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Timing is Everything: How to Convert Guests in the Discovery Phase

guests decide - chart

Watauga’s latest research, the “2024 Attraction Visitor Report: Insights for Maximizing New & Repeat Guests,” is a game-changer for attraction marketing strategies at theme parks, zoos, aquariums, water parks, museums, and family entertainment centers. With findings derived from an extensive consumer attitudinal research study involving 3,590 participants, the report dives deep into the minds of attraction guests. This article summarizes one of the many key takeaways uncovered in the research.

The Right Strategy at the Right Time

Understanding the mindsets of current attraction visitors and potential guests is the first step toward developing strategies to activate and engage them. Focusing on the Doers, it is imperative for attraction marketing leaders to pinpoint and prioritize this audience to drive first-time visits and maximize repeat, high frequency guests.

Our study revealed that over one-third of all Doers spend only a few days researching a new attraction, while another quarter take only a few weeks before deciding to visit. It is crucial for marketing leaders at theme parks, zoos, aquariums, water parks, museums, and family entertainment centers to target these potential guests during these short bursts of research. Advanced marketing strategies like timing triggers, retargeting, and a multi-device approach will ensure that your message reaches the potential guest at the right time.

Understanding Visitor Mindsets, Seekers, and Doers

Our research study unveiled three distinct visitor mindsets. Passionate Visitors who prioritize meaningful moments with loved ones at attractions and consider the cost secondary. Intentional Visitors who value frugality and personal space, prioritizing their visits when it is financially affordable and when crowds are reduced. Passive Visitors who prefer familiar attractions close to home, find fulfillment in routines, and often lose interest after visiting an attraction several times.

Watauga applied two crucial audience lenses, “Seekers” and “Doers,” to closely analyze the data and the three mindsets of attraction visitors. Seekers are individuals who have not visited an attraction but express interest in doing so. Doers are individuals who have either visited an attraction in the past or are current attraction guests.

From the graph above, you can see that most Doers only research for a few days before deciding to visit an attraction.

Target with Timely Triggers

To influence Doers during their discovery window, marketing leaders at theme parks, zoos, aquariums, water parks, museums, and family entertainment centers must align promotional campaigns with conversion triggers like weather conditions and holidays to create a sense of urgency and excitement.

Stay top of Mind with Quick Retargeting

Implement a retargeting strategy across your paid media advertising strategies using a 30-day retargeting window, as most Doers conduct research for a month or less before making their visit. Executing retargeting ads across multiple platforms will reinforce your attractions’ appeal and keep your attraction top-of-mind.

Influence Decision-Making Using Multiple Devices

Utilizing a multidevice strategy ensures exposure across various devices and expedites the time to convert a Doer. For example, exposure to a Connected TV (CTV) ad can reduce the required impressions needed to drive conversions by 50%. Leveraging multiple digital advertising channels such as social, CTV, and display networks will allow you to reach Doers wherever they are online. To learn more about how to effectively use cross device advertising, check out our blog: Cross-Platform Measurement Solutions for Advertising Effectiveness.

Conclusion: Attract, Engage, and Convert!

The use of conversion triggers, retargeting, and a multi-device marketing strategy will ensure that marketing leaders at theme parks, zoos, aquariums, water parks, museums, and family entertainment centers can effectively capture attention and influence the decision-making of Doers in their short window of discovery and exploration. These strategies can lead to increased visitation, higher engagement, and enhanced guest satisfaction.

To download a complimentary copy of Watauga’s 2024 Attraction Visitor Report and view an interactive visualization of the research data, please visit https://wataugagroup.com/attraction-visitor-report.

Also see our recent blog post No Kids Attached: How To Capture Child-Free Guests

Contact us to discover ways that Watauga Group can help with your media strategy. 

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Contact us to discover ways that Watauga Group can help with your media strategy.

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Watauga 2024 Attraction Visitor Report Mock-1

2024 Attraction
Visitor Report

Empowering theme parks, zoos, aquariums, water parks, museums, and family entertainment centers to effectively navigate today’s consumer landscape.