This is a 5 part series, to jump to the different parts click below:
Now comes the fun part.
So over the past few days, we took the time to break down the different layers of the cruise ship industry. We learned about what was working, and what isn’t working in this sphere, and we also learned what we can do about it.
In today’s edition, we will be more high level in terms of how we make this work. No excel models today.
Here’s what we have so far:
We think there is an opportunity to build a lead generation business, targeted to millennials.
What does that look like? Well, it will look like paid marketing arbitrage.
What we will do is build very targeted niche ads that cater to the millennials.
Let’s break this down into the customer journey.
To do this, let’s imagine a millennial. Let’s call him Joe.
Joe is your average 28-year-old man, living somewhere in North America / Europe. He, like most people in his generation, loves to travel.
But what does that mean? When someone says they like to travel, what is it are they looking for?
Is it the fun of riding in airplane seats?
The joy of waiting in line at airport customs?
The actual transportation mechanism is not what excites Joe. Instead, what Joe is looking for is a unique experience, and for two reasons.
First, as a young man, Joe has an inherent drive to explore the unknown. As someone in the early stages in his life, he has a discretionary income for the first time, and is looking to spend it on something unique and has not done before.
Second, he also looking for something that can enrich his perspective in the world, and something he can share with those around him, whether in story, picture or video form.
Okay - what does this mean for us?
Working backwards from this framing, we need to re-design the brand of cruise companies to fit these two narratives.
First, we need to show that this is an excellent use of Joe’s money, and that he gets a lot of value and unique experiences out of this.
We also need to show Joe that Cruise ships can also offer a level of adventure that most people would not associate with Cruises.
Put in concrete terms, we now nailed down a V0 of the marketing offer.
Cruise ships offer an exciting adventure, with every port representing a new portal to a new world.
The whole ad for this has to be congruent. Instead of emphasizing Cruise ship pools, or shuffleboard, we need to emphasize docking in amazing destinations and day trip tours in exotic locations.
Luckily for us, the Cruise ship industry is very diverse in its offering, so we will find many opportunities for us to find the products best suited for what this generation is looking for.
Now that we have the theoretical framing of the offer, we need to map out the customer journey, along with how we will draw them in:
Let’s go back in the head of Joe. Let’s assume it’s a random Thursday in September. Joe is on the couch, probably in between tasks, scrolling through Instagram.
Suddenly, he sees an ad.
It’s exciting. There’s bright white text overlay on exciting and exotic location backgrounds. There're amazing colours and variety.
It promises a bundle of opportunity. Rather than fly to one location, and then drive around, we can take you to an amazing assortment of countries and cultures.
All in one trip.
It enthrals Joe. He’s slightly interested and now wants to know what this could be. In the description, there’s an offer for 50% off cruise ship tickets through the end of the year if they book for over one.
“It can be a splendid gift for me and the wife!” Joe thinks to himself.
Joe clicks through - >
What happens next?
Well, now we come to the next step in the lead generation funnel.
What we just did was we generated a lead, and brought them from the ephemeral waters of social media, and into our pool.
You might think to yourself, why not send them straight to the cruise ship company? Well, for multiple reasons. First, we don’t know if the affiliate company allows this or not. Many companies don’t allow this, because it could encroach on their own PPC ads. In addition, we don’t want to do that either, because there is a lot of work we can do in our end to help drive up the likelihood of a purchase.
The real problem is we don’t think they have enough conviction yet to purchase tickets. Looking at current cruise ship company websites, they aren’t inspired for confidence.
Now comes the fun part. We now figure out how to hype up the consumer.
We will make them go from being intrigued by what the offer is, to feeling that we have true value to offer them.
There are many ways to do this.
First, we can root it out of them. There are several ways of doing this, but one potential way is a questionnaire. A fun, visual quiz that shows the different cruises available.
Alternatively, we could have more ads and social proof. Showing real reviews and testimonies, with a link that sets up a purchase of a cruise ship ticket.
Either way, now that we have them on our website, we have done most of the hard work. The final few steps are now in terms of website design, and website flow to direct them to the affiliate website.
There is likely no 100% answer here. The best way to figure this out early on will be a lot of experimentation, and landing on the layout that has the best conversion, along with talking to consumers to see what layout they like best.