Industry insights – Lisa Bond
Lisa Bond – Kaikoura Whale Watch
Understanding customers to provide a better experience.
Integrating cultural understanding into product delivery process.
Using social media for marketing.
Kia ora, my name is Lisa Bond and I am the Marketing Manager at the Whale Watch Kaikoura.
Whale Watch Kaikoura is 100% Māori owned. We do have the Māori aspect that we bring through in our tour. But we also realise that our guests come from vast backgrounds. And therefore we like to learn about our customers’ cultures, their backgrounds and their stories to do with marine life etc.
So our guides interact one-on-one with our guests throughout the tour, asking them to tell their backyard while we introduce them to our backyard. We have visitors from all around the world. The likes of North Asia, Southeast Asia, and Latin America that our marketing has been really targeting over the last four, five years.
Cultural understanding is really important for us here at Whale Watch. We like to understand what our customers are expecting from the different areas that they come from. We like to make sure that we speak slowly, that we speak precisely, that we don’t shout at them and think talking louder is going to make them understand much more.
Everything that we talk about has a visual aid that goes with it. We do have the animated safety briefing that everybody gets to see. Around the building we have different signage in Mandarin specifically for seasick medication or how to check-in. We also make is it easy for our Chinese guests to be able to pay the tour or retail or café. We have Alipay, WeChat pay, and that’s proving to be very popular.
We do a lot of social media. So we got Instagram, and Facebook, Twitter. And when you look at the insights we get viewers and visitors from all around the world which is awesome. We schedule 10, 12 posts at a time. Make sure you look at the time zones for places like Brazil or China or whatever. You make those schedule posts go out at the time when they are going to be awake.
It can be quite daunting when you are starting up and trying to figuring out what cultural understanding is. We talk to others that offer marine wildlife experiences. And sometimes we meet up and ask what do you do, how can we do it?
Everyone person who walk through this door is valued as the next.
Yes there are markets that are booming. And there are markets that are consistent. And Japan and Korea are the markets that I can think of that are very consistent no matter what. And we really appreciate that consistency.
Kiwis are friendly. We love to host. And I think if we continue to do that people just can’t help but walk away promoting, being the mouth piece, word-of-mouth is one of your biggest marketing tools.