Skift and Sojern Report: 7 Digital Advertising Trends for the Travel Industry in 2020 | Sojern

Skift and Sojern Report: 7 Digital Advertising Trends for the Travel Industry in 2020

September 5, 2019

This content was created collaboratively by Sojern and Skift’s branded content studio, SkiftX.

Skift and Sojern have published a new trend report: 7 Digital Advertising Trends for the Travel Industry in 2020, which explores the evolving digital ad strategies, formats, and techniques industry marketers are using to attract, engage, and convert travel consumers. 

Remember when movies portrayed 2020 as something far-off and futuristic? Well, now it’s just around the corner and, while it may not be the future described by Hollywood, things have definitely changed. In less than 25 years, the world wide web was born, Google and Facebook forever changed the game, and OTAs have risen from nothing to near-dominance. The modern digital consumer now shops for travel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year—from their smartphones…and their laptops and their tablets. Meanwhile a growing trend toward automation and algorithm-driven techniques, like programmatic advertising, is remaking the entire process of how marketing campaigns are planned and managed. Marketing has blended with data science, allowing brands to effectively reach travelers with custom, personalized messaging. On top of all this, a continuously growing universe of new ad formats like social, connected TV, and more are forcing industry executives to make hard decisions about where to allocate limited ad budgets.

Each of these changes is creating new challenges, as well as opportunities, for travel industry marketers. How should the industry use the growing wealth of information it now has about traveler habits to better understand and target customers while simultaneously delivering more relevant products? What’s the best way for marketers to stay ahead of continuous changes in travel shopping habits? Which ad formats and buying techniques will yield the highest return on investment?

The financial stakes riding on answering these questions correctly couldn’t be higher. According to eMarketer, the travel industry will spend more than $9.8 billion on digital advertising around the world in 2019. If those in the industry are not careful about how and why they align their marketing strategies with the shifts mentioned above, they risk falling behind, or even worse, not connecting with today’s fickle and demanding travel consumer.

We believe the following seven trends will significantly impact the travel marketing industry in 2020. Here are strategies, ad formats, and techniques marketers must embrace to get ahead of the competition:

  1. Personalization, Loyalty, and the Traveler Data Dilemma
  2. Industry Gets More Sophisticated with Social Advertising
  3. Travel Advertisers Prioritize Creativity
  4. TV and Video’s Advertising Convergence
  5. Automation Takes Over Ad Buying
  6. Multichannel and the Continuous, Always-On Marketing Strategy
  7. Privacy Comes to the Fore of the Advertising Debate

Our business is about empowering travel marketers through data and we hope these trends provide a roadmap to help you do just that. Download 7 Digital Advertising Trends for the Travel Industry in 2020


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About Stephen Taylor

Stephen is a Brit living in San Francisco—from where he oversees the global sales, operations, product, partnerships and marketing for the core Sojern business. Throughout his career, Stephen has been a pioneer of data-driven marketing and is passionate about building global businesses. Most recently, Stephen served as the CEO of Qype, acquired by Yelp. Prior to that, he led Yahoo!’s European consumer business and was EMEA Managing Director for Overture. Early in his career, Stephen was one of the first employees at Air Miles (acquired by British Airways). Stephen graduated with honors from the University of Birmingham and is a non-executive director of several other internet and mobile businesses.

Stephen Taylor About the author

Stephen is a Brit living in San Francisco—from where he oversees the global sales, operations, product, partnerships and marketing for the core Sojern business. Throughout his career, Stephen has been a pioneer of data-driven marketing and is passionate about building global businesses. Most recently, Stephen served as the CEO of Qype, acquired by Yelp. Prior to that, he led Yahoo!’s European consumer business and was EMEA Managing Director for Overture. Early in his career, Stephen was one of the first employees at Air Miles (acquired by British Airways). Stephen graduated with honors from the University of Birmingham and is a non-executive director of several other internet and mobile businesses.