….
Let me guess, are you thinking about…
Millennials OR Hipsters OR DINKY (Dual Income, No Kids Yet) OR BOBOS (“bourgeois bohemians”)…
They are all, good examples of Dr. Frankenstein’s segmentation. Segments created in a laboratory. Segments without life, unable to develop, to growth, to mix together… They are segments if we are thinking as a Sociologist does BUT, we are Touristologists. We need people that will love to meet each other in order to create groups, we need people who meet in specialized places (Social Networking Sites, magazines, TV programs, clubs, universities…) We need people that define themselves as…, feel proud of being a…, and like to find others like them…In this way, we can transform a Hotel a Restaurant a Tourism destination into a magnet for this community! No community… no profitable specialized tourism, Touristologists!
Do you, seriously, think that Millennials, Hipsters , DINKY, BOBOS, … you name it! Identified themselves as… are proud of go to a place that treat them as…Do you think that they can be users of MeetUp, that they will create a group using this group creator website? What? You don’t know about MeetUp… time to solve this…

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I don’t say that you can’t study reality/societies with this Dr. Frankenstein’s segmentation BUT we are NOT Sociologists! We are Touristologists! Our aim is to transform any Hotel, Restaurant or Tourism destination into a magnet. To achieve this we need to create and manage a chain of value which begins with MEETING PLACES. No specialized meeting places… no specialized segment.
We can describe them as a segment BUT if they don’t describe themselves, if they don’t share interests, if they don’t want to be together… then it won’t work!
My advice? Forget about Dr. Frankenstein’s segmentation! Focus on real specialized tourism, the ones with a Chain of Value! Do you remember the examples that we studied here related to architects, or this other one related to Game Developers?
Make up your mind Touristologist! You can mix the two approaches, both generic and specialized BUT remember if , at the end of the day, price is the most important driver… then is not specialized! If you want to, at least partially, focus on specialized tourism, then be sure to forget about Dr. Frankenstein’s segmentation and find real examples of specialized tourism, then if you want to share them with your fellow Touristologists, it will be my honor and privilege to use this OUR blog, to share OUR examples of Touristology’s segmentation!!!

Jordi Oller

Publicat per Jordi Oller

Jordi Oller i Nogués PhD in Economics. Touristologist (“Turistòleg” in my mother tongue). Lecturer, Consultant and Entrepreneur specialized in business models and technological architecture for services (Tourism, Healthcare and Training sector). Areas of expertise covers: Creation, Communication and Commercialization of Tourism Services; Service Management; Yield / Revenue Management and Social Media Marketing.

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