Many Touchpoints in TravelShopping
There are many touch points in travel shopping and for holiday panning, and according to this article by Margaret Mastrogiacomo, Director, Creative Strategy at HeBS Digital, the steps in #travelshopping and planning are often in no particular order. eMarketer research shows that online shoppers go through 15.5 touch points just within the week before booking. Google research also shows us that 90% of shoppers move from one device to another and 65% starting on their smartphones
On average Vacationers spend over two week planning the trip and that takes them to 20 or so sites in about a dozen online sessions. According to google travel shoppers make half a dozen clicks before booking. See Slideshare Next Generation #travelshopping. *
The marketing challenge today is how best to optimize this multi-screen experience. It is important to make sure that your campaign will extend for the entire booking window. As the article states “For instance, if your hotel brand’s booking window is 21 days, you want to ensure your campaign flight is at least two months. For best results, we recommend a campaign flight of three to four months.”
Best Practices in Digital Technology
Today multi-channel campaigns must also use the best digital technology to increase site traffic, engagement, encourage repeat visits, and close bookings? this means using sales funnel techniques including Interactive Marketing Apps, Scarcity with Limited Time Offers (LTO) and a multi media re targeting and continuity program. As Margaret Mastrogiacomo says “A successful multi-channel campaign must have a destination mini-site or application that includes rich images, share functionality, and dynamic content personalization that will interest and engage users enough to encourage repeat visits, increase time spent, and ultimately drive bookings.”
Mastrogiacomo gives us a coupe of examples of well executed strategies”
Hard Rocks’ Limited Time Offer Application for Cyber Monday and Sweepstakes Mockup An Example of an Interactive Promotion Application:
Cohesive Messaging Across Devices and Channels
Campaigns must also have “cohesive messaging” that adapt to each channel customers? it is also important to be sure that the channel itself is consistent with your brand identity.
Mastrogiacomo offers this example “if a hotel is targeting business travelers, a functional benefit could be the property’s convenient business amenities. An emotional benefit could be the common spaces in the lobby, in which business guests can mingle and network. Taking both of these benefits into consideration, a hotel brand could launch a “Where Business Mingles with Pleasure” campaign, highlighting the hotel’s functional conveniences and extra on-property indulgences.”
Of course it not all about channels and multi-channel campaigns must speak to customers “with one cohesive message across devices. A potential guest begins researching hotels on their mobile device while waiting at their morning doctor’s office appointment. Later on in the day, they continue to read reviews via desktop at work. And finally, in the evening, they continue to research hotels on their tablet while watching television.” In fact Google research shows that 90% of travel planners use multiple screens sequentially when booking a trip.
Responsive Website Design
Hotel website should be fully Responsive Web Design (RWD) which is the approach recommended by Google. In many cases you may also want to have an APP for each specific device but remember that travel shoppers look at many site and will not likely to download apps for ever hotel they might come across in their search. If you are going to build an app make sure it offers more than the hotel website. At AllCast Power marketing we recommend RWD first and apps for specific functionality*.
SEO & Social
The report also emphasis the important of using Search Engine optimization strategies and SEO techniques twerked for all devices and channels. Social Media too is important in any marketing today and to some extent being on Social Sites like Facebook and Pinterest are a plus for multi channel marketing as these site have well articulated cross Chanel and AllCast strategies *.
Finally hotels need to take control offer parity across channels. With the latest ruling on rate parity, the OTAs power has greatly diminished. Last room availability and rate parity in their favour is slowly fading and hotel are now more and more ably to take control of rates and offer best rates guarantee for on-site bookings. Multi channel marketing should take full advantage of this*.
Margaret Mastrogiacomo is Director, Creative Strategy at HeBS Digital, the hospitality industry’s leading digital technology + website design, full-service digital marketing and website revenue optimization consulting firm, based in New York City (www.HeBSdigital.com).
* Review summary and insights by AllCast Marketing Ian R Clayton.
Observations asterix * are by AllCast marketing.