Travel Agents

Opinion: Tammy Marshall on why agents should target NEO consumers

Did you know that there is a consumer segment that spends three times more than everyone else?

This group is university educated and are more likely to work in professional or management role or run their own business. As a result of this, they tend to earn higher salaries.

But it’s not about how much they earn – it’s about how much they spend.

Say hello to NEOs: the New Economic Order.

Economist Dr Ross Honeywill says that society is split into two groups: NEOs on one side and Traditionals on the other.

He says that there are two kinds of NEOs – the ones that have made it and the ones aspiring to the NEO lifestyle. Honeywill says Traditionals are born that way and won’t change.

In his recent report, Honeywill explains: “NEOs are far from some small niche in society – they are a quarter of the population, and have powerful social and business clout.”

“They will buy new technology – all those 4G smartphones, tablets, WiFi devices, wearables and implantables –  but they’ll also spend their hard-won rewards on home extensions and renovations, travel, eating in and out, drinking, online banking, investing in shares and online high-interest savings accounts, and an entire range of services that make their lives easier, more individual, and more controllable.

“They vote governments in and out, fill our colleges and universities, and take professional roles and executive positions.”

According to Honeywill, there are 4.6 million NEOs in Australia and an additional 5.4 million Aspiring NEOs meaning that together they represent almost half of the population.

So how do you spot them?

Honeywill says you just need to hang out at a popular artisan bakery. NEOs are people who are willing to pay a premium for a really good croissant; the people who drive across town to buy the best sourdough.

NEOs are big on yoga classes, marathons, triathlons, jogging and running. They are considerably more likely to go snow skiing, surfing, sailing, scuba diving or learn to fly.

They love drinking good wine, eating out, and cooking at home for friends and family.

Multi-ethnic female hipster friends having lunch together at Italian restaurant

They are inconspicuous consumers and tend to avoid ‘blingy’ luxury and instead seek out quality with a sense of provenance and, at times, social conscience.

They are also massive consumers of media – they go to the movies, they read the paper, they watch movies and TV on Netflix and they love the Internet.

NEOs see themselves as intellectuals and politically align themselves with both sound economic strategy, as well as social responsibility making them hard to peg from a party voting point of view.

On the flipside, what does a Traditional look like?

Unlike the NEOs, the Traditionals are happy with organised holidays and coach tours where they can follow the leader.

They are comfortable with predictable experiences like the consistency of service of known brands. They find comfort in the certainty of crowds, majority rules, they are slower to adopt new technology, and distrust giving their credit card details to anyone.

When it comes to tracking down NEOs and targeting them, the internet is a happy hunting ground.

Much of the NEO life is lived online and they are happy to spend online—a place where they can accelerate the mundane tasks in life such as banking, joining online communities, booking travel, and shopping online.

In addition to their high level of discretionary spending, they are early adopters of technology.

NEOs seek the path less travelled. They love the discovery of the whispered secret and are driven by value rather than discounting.

Why is it worth finding them? They are in the top 48 per cent of discretionary spenders so there’s a good chance they could be your biggest and best customers.


Tammy Marshall is the founder of The B Hive – a business transformation consultancy that specialises in the Travel, Tourism, Hospitality, Leisure and Entertainment sectors. Throughout her more than 25 years’ experience in travel and tourism, she’s worked across leading brands such as TFE Hotels, Carnival Australia, P&O Cruises, AAT Kings/Inspiring Journeys, Contiki and more.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Tourism

Cover-More CEO exits

The global travel insurance provider has waved goodbye to its chief, but not before signing him up to a premium policy.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Afterpay makes online travel play

If COVID-19 wasn’t already enough of a challenge for travel agents, a new OTA has entered the ring.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourism Malaysia’s new Aussie director on the destination’s big marketing shift

by Huntley Mitchell

The destination is placing much more of a focus on its digital presence and “smart partnerships”, as it looks to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

How are high flyers dealing with coronavirus? A new jet-to-yacht service seems to be the answer

Are you or your clients keen to avoid cattle class (or any class for that matter) on your first post-coronavirus flight? Start saving your pennies for this new service.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

STUDY: More than half of Aussies are keen to get travelling in the next six months

Find out where, when and how Aussies will hit the road once restrictions are lifted with this handy set of survey results.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Pandemic could push consumers to use agents over OTAs, says Barry Mayo

by Ali Coulton

The TravelManagers chairman has also predicted more bricks-and-mortar agents will make the switch to a home-based model, given the risk of further lockdowns.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Team behind Addicted to Maldives launches domestic-focused DMC

The new offering aims to help curate your clients’ domestic escapades so that you can give them their perfect post-lockdown getaway.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Cruise Wrap: CLIA offers training to non-members, more lines extend pause in operations + MORE

Travel Weekly staff dread Cruise Wrap days because they usually result in our deputy editor singing Enya’s “Orinoco Flow”, until we lock her in a cupboard.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Australian adult entertainer removed from flight over comments about George Floyd protests

This story has a bit of everything – an airline, an adult entertainer and even the ongoing George Floyd protests in the US.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Uber to offer ‘world-first’ car rental option Down Under

by Christian Fleetwood

You’d assume the bosses over at Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty, and Europcar won’t be too pleased to read this news.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with Club Med’s Marnie Blanchetier

We sat down with Club Med’s head of marketing and director of sales for a chat and a few episodes of The New Pope, until she began to give us spoilers.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

REVEALED: The final two bidders for Virgin Australia

by Huntley Mitchell

Virgin Australia’s administrators have made a decision on which two bidders have made it through to the third and final round.

Share

CommentComments