Digital breeds disloyalty. Before it came along, Judy from New Jersey went to her local travel agent to book her yearly family holiday to Barbados. She knew the providers she trusted and face to face contact with her rep gave her piece of mind that she was making the right decision. Today, Judy’s glossy brochure is the web, where she can hunt around to find the ‘best’ deal. Hoteliers, airlines and home accommodation providers all battle for Judy’s attention, often having to unbundle their prices to win Judy over.
As well as price and choice, there are a number of other external factors that are changing the travel marketing industry. Only with a complete understanding of these factors through data can you ensure your travel marketing is on target.
Here are some ways digital can help your business get ahead in a cluttered market.
The Rise of the Experience Economy
The experience economy has created an atmosphere that encourages and values experiences above material possessions. Sharing these travel experiences online and offline with family, friends and fellow travelers has become its own form of currency. For travel companies, this feedback can be critical as over 95% of leisure travelers read at least seven reviews before booking their holiday. As a result, marketers have the opportunity to tap into authentic customer experiences and use them to evolve the way their brand interacts with travelers – spreading their offers more organically – leading to increased sales. Targeted advertising through programmatic offers marketers the chance to take advantage of customer reviews while also personalizing the message to their consumer. Audience insights can then be used to produce more interesting creative, solve problems and offer better deals than the competition.
In the U.S. 43% of business trips are “bleisure” according to Hubspot – people extending their trip to have some personal experiences in that location. Brands can consider dynamically targeting these travelers based on both sets of interests. In these instances, the right message at the right time during their trip becomes especially key.