4 ways personalisation drives revenue at visitor attractions

Digital marketers already know that personalisation is key to creating content that converts. Now it’s time to apply their wisdom to physical experiences.
Jacob Thompson, ICAP
October 2021

Marketing is about delivering the right message, to the right person, in the right format, at the right time. And when we find the optimum solution to this formula, great things happen; McKinsey & Company report that companies with strong personalisation strategies consistently “drive 5 to 15 per cent increases in revenue and 10 to 30 per cent increases in marketing-spend efficiency.”

Their success lies in realising that consumers want experiences and spending opportunities that speak to their life stage, needs, and preferences. Each of us is an individual, and we want to be treated as such.

Traditionally, the online giants with their wealth of customer data have enjoyed the most success in launching these hyper-targeted campaigns. Amazon, for example, gathers data on its customers while they use the site. As well as what you buy, the company monitors activity such as what you look at, your address, and whether you leave reviews/feedback. They then use this mountain of data to create a “360-degree view” of you as a customer and make recommendations based on what people like you, enjoy.

Nowadays, mobile technology enables physical experiences, like visitor attractions, to adopt a similarly personalised strategy. By anonymising guests and monitoring their activity using a mobile app, you can deepen your understanding of their behavioural drivers and personalise the content, offers, and promotions you share, to increase revenue and guest satisfaction.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at how personalisation drives revenue at visitor attractions:

1. Personalisation builds meaningful connections

Sending guests content that is personalised for them is the digital equivalent of showing them that you’re listening. Personalised content signifies that you are paying attention to what guests want or expect from your experience. More importantly, it shows that you care about them enough to specifically make a dedicated effort to address those needs.

Every time you send a notification or offer that benefits your guests, you’re building trust. And the more we trust someone, the more likely we are to take their advice on board.

For example, sending guests a heads up that queues are high on a ride their kids favourited, helps them avoid a major cause of friction in their experience. Follow this up with well-timed directions to a show your guests bought tickets for earlier in the morning and you’ve proved yourself as a reliable resource, that adds value to your guests day. Both of these actions have a maximum impact because they address personal challenges guests would otherwise face – lengthy queues and running late.

When we’re given advice that has a positive impact on us, like saving time or frustration as in these instances, we’re more likely to take further recommendations on board. Making, for example, a well-timed offer at lunchtime even more likely to result in a conversion.

2. Personalised Recommendations Are More Likely to Resonate

Generic or one-size-fits-all recommendations, generally don’t resonate as well with audiences. Heard the phrase “when you speak to everyone you speak to no one?” It’s never been more accurate.  

Imagine, for example, a young couple exploring your attraction. Using traditional marketing methods, like on-site signage, you deploy the same message to all guests, meaning they’ve spent all day viewing “kids eat free” messages that don’t apply to them and it’s safe to say it’s unlikely to entice them to visit your food outlets.

By segmenting your audience and sending messages based on their needs, you’re much more likely to turn a quick notification, into a spending decision. Using data collated from your mobile app, you could identify that your guests are in a group of two adults and send relevant offers, like meal deal upgrades or 2-for-1 promos, that are much more likely to encourage them to purchase a meal.

It’s important to note here that most consumers actively support using their data in this way. AI-powered personalisation platform Formation.ai surveyed over 2,000 US customers in the first quarter of 2020 about their feelings toward brand loyalty. Their report found that 81% of consumers are willing to share basic personal information in exchange for personalised experiences and that 83% of consumers are more willing to share data if the brand is transparent about how it will be used. What’s more 79% of consumers agreed the more personalisation tactics a brand uses, the more loyal they are to that brand.

3. Personalisation helps guests cut through the noise

Your guests are inundated with an overwhelming amount of advertising and marketing content. So much so that scrolling past content, hitting the ‘skip ad’ button, and swiping away are almost instantaneous reactions.

With personalised content, you have a unique opportunity to create attention-grabbing content that stands out from the crowd. This is particularly important when it comes to brand awareness or admissions campaigns that seek to target guests before they arrive on-site, where there are considerably fewer competitors vying for your guests attention.

4. Personalisation speaks to a guests position in the sales funnel

Just like people have unique needs and preferences depending on their personalities, interests, and demographic information, they also have unique needs depending on where they are in the buying process. For visitor attractions, this might refer to a person’s place in the admissions cycle. E.g. are they just discovering your attraction, considering a visit or planning to return after a great experience?

Whatever stage they are at, this creates another opportunity to reach out with content that is personalised for their current purchasing stage. For example, you could reach out to enthusiasts and brand loyalists with detailed information about rides or exhibits, or conduct social media tours of your attraction to win over those who have just discovered you.

Build meaningful connections. Get incredible results.

By taking a continuous, data-driven approach to personalisation, marketers are well-positioned to improve conversion and lifetime customer value, resulting in higher revenue creation and higher levels of guest satisfaction, given the resulting VIP experience. 

So how do you do it?

  • First, you need a platform, like a mobile app, that enables you to communicate with guests on-site in real-time
  • Then you need to target guests, using scheduled or instant messages that take their behaviour or location into account. 

However, having a tool to send these messages is just the start. To truly make an impact you need to make sure these messages are segmented based on users needs and preferences.

We're adding new capabilities to our platform that will able you to segment your on-site audiences and turn behavioural insights into a powerful personalised marketing strategy – watch this space! 


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Jacob Thompson, ICAP

Helping attractions to thrive in a digital age
October 2021

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