Destination Marketing: Promoted Pins on Google Maps to Help Local Businesses | .TR

Google logo.jpegThe giant search engine, Google, will roll out a new advertising program, which will help to offer more local adverts to consumers using the popular GPS-based Google Maps app.

Under the new program, various adverts of relevant companies that are nearby a user will be provided at the bottom of the apps navigation interface on the users smartphone. Destination marketing businesses are likely to welcome the new feature. The new advertisement program is expected to bring consumers with ads which will include businesses such as hotels, restaurants, cafes, tour companies etc.

The tool is designed to provide local businesses with more exposure to potential customers by providing localized adverts to the consumers based on the location. However, it is also expected to have a huge positive impact on travel and tourism-related businesses, and destination marketing sector, given the fact that a huge portion of location queries using Google Maps are related to travel and tourism.

In addition to providing localized search based on the location of the users smartphone, Google also intends to personalize the adverts based on the users preferences and interests, which will have been acquired from past search requests using the service, as well as online behaviour of the user. This will be of a great benefit to travel related brands, as the personalized advertising will help to target potential customers who have a higher chance of paying for the service being offered.

Google has already started testing the advertising program on some of the Google Maps users. People wishing to advertise their businesses will be able to highlight their locations on Google Maps, which will then be shown to the users through what is being referred to as “promoted pins”. The pins will highlight the exact location of the business, and will also include other details such as company logos to help in easier identification of the brand. As such it is likely that destination marketing companies will make use of the tool extensively.

In addition to the localized ads using Google Maps, the search engine will also extend the reach of the Google Display Network Remarketing campaigns. This will offer businesses advertising on Google with a broader reach to a more valuable target market, which will help to increase the chances of lead conversion, thus increasing the revenues.

Source: Destination Marketing: Promoted Pins on Google Maps to Help Local Businesses | .TR

A sneak peek at Google’s upcoming travel app, Trips | TechCrunch

News that Google would soon begin testing a new mobile travel application leaked out in April and TechCrunch were quick to cover it.

The app, called Trips, is being trialled with a small group of testers, and will allow users to keep track of past and upcoming trips, while also making recommendations about tourist destinations, restaurants, local transportation options, and more.  Access to the Trips mobile app is only being made available to members of Google’s Local Guides program.  A revamp and rebranding of Google’s prior City Experts effort, Local Guides launched last year as Google Maps’ competitor to Yelp’s Elites.

As with Yelp, program members are offered a variety of rewards and benefits in exchange for writing business reviews, posting photos, and helping to fill in and correct Maps information. One of those benefits, as Google previously indicated, is early access to new Google products and features. This appears to be one example of that perk in action. According to the initial leak, Local Guides were invited to be among the first to try a new “travel assistant app for Android and iPhone.”

What’s interesting about the new app is that it’s able to pull in your trip information just by scanning your Gmail messages, similar to how Google’s virtual assistant, Google Now, also works.

That makes it slightly competitive with TripIt, which has the larger goal of helping to automate collection of your trips into a single interface, then provide useful services on top of that, like tracking points, getting flight alerts, setting reminders, changing seat selections, sharing trips with others, and more.

However, in the case of the Google Trips app, it seems the focus is less on mimicking the somewhat utilitarian nature of most travel planners and companion apps, and more on the fun that comes with exploring a new destination.

As an app built using Google Maps data, Trips lets you find things to do – both inside and outdoors – around your location. It also helps you manage reservations, find nearby food and drink, access a list of saved places, and plan how you’ll get from one place to the next.

For this reason, Trips would likely have more of an impact on local travel guide apps, instead of more comprehensive trip planners.

This latter feature is found in the “Getting Around’ section, which offers details on the different options, including public transportation schedules for things like buses and trains, plus information on taxis and ride sharing services and more.

Also useful is that Trips allows you to browse your saved trip information even when you’re offline.

The screenshots and details regarding the app were posted to the Dutch blog AndroidWorld, then picked up by 9to5Google.

Much of what Trips offers can actually be found in Google Maps, thanks to the enhancements of that app over the years to offer more information than just maps and navigation. However, the Trips app puts this information into a standalone, native interface complete with a Material design and easy-to-use layout.

While the app being tested is available on Android, Google had said that it would be available on iOS, as well. The company has not yet confirmed further details about the app or its launch plans.

When asked, a Google spokesperson only provided this comment on the Trips app:

“We love to travel and are hard at work dreaming up new ways to make the travel experience hassle-free. While we do that, sit tight and keep on using our amazing tools like Google Flights, Hotel Search and Destinations on Google to plan your next adventure.”

Source: A sneak peek at Google’s upcoming travel app, Trips | TechCrunch

Travel Marketing Budgets 2016: 5 Must-Watch Digital Trends [Infographic]

 Just as travelers plan their trips to make the most of their stays, travel marketing experts need to plan their digital budgets and strategies to make the most of their spend. But with a new year come new choices, channels, and chances for online success.

To make the best digital decisions, travel marketers need to know the top trends, tech, and tactics that will matter to marketing in 2016. Rather than track down all of this data, your ticket to the latest travel insights is a fact-packed infographic created by MDG Advertising called Travel Marketing Budgets 2016: 5 Must-Watch Trends.

It pinpoints the five key strategies for making the most of your travel marketing budget and business over the next 12 months. To arrive at the right budget decisions, check out this informative infographic.

1. Spend on Your Website

Investing in your website is one of the wisest decisions you can make. With more and more people looking and booking on travel brand websites than third-party sites, your website delivers the first impression of your travel brand. And an optimized, user-friendly website can create a lasting impression and drive visitors to book without a second thought. The infographic shows:67% of travellers think it’s simpler to book on a travel brand website than a third-party site.

Almost two-thirds of travellers think it’s less expensive to book on a travel brand website.

Top Takeaway: To make the most of this mind-set, view your website as an important digital hub that gives online users everything they want and need.

2. Optimize MobileMobile has become a must in people’s lives, especially when researching and reserving travel. In 2016, even more travellers will be searching for travel online. According to the infographic, you can expect: 49% increase in mobile search for hotels and cruises. 47% rise in mobile search for car rentals and tours and attractions.

Top Takeaway: To serve this mobile market, make sure that all of your digital offerings, experiences, and communications are optimized for every mobile device.

3. Expect to Welcome More Millennials

Millennials already make up 40% of leisure travellers who book travel online. In 2016, their share of both the business and personal travel market will increase even more. To target these young adults, it’s essential to understand that Millennials have specific travel tendencies, such as:  They frequently book travel and share their experiences on mobile devices and digital platforms.

They tend to extend and blend business trips into personal vacations.

They spend more each day on trips than other age groups.

Top Takeaway: Use these Millennial insights to develop your digital properties and target your online messages.

4. Revisit Reviews

In 2016, online reviews and review sites will matter more than ever to travellers. According to the infographic:64% of travellers visit travel review sites like TripAdvisor for vacation ideas.

Almost half of travellers have been compelled to write a review after a travel experience.

Top Takeaway: Since these reviews are so important, travel brands need to regularly revisit and review all guest reviews to learn what they liked and lacked in their experiences.

5. Keep Your Eye on Video

Digital video is becoming more and more popular with travellers, especially on social networks. The infographic reveals these stunning statistics:

Top Takeaway: In 2016, video is a vital investment that must be incorporated with social media to reach and resonate with travellers.

 

Source: Travel Marketing Budgets 2016: 5 Must-Watch Digital Trends [Infographic]

This is How Google’s Project Wing Drone Delivery Service Could Work

Google’s Project Wing is the code name for the company’s drone delivery service it hopes to launch in 2017. The company first publicly announced Project Wing in a YouTube video back in 2014, but since then has been keeping mum about how this service will work. Now a new patent filing from the company reveals how part of Project Wing deliveries could deliver your packages.

According to the patent, which was filed back in 2014, but only granted now, Google has developed “mobile delivery receptacles” that work hand in hand with its delivery drones. Effectively the mobile delivery receptacles are remote boxes on the ground with wheels. They communicate and guide the drones in the sky via infrared beacons or lasers. Once located, the drone flies down to ground level and transfers its package into the mobile delivery receptacle, which then secures it and scurries off to a secure holding location.

Presumably once the mobile delivery receptacle delivers the package to a secure location, a customer can choose to pick it up there or it is then delivered by local ground transportation to a customer’s address.

The patent filing is the first concrete example of how Google intends to get packages from warehouse to customers and its granting comes just weeks after Dave Vos, the head of Google’s Project Wing said 2017 is still a realistic date for drone deliveries to begin as long as regulatory hurdles can be overcome.

But if drone deliveries do start next year, Google won’t be entering the field alone. Commerce giant Amazon is working on its own drone delivery service, Prime Air, which promises to deliver packages by air in just 30 minutes.

So in the future when on holiday in the Australian outback or on Safari in Africa, or on a remote Maldivian island this is how you might be re-supplied!

Source: This is How Google’s Project Wing Drone Delivery Service Could Work

Let’s get personal: Smart technology redefines tailor-made travel – eTurboNews.com

Smart technology is transforming the tourism industry with personalized services that suggest richer and more enjoyable experiences suited to a traveler’s individual preferences, reveals the WTM Global Trends Report 2015, in association with Euromonitor International released at World Travel Market London.

Using mobile technology and big data analytics, companies are now able to suggest interesting activities for travelers at their location, reveals the report, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary at WTM London 2015.wtm png

For example, the TripAdvisor Apple Watch app can send a push notification at lunchtime with information about the highest-rated restaurant nearby. The next step will be tailoring the service to travelers’ personal tastes.  Google Now is aiming to proactively bring consumers information before they ask, based on their past behavior, with geo-localization keeping suggestions locally relevant. The key lies in providing “context-aware information in the moment that matters”, according to Google UK Sales Director, Bernd Fauser.

OTAs such as Booking.com and Expedia, are currently working on customers’ preferences to increase booking conversions, and they will move to personalized mobile services next.  World Travel Market, Senior Director, Simon Press said: “The opportunities that smart technology offers travel companies are endless and we have only scratched the surface.  It won’t be long before personalized suggestions – created from cross-checking consumers’ preferences and current location with online inventories of local travel services and activities – will become the norm.“

Euromonitor International, Head of Travel, Caroline Bremner said: “Companies now have the possibility to collect a wealth of information about consumers that was previously unavailable to them – usually referred to as big data – and this is leading to offers of more personalized experiences.“A gradual shift to one-to-one marketing in travel will be evident, with each consumer treated in a different way in terms of the overall marketing mix including pricing.”

Mobile travel sales reached US$96 billion in 2014, accounting for 12.5% of global on-line travel sales, according to Euromonitor International. They are forecast to record a strong compound annual growth of 22% over the period 2014-2019.

Download the report

Source: Let’s get personal: Smart technology redefines tailor-made travel – eTurboNews.com

Travel Category Trends Tool: Air – Think with Google

Google logo.jpegThink with Google have created an interested set of new tools by sector. The travel category currently contains a review of search data for the US over the last few months. The Google data in this dashboard, updated each quarter, provides a glimpse into travel intent to and from major cities.  It provides trends across the car rental, air, and hotel categories that can enable travel providers to plan for the season ahead.

Source: Travel Category Trends Tool: Air – Think with Google

The dashboards also reveals the most popular US air itineraries, the top 5 airlines brands searched for, the top 5 travel related questions, mobile search volumes across product categories and the top 5 travel videos.

Study Identifies AdWords Benchmarks for B2B Verticals | KoMarketing

A new study by Bizible provides insight into benchmark data for AdWords success across seven B2B verticals.

Which B2B verticals are getting the most bang for their buck on Google AdWords? A new study by Bizible crunched the numbers using AdWords and Salesforce data to determine the answer and provide industry-specific benchmarks for B2B marketers.

At the top of the list, in terms of percentage of leads converting to percentage of revenue, are manufacturing and professional services. Both verticals were found to have a bump in opportunity-to-revenue conversion.

In manufacturing, AdWords represents 23 percent of all leads and opportunities generated and is responsible for 25 percent of the revenue generated by the entire pipeline. “This shows that leads that come from AdWords are high quality,” the authors of the study wrote.
B2B Marketing Verticals

Travel and finance verticals draw the highest percentage of leads (nearly 50 and 44 percent, respectively) from paid search. The travel vertical’s revenue percentage drops off significantly (to around 25 percent), but the finance vertical generates just under 40 percent of its revenue from AdWords leads.

“In every industry, AdWords contributes to at least 20 percent of all leads. PPC is clearly an important, if not the most important, marketing channel for those two industries (travel and finance) in particular,” the authors of the study wrote.

The analysis included data collected from 90 Bizible customers in the first six months of 2015.

Paid search top channel for ROI measurement

When it comes to ROI measurement, paid search was found to be the top digital channel by an Econsultancy and Oracle Marketing Cloud study earlier this year.

ROI is an important element for marketers to show their success, but also one of the biggest challenges. Approximately 24 percent of respondents to a study in February cited proving ROI as their top digital marketing challenge.

Source: Study Identifies AdWords Benchmarks for B2B Verticals | KoMarketing

Emergence of Google and TripAdvisor booking helps pave way for Orbitz takeover by Expedia – Travolution.co.uk

The prospect of massive online travel consolidation has been triggered after Expedia won approval from US competition authorities to take over rival Orbitz for $1.3 billion.

The US Justice Department said a six-month investigation had found no evidence that the merger would lessen options for consumers. It noted that Orbitz is a relatively small source of bookings for airlines, car rental companies and hotels. Hotwire and Hotels.com are owned by Expedia, which also purchased Travelocity in January for $280 million. That paved the way for the acquisition of Orbitz, which reported $10 billion in bookings last year for air fares and hotels. Orbitz Worldwide owns ebookers in the UK together with cheaptickets.com and hotelclub.com. Booking.com, OpenTable and Kayak are owned by Expedia’s rival Priceline.

The American Hotel and Lodging Association had argued that the merger would create a “duopoly” between Expedia and Priceline, which will now control 95% of the online travel-marketplace, a business that generates $152 billion a year, the Washington Post reported.

But Bill Baer, head of the Justice Department’s anti-trust division, said: “We know online travel booking is important to US consumers and to the airlines, car rental companies and hotels that serve those consumers.

Over the course of a six-month investigation, lawyers and economists from the antitrust division reviewed tens of thousands of business documents, analysed transactional data from the merging companies and from other industry players and interviewed over 60 industry participants of various types and sizes. “The antitrust division investigated the concerns that have been expressed about this transaction. We took those concerns seriously and factored into our analysis all of the information provided by third parties. At the end of this process, however, we concluded that the acquisition is unlikely to harm competition and consumers. “There are several reasons for this conclusion. First, we uncovered no evidence in our investigation that the merger is likely to result in new charges being imposed directly on consumers for using Expedia or Orbitz. So we focused our investigation on the commissions Expedia and Orbitz negotiate with airlines, car rental companies and hotels. “Second, we found that Orbitz is only a small source of bookings for most of these companies and thus has had no impact in recent years on the commissions Expedia charges. “Many independent hotel operators, for example, do not contract with Orbitz, and those hotels that do often obtain very few bookings from its site. In addition, beyond Expedia and Orbitz, travel service providers have alternative ways to attract customers and obtain bookings.

Source: Emergence of Google and TripAdvisor booking helps pave way for Orbitz takeover by Expedia – Travolution.co.uk

Think with Google debuts a travel dashboard to help US marketers – Tnooz

Google logo.jpegIn August Google’s marketing research arm, Think with Google, unveiled its Travel Dashboard — a free online tool that highlights recent and year-over-year trends based on Google data across the car rental, air, and hotel verticals in the United States.

The data has been designed to help marketers in planning their campaigns. It will be updated quarterly. For instance, the travel dashboard shows that between January and June 2015, airline direct brand queries rose 19% year-over-year for Delta and 52% year-over-year for Allegiant Air. That’s a sign that those airlines’ search marketing, AdWords, and branding campaigns may be working.

For hotels, search volume on mobile devices increased 49% during the first half of the year, relative to same period a year earlier. The gain for tours-and-activities was 47%, relative to the first half of 2014. More air queries were coming from mobile, too — up 32% year-over-year, as of March 2015, across all Google Data.

Drilling down for context One of the travel dashboard tools lets any user select from 25 major US markets to find out where people were traveling between July and September 2014, according to Google’s data. For instance, people in San Antonio were visiting Las Vegas 21% more during that quarter than they were in the same period a year prior — making Sin City the biggest gainer among destinations measured. The site reveals where travelers were coming from. Columbus, Ohio, (“Go Buckeyes!”) saw a 90% year-over-year increase in Chicagoans visiting.

The travel dashboard is looking at Google search data that shows where people in one location are searching for travel to another city. It’s not data from Google Flights or Google Hotels metasearch tools, says a company spokesperson.

GO DEEP: The Travel Dashboard by Think with Google

MORE: This Air France ad is the top travel brand video of 2015, so far, says Google – See more at: http://www.tnooz.com/article/think-with-google-debuts-a-travel-dashboard-to-help-us-marketers/#sthash.Y66ofknL.dpuf