How to successfully target cultural, food and active travellers for a city DMO
How do you market one destination with a million possibilities? By targeting niche audiences, across multiple channels. Learn how we did it for Lausanne.
Lausanne is Switzerland’s fourth largest city. With its gorgeous lakeside location, great combination of medieval charm and ultra-modern museums it’s a rare gem for city breaks. But there’s so much more to it than that – and our client, Lausanne Tourisme, wanted to highlight their hometown’s variety to a wider audience base.
Switzerland is one of the world’s finest wine destinations. And Lausanne built upon this, by becoming the “Swiss Wine Capital” for 2018. It’s also one of the best destinations for off-road cycling through the vineyards. It has a thriving and understated LGBTQ scene and tons of hip nightclubs.
As you can see there's a lot to love about Lausanne. Maybe even a little too much. And therein lay the challenge… you can’t be all things to all people.
So, how could we possibly market a place that’s got everything, without putting off other audiences you want to attract?
We’ll show you how we reached each of these niche audiences through a bespoke PR programme across different channels.
Results – the highlights
12 media and influencer trips across 2021 and 2022, resulting in:
- Estimated total reach of two billion.
- 539 brand mentions.
- 96 pieces of coverage.
- 40 links from other website.
- 26 social media posts, with a reach of 2.6 million.
- Slot on BBC Radio.
- Full-page coverage in The Telegraph.
- Hard-to-land coverage achieved in The Spectator.
- Effective reach to audience niches in food, culture, active and arts travel.
The challenge wasn’t getting coverage – that’s exactly what we’re here to do. The tricky part was to ensure niche audiences were reached. No generic overviews. We had to ensure that our combined coverage met a wide range of angles and topics, to highlight the possibilities in the city. And to do this, we had to segment, target, and deliver relevant content to the relevant people.
Here’s how we did it
A series of individual and group press trips
We’ve got tons of experience with tourism boards. The “something for everyone” line is a common theme, and it’s almost always true. Every destination has some universally loved traits – but finding the unique, beating heart of a place takes expertise and on-the-ground knowledge.
So, to get the right feel for the destination (which would lead to the right coverage), we organised a series of press trips; with groups and individuals, each tailored to a specific vertical that Lausanne wanted to be known for.
Alongside press office work and press releases, we secured detailed and sometimes dedicated articles for Lausanne, from prominent journalists in travel, food, and the arts.
The Lemongrass team created a target list of influencers, publications and radio channels that we wanted to invite along. This list covered every niche from food to history, and every media source that our audiences would be using to consume that content, from Instagram to radio.
We tailored each trip itinerary to fit different story narratives – ones that were of interest to each journalist, as well as the tourism board.
As an example, we sent a journalist and their family to explore the city, and rate it for family activities. We invited a culture specialist to interview the city’s art and culture partners, for a more niche piece – resulting in The Telegraph’s article with The Nightwatchman. There were foodies, wine connoisseurs, and history-loving Instagrammers, each with a trip perfectly suited to their interests.
Each resulting piece highlighted the depth of the city, as experienced by a trusted expert in their niche – to audiences who were keen to view their content.
And the exposure was huge.
With an estimated reach of two billion, from global and niche publications, Lausanne was headed for the next big destination: stardom.
The variety of holiday types led to a variety of coverage – and a healthy boost to the tourism board’s backlink profile. We landed incredible coverage in a mixture of national newspapers (including a full page in The Telegraph), monthly magazines (including Woman & Home), as well as a slot on BBC Radio 4.
Working with influential niche travel bloggers, we gained further digital coverage – including 2.6 million people reached through Instagram posts.
By using a targeted approach, and enlisting high-profile journalists to create niche travel stories, we won Lausanne some huge reach across print, online, radio and influencer marketing channels.
Our work turned a generalist weekender destination into a universe of possibility, for a diverse range of audiences – by telling the right story to the right crowd.