Big data fuels rise of real-time travel marketing – TTG Asia – Leader in Hotel, Airlines, Tourism and Travel Trade News

Xinyi Liang-Pholsena, Bangkok, June 20, 2014 

pata logoTHE growing availability of large public and private information sources has led to the development of big data analytics, a potential trove of information that travel businesses can leverage to deliver more effective and tailored services to their customers.

In particular, Asia’s high rates of smartphone penetration, skyrocketing demand for ‘phablets’ mobile devices straddling smartphone and tablet and immense popularity of social media underscore the vast opportunities big data present, said speakers at PATAcademy-HCD, which takes place in Bangkok from June 17 to 20.

“The Internet of things” – a term that refers to the advanced connectivity of devices, systems and services – can enable travel brands to capitalise on the potential of “real-time marketing” to personalise the customer experience and predict their current and future needs, said Sonal Patel, business development director, exchange – APAC, Twitter Singapore.

Google_Glass_V2_OOB_Experience_36695

 

Moreover, the emergence of wearable technology like Google Glass will further enhance the development of real-time marketing.

 

Citing his market research firm’s findings, Laurens van den Oever, global director for travel at GfK, illustrated how big data can be used to understand the booking seasonality and characteristics of destinations around the world.

For example, German and English travellers are early bookers while Italians and Russians tend to be late bookers when it comes to a summer vacation in Spain; within the region, Singaporeans are extremely late bookers, usually just four weeks in advance, he shared.

Applying booking seasonality trends to crisis communication, PATA COO, Mario Hardy, remarked: “If a crisis in a destination happens during high season, how you communicate to your markets is also different from when it happens during low season.”

While online is a part of nearly all travellers’ consumer journeys, van den Oever also pointed out that offline remains a major influencer. “Cross-channel usage is strong, so travel marketers should ensure a synergy of message across online and offline touch points,” he said. “For package tours, travel agencies and catalogues are still important touch points.”

Moreover, he also emphasised the complexity of travel purchase journeys, as consumers go through multiple pathways – ranging from generic search and aggregators to destinations and travel agencies – prior to making a booking so it is vital for travel marketers to consider the placement of their message. “Being present on all touch points is becoming mission critical,” he stressed.

via Big data fuels rise of real-time travel marketing – TTG Asia – Leader in Hotel, Airlines, Tourism and Travel Trade News.

Content marketing key for travel businesses leveraging Google – TTG Asia – Leader in Hotel, Airlines, Tourism and Travel Trade News

Travel Distribution Summit Asia 2014, Singapore, May 29,

2014 TRAVEL companies must begin to think of themselves as content publishers to survive Google’s landmark shift to a semantic search algorithm.

Speaking yesterday at the EyeforTravel Travel Distribution Summit Asia 2014, Bronwyn White, director of MyTravelResearch.com, said: “Search is the one constant tool that travellers use in every stage of the path to purchase. “Semantic search is an algorithm that uses true meaning, intent and context to identify and prioritise websites with relevant content to the user.”

Google

Google (Photo credit: warrantedarrest)

Google now does this by drawing on a user’s personal information including geographic location, previous search history and social media behaviour. “Because search results are now highly personalised, we’re no longer chasing the holy grail of page one on Google, but people who are potentially really interested in what we say and do,” White noted. “If your content is likeable and shareable, Google says: ‘Hey! You must be an expert on your topic, we’ll trust you.’ Search engines will increase your authority ranking and will more likely present your page when users are looking for a related topic,” she elaborated.

When asked how travel companies should respond, White told TTG Asia e-Daily: “You’ve got to get the basics right. So make sure your website is structured right, your Google accounts are linked, your social media profiles all have the same website address associated with your company, so there is consistency in your social signals. “From there, just keep creating interesting content. Be clear about who your customer is and who you’re going to be talking to, then gear your content towards that. Create little personas.”

Talking about things that are related would also provide context and take advantage of the “serendipity of search engines”, she added.Companies that do not have the funds to conduct large-scale research could also drill down to a fundamental principle of the industry – talking to the customer. Said White: “There’s no harm asking your customers as they come through the door what they want to talk about, what interests them. “It’s not expensive and the thing is – there are a lot of unemployed journalists out there looking for work. There are also content marketing agencies, but for smaller operations, practise doing it yourself.”

It’s also important to know where the market is, she emphasised. “Where do your customers hang out on social media? Are they on Facebook, Twitter?” “For time-poor travel industry people, work on one platform. Get it right! Do one and engage properly rather than spreading yourself thin because that’s going to increase the quality of your content,” she advised.

via Content marketing key for travel businesses leveraging Google – TTG Asia – Leader in Hotel, Airlines, Tourism and Travel Trade News.

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10 interesting digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week | Econsultancy

by David Moth 16 May 2014 

Here is a selection of some of the finest digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week.

pin_logo-blog-200It includes the online travel sector, digital in Southeast Asia, email marketing, Pinterest, real-time video, and conversion rates from across the UK.

And for more of the same, download Econsultancy’s Internet Marketing Statistics Compendium…

Travel companies failing at digital?

A consumer survey by Webcredible found that 85% of people prefer to book their holiday online.

However it also shows that many travel sites still aren’t catering correctly for their customers, with 69% of respondents stating that they find it difficult to compare options and results, while a third (31%) feel they aren’t given enough information about their destination.

The report also examined the overall user experience offered by various travel operators, with Airbnb found to be out performing its more established rivals.

Southeast Asia could be the next big ecommerce opportunity

A new report by Econsultancy and Hybris has found that a majority of companies in the Southeast-Asia are planning to increase their level of investment in ecommerce technology over the next 12 months.

Fewer than one-third will maintain the same budget or decrease their investment, though it’s important to note that the base size for this question is quite low.

Are you/your clients planning to increase your/their investment in ecommerce technology during the next 12 months?

econsultancy_chart-blog-full

The State of Ecommerce in South-East Asia report contains further evidence highlighting the widespread adoption of ecommerce in the region alongside in-depth interviews

Digital agencies’ daily rates increased by 6% since 2012

The average digital agency daily rate has increased by 6% in the past two years, according to a new survey by Econsultancy.

Smaller agencies (with projected turnover of less than £1m) reported the most significant increases with rates up 8% since 2012.

In contrast respondents with a turnover greater than £1m reported an average rise of just 3%.

Just under half of respondents (47%) said that their average charge-out rates have increased in the last two years, with only one in 10 having decreased rates.

Crotch-commerce?

Some rather strange news came out of San Francisco this week. Apparently people are more likely to click on a Facebook or Twitter ad if it contains a picture of a man’s crotch.

The data comes from betabrand.com, which found that on Facebook the special ingredient led to 64% more engagement, 60% more on-site email sign ups, 30% more clicks to the dollar and 20% more purchases.

On Twitter it drive four times more purchases and 1.5x the number of retweets.

So there you have it…

twitter_crotch

Are win-back emails any use?

Win-back email campaigns appear to have limited impact in re-engaging old customers, according to a report by Return Path.

Data taken from the 33 retailers that conducted win-back campaigns shows that the average read rate was just 12%.

However it appears that there may be a positive knock-on effect in that 45% of recipients who received win-back emails then read subsequent marketing email from that brand, even though only a quarter of them (24%) engaged with the initial win-back message.

Read rates from win-back campaigns

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Smartphone users show no brand loyalty

There’s no such thing as loyalty in the smartphone market these days apparently, with new research showing that a majority of both Samsung and iPhone users across the country are unlikely to upgrade to their existing brand’s next flagship device.

For example, 36.7% of iPhone owners said they wouldn’t upgrade to an iPhone 6 when it’s released, compared to 32.82% that said they would.

Similarly the majority of Samsung users said they would not consider the new S5 when their contract expires (39.26%) with just 32.42% saying they were likely to and 28.32% saying they were currently undecided.

The findings come from a Qriously survey of more than 2,400 people.

Pinterest’s excellent user retention

RJMetrics has explored 50,000 random Pinterest users and their pins to understand how Pinterest is currently doing in terms of engagement, pinners’ aspirations and the future of Pinterest.

It found that 80% of pinners are women, and that 84% of women are still pinning in their fourth year of membership.

Men however drop off sharply to 55% in the second year and 50% by the fourth.

pinterest-blog-full

via 10 interesting digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week | Econsultancy.

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WIT – WEB IN TRAVEL : Facebook money-grab will boost rise in “owned” online media in travel industry

Posted on 12 May 2014 

DislikeTravel industry marketers need to be aware of the alarming changes underway at Facebook as it limits organic distribution in favour of paid-for posts, cautions Bronwyn White (pictured below left), co-founder of MyTravelResearch, a market research and marketing firm specialising in the travel, tourism and aviation industries.

“Due to changes at Facebook less than 4% of your company’s fans are now likely to see your company’s news and updates on Facebook. The change in strategy means that Facebook is diminishing your organic reach in favour of paid advertising. It is therefore time for tourism promotion bodies to start building their own online assets — and not acting as tenants without rights on Facebook,” she said.

“What many in the travel industry did not understand was that we were effectively acting as a tenant on rented space not a freeholder. The landlord could come along at anytime and increase the rent or start charging you for amenities. And if you can’t afford the increase, you might have to move out, use less space or have fewer amenities.”

White said that at first, entry costs were low (or non-existent) for social media and impact was high. Facebook provided an easy and quick way to build a tourism brand and a following online. With tourism being a cash-poor sector, this social platform was a panacea. But with posts now reaching as few as 4% of a company’s Facebook fans it wad  time for tourism entities to diversify away from it. and build an online presence that tourism bodies own and fully control.

White gave four recommendations for destinations and tourism companies to achieve that:

Create an awesome, informative website or blog with  images, videos, and the right tone of voice. Make sure it breathes your brand, which means knowing what your brand is and stands for.

Create content that helps customers at every stage on the path to purchase, from providing a trigger to travel to somewhere they can share feedback everywhere

Make it easy for customers and potential customers to book on your website. According to Tourism Research Australia, less than half of tourism businesses can do instant confirmation bookings on their websites while 10% do not even take email requests via their websites.

Create your own database that you own and control where you can communicate with your list.

She said social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ still have a role to

Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...

Logo Facebook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

play in promoting a company’s blogs and videos. However, it is not advisable to build your entire marketing strategy on a platform that can suddenly be beyond your financial reach. There are free or cheap alternatives to Facebook, such as Google+, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

“It is time to move out of your rented space, get your own place and focus on building your own online real estate portfolio. Once you have done that, add to it on a regular basis, renovate occasionally to freshen up and regularly promote your hard work.”

via WIT – WEB IN TRAVEL : Facebook money-grab will boost rise in “owned” online media in travel industry.

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Expedia Demonstrate The Power of Agile, Responsive Marketing

By Chelsea Varney, Published April 27, 2014

Controlling your own customer experience has never been more important.

Walking into a supermarket you will often see consumers choosing to scan their own groceries or even ordering produce directly to their door.

It’s all about being independent and the extensive array of online tools has made it exceedingly easy.

Customers are now more aware of what they want and are able to cut out the seemingly now trivial ‘middle man’ of the sales advisor.

The travel industry has been shaken up pretty roughly by this transition.

No longer needing to rely upon professionals to book their holidays, travelers are purchasing their own getaways by using comparison and customization platforms.

Indeed, a One Poll survey found that 62% of those questioned believed that Travel Agents was a dying business.

Price (75%) was the highest ranking factor that affected their decision making process, meaning travel agents are having to work much harder to generate business.

But, how can travel brands stop themselves slipping into the industry abyss?

Adapt

There has been a steady rise in the amount of people choosing to travel, with over one billion people (globally) vacationing each year.

big-bucks

This increase in global travelers has been in part facilitated with changDing ways that people arrange their travel, and many businesses have had to adapt fast.

Building on customer relationships and identifying a sense of brand reputation has meant that some companies have continued to survive against independent booking websites.

In fact, a great knowledge of target audience partnered with swift action and marketing nous has lead to a few travel agencies flourishing.

Being able to listen to customers and adapt strategy can bring you popularity and cult status, as demonstrated by Expedia Canada.

Expedia Reacts

In 2013 Expedia launched a television advertisement campaign urging Canadians to escape winter by traveling.

The advert featured a rather annoying violin solo, which after repeated showings increasingly grated on the viewing public.

People took to Twitter to vent their hatred of the infernal racket. Expedia were soon confronted with a barrage of complaints.

Greeted with negative sentiment throughout the social media sphere, Expedia’s creative agency, Grip Limited, devised a plan.

The brand responded quickly, and put out a replacement video which depicted the violin being flung out of the house, a direct response to the complaints made online.

This let consumers know that Expedia was listening to their feelings in a physical and daring way.

This clip directly addressed the preferences and desires of the audience as the violin is smashed up by one of those tweeters complaining about the ad.

This direct, agile approach let the audience know that every single comment is being examined and acted upon, even a solo tweet from a small user.

The Results

When you analyse the social data surrounding the campaign the brand was successfully able to eliminate the negative conversation.

Moreover, they managed to maintain buzz and even experienced an increase in chatter on release of new videos.

What this demonstrates is not only the power of listening, but also of an agile marketing strategy.

Expedia-AD-with-WM

Good marketers don’t stick to the original plan like glue, they react to trends and opportunities.

In fact, one of the most popular campaigns of 2013 – dunk in the dark by Oreo, was a reaction to listening to public conversation on the live blackout at the Superbowl.

Using emerging technologies allows marketers to weather the storm of reactions and also adapt their strategies.

Putting the customer at the forefront of your campaign and listening to their conversations means that a greater connections can be formed.

This is especially important for those within the travel industry who need to maintain loyalty and build on brand reputation.

This case study was taken from our latest report on Travel and Hospitality.

via Expedia Demonstrate The Power of Agile, Responsive Marketing.

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MediaPost Publications Minnesota Launches Largest-Ever Tourism Campaign 04/25/2014

by Tanya Irwin, Apr 24, 2014, 3:53 PM

Minnesota will spend $14 million over the next year promoting the state’s tourism offerings, the largest travel marketing campaign in the state’s history and a 65% increase over last year.

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

The campaign, “Only in Minnesota,” will span 14 states and provinces and includes four TV spots, a revamped Web site, outdoor, digital ads and social media: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Consumers are invited to use the hashtag #OnlyinMN to document their favorite Minnesota moments.

Tourism

is a $12.5 billion-a-year industry in Minnesota. Research shows that travelers want to experience new and unique things when they travel, which is  why the campaign features Minnesota’s distinct outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, and unique landmarks – differentiating Minnesota from other Midwest travel destinations, says John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota Tourism

“This new campaign is a movement that will highlight unique Minnesota attractions and engage consumers in conversation about Minnesota travel,” Edman says in a release. “This cutting-edge campaign allows our state to be more competitive, and grow tourism across Minnesota.”

In keeping with the “Only in Minnesota” theme, the campaign incorporates homegrown Minnesota talent, including local musicians, and writers. It was created by Minneapolis-based Colle+McVoy.

The new Web site, developed by BarkleyREI, is more mobile-friendly.

“Over the last several years, we have seen tremendous growth in visitor site traffic through mobile devices,” Edman says. “We need to meet travelers where they are, and that means being accessible on mobile devices and social media.”

Stone Arch Bridge - Minneapolis, Minnesota

Stone Arch Bridge – Minneapolis, Minnesota (Photo credit: Sam Antonio Photography)

With ad buys of more than $3.7 million over the next three months alone, this year’s effort is more than double in size and scope than last year’s travel marketing campaign. More than $11 million in additional funding provided over the current biennium by the Legislature has allowed Explore Minnesota Tourism to expand its overall marketing impact this year with enhanced reach across all four advertising seasons (spring, summer, fall, and winter).

The additional funding has also expanded the reach of the Only in Minnesota campaign  into target markets in six new states and one new province across the region, including: Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and Saskatchewan.

Explore Minnesota Tourism will also target new niche markets this year, increase international marketing, and develop additional marketing partnerships to enhance the impact of the state’s travel marketing campaign.

via MediaPost Publications Minnesota Launches Largest-Ever Tourism Campaign 04/25/2014.

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Airlines ranked for their speed at replying to people on Twitter | Mail Online

Twitter Logo

When a delay of just a few minutes can destroy a traveller’s entire itinerary, Twitter has become the go to place for many air passengers to keep abreast of changes to their travel plans – or air their grievances.Now a new study has revealed the most efficient and responsive airlines on the microblogging service.According to US travel intelligence site Skift, European airlines trail their US counterparts when it comes to responding to customer needs on Twitter.

Top Tweeters

Top five US airlines

American Airlines    12 minutes
JetBlue Airways       15 minutes
IndiGo                      16 minutes
US Airways              38 minutes
Air Canada              42 minutes 

Top five European airlines

Ryanair                     66 minutes
Lufhansa                  72 minutes
KLM                          93 minutes
easyJet                   120 minutes
SAS                         191 minutes

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2585112/Twitter-users-airlines-speedier-others.html#ixzz2wblb6c82
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

via Airlines ranked for their speed at replying to people on Twitter | Mail Online.

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The Impact Of Social Media In The Travel Marketing Industry – Forbes

f_logoI will surely refrain from spouting off all the latest and greatest social media marketing numbers. From the gazillion numbers of people on Facebook on Twitter to the rapid rise of Pinterest and Instagram and on and on and on.

I am fairly confident in saying that social media is not a fad. Hard to believe but there are still people who walk among us who still believe that. This just in, the world is not flat, either.

The reason I started this particular piece off this way was for the simple reason that with so many of us humans on one, two or thirty different social media platforms, the point is we are all using social media. Ok not all, but a really, really big number of us to use a not-so-scientific reference.

So with that many people using social media why wouldn’t the travel marketing industry be impacted by its use along with essentially every other industry?

Doesn’t Marketing 101 dictate to go to where your customers and prospects are? I’m pretty sure it did and still does.

Approximately one-fifth of leisure travellers worldwide turn to social media platforms for inspiration within different categories of their travel planning including:

  • Hotels (23%)
  • Vacation activities (22%)
  • Attractions (21%)
  • Restaurants (17%)

As for which social media platform specifically is most used by travellers, Facebook came in first as per the same research.

via The Impact Of Social Media In The Travel Marketing Industry – Forbes.

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The Travel Marketing Digest: Congratulations to Dubai for EXPO 2020, New findings from Facebook, “The 21st Century Traveller” report from Euromonitor, BCG & TripAdvisor report on Chinese Tourism

Dubai Expo CongratulationsFirstly, we would like to congratulate Dubai and its premier sponsors and bid supporters from around the world for their successful bid to host the EXPO 2020. This edition draws attention to three insightful studies: Facebook have released some new findings on their impact on travel plansEuromonitor have released a report on the trends of \”The 21st Century Traveller\”Boston Consulting Group and Trip Advisor have released a report on the explosion of Chinese Tourism and how to capitalise on it In addition, Amadeus announce a new travel start up venture fund, Twitter announce their first entry into advertising and we provide a summary from CMOs InTravel, our blog site.

via Congratulations to Dubai for EXPO 2020, New findings from Facebook, “The 21st Century Traveller” report from Euromonitor, BCG & TripAdvisor report on Chinese Tourism.

Twitter’s New Targeted Advertising

twitter-bird-white-on-blueMicroblogging giant, Twitter has rolled out a new form of targeted advertising, that would allow companies to deliver \”promoted tweets\” to customers who show interest in the brand through web browsing. For instance, if a hotel brand wants to display a promotional ad on Twitter, they would prefer to show it to travel enthusiasts who have already visited their website. To give the special offers to people who are on Twitter, the brand needs to share their browser-related information, or browser cookie ID, with Twitter, via an ads partner. This information will be used to match with the Twitter accounts, so that the users, with whom the travel deal would aptly match with, will be sent a Promoted Tweet. Advertisers will only receive reports as to how many users saw or clicked on their ads, and not users\’ identities.

via Twitter’s New Targeted Advertising.