Travelers today are bursting with ideas on where they want to travel, who they want to visit, and what they want to see.
NB: This is an article from Sojern
People are planning trips 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and it’s time for travel marketers to be strategic in this reality. Always-on is always thinking ahead. Your property may be at 98% occupancy now, but turning “off” your digital marketing means you’re missing out on potential bookings in the future. Taking a dynamic, always-on approach to digital marketing can take your strategy to the next level.
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What is Always-On Marketing?
Always-on marketing uses first-party data to segment your audiences and then analyzes the intent signals of those audiences to better understand how and when to engage with them. The way travelers are planning trips has changed, and always-on strategies ensure you’re getting in front of travelers likely to book even in the low seasons.
“Instead of advertising only during certain windows to drive peak bookings, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be advertising in the low season, and finding new reasons to attract travelers. Traditional booking patterns – like the idea that people book for spring break in January – are shifting, so the same tactics no longer work,” says Noreen Henry, chief revenue officer at Sojern.
As we try to reach travelers at every touchpoint, travel marketers need a strategy capable of anticipating a traveler’s motivations to then share the most relevant information at the right time.
Always-On Supporting Traditional Campaigns
Always-on strategies can easily complement your seasonal campaigns. By segmenting your audiences and listening to what the data is telling you about them, you can engage them with relevant messaging year-round. Then, when you run a seasonal campaign and they start narrowing down their options, they will choose you when it’s time to book.
This dynamic approach allows you to shift your thinking away from achieving campaign performance during a certain time frame to making gradual improvements over time. By taking away those limits, you can better understand your audiences and continuously optimize and improve performance.
With this data-driven approach, you can make informed marketing decisions based on the numbers. But, without continual testing, you might still be making assumptions about your audiences.
A/B Testing Your Always-On Strategy
By testing your campaign learnings, you can establish performance baselines and then test your decisions. Without it, travel marketers can miss out on intent signals that are critical to improving their ad targeting, performance, and scale.
“When it comes to optimizing your marketing campaigns to get the best performance, testing plays a critical role. We do a lot of A/B testing on different elements of the ads to see what works best – whether that’s the images used, the ad copy, the calls to action, or various design elements. By implementing different versions of the ad we’re able to see which ads are converting,” says Henry.
It’s time to use data and technology to your advantage and expand your marketing strategies. Implementing seasonal campaigns and a continuous, always-on strategy allows you to reach travelers the moment they start dreaming about their next trip.