A recent newspaper articled dedicated to the financial requirements of retirees proposed a treatise on the matter with three key phases:
- The first was defined as ‘Go Go’ where the individual, as if making up for lost time, was perpetually traveling to compensate for all those years raising a family and building a career.
- The middle phase was called ‘Go Slow’ with said individual still traveling, but typically at a more reserved pace and on a localized basis.
- With a profound sense of melancholy, the last stage, the ‘No Go’ travel era, characterized those who were restricted or unable to explore the globe, mainly for medical reasons.
For the hotelier, the ‘Go Go’ generation represents a significant business opportunity, and the best of these three late-life phases. These are potential guests who are literally itching to get out and discover new things. Free of kids and other serious obligations, you should consider these individuals as a primary leisure target audience. To put some better definition to the core of this demographic, think of them as:
- Typically in their early sixties through mid-seventies
- Retired, obviously, but still active
- In good health for their age and attuned to the need for physical upkeep
- College educated yet seeking new knowledge and inspiration
- Both urban and suburban, but not typically rural
- Own a car and prepared to drive to a destination
- Adventurous, but not in an overly strenuous way
- More traditional in reading and viewing habits
- Will opt for a midweek leisure trip to avoid weekend crowds
- Will often travel with other Go Go couples
- Food and wine are key criteria as they tend to dine where they stay
- Familiar and responsive to promotional offers
Many hotels are missing the boat insofar as reaching out to this narrow slice of baby boomers. In a sales vernacular, these individuals are ‘low hanging fruit’. In looking at leisure segment marketing, consider restricting your offers to midweek or low occupancy periods. In case you need to light a blowtorch to your marketing team’s finely coiffed hair, here are some ideas to package:
- Cooking demonstrations
- Local area antiquing (with a map developed)
- Wine tastings and/or winery tours
- Shopping, especially niche or off-the-beaten-path boutiques
- Book club activities or readings
- Outdoor activities
- History tours or guided excursions of local interest
Insofar as creating awareness for your promotions, consider adding some traditional media in the mix. Your marketing team may show reluctance as the KPIs for newspaper and radio are harder to measure over Google Adwords. But give it a try and see what you can deliver…you never know how successful this will be until you try!
(Article by Larry Mogelonsky, published by HotelsMag on February 23, 2016).