We live in a world where buyers have more control over what they are doing than ever before. In the travel industry, this means that people are always dreaming, always searching, and always booking. So, you need an always-on marketing strategy to reflect this reality. But how do you get started? In this blog post, we lay it out for you.
Stop Thinking Seasonally
There are certainly seasonal spikes for travel purchases, but you shouldn’t solely base your marketing strategies on seasonality in this day and age. Travelers are always looking for their next trip, and you’ll miss them if you only focus on a few key times of year.
Take the the chart below as an example. The line highlights searches to Switzerland from the UK. As you can see, there are seasonal spikes in January and July as Switzerland serves as a hotspot for summer travel as well as being a popular ski destination. But consider the bar graph, which shows the search to travel lead time—the number of days between the search and the date people aim to travel on.
Travelers are looking to travel to Switzerland throughout the whole year and not just in one season.
Instead of thinking seasonally, you can reach travelers with relevant messages from the moment they start their search, and use your seasonal campaigns to compliment these messages. Once you pair your seasonal campaigns with a continuous always-on marketing strategy you will no longer risk missing out on valuable consumer intent signals. Consumers will already be aware of your brand when seasonal campaigns pop up.
Respond to Critical Moments
People’s shopping habits are not so easily defined when it comes to travel. One traveler does not just fall into one category. We need to be aware that devices are being used interchangeably to book as both a business and leisure traveler. In one instance we are long-term planners looking for a new experience, and in another instance we are looking for a quick trip to visit friends or family. So, how do you account for travelers unpredictability?
Being able to respond to these critical moments with an always-on marketing strategy, will keep you ahead of your competitors. This approach uses the travelers different behaviors and pairs them with historical booking behavior and seasonal trends. This tactic prepares you to engage with the traveler in the most pertinent way.
Establish Your Test-And-Learn Framework
Take advantage of the technology and data that exists today and expand your marketing strategy. Solid testing is fundamental for a data-driven approach to see what is working for your marketing strategy and what is not. You need to be ready to adapt to new demands and developing market trends in order to create an always-on marketing strategy that works for you.
Once you identify one or two measurements that matter most to your brand, pick one variable to test, and measure the performance results against each other. You can begin to simultaneously compare more than one variable against each other. The results of the tests, given scientific accuracy, will show how your marketing strategy is running and performing. Over time the findings of a test will allow you to refine your creatives, messaging, timings and audiences based off on the accuracy of data.
To see how always-on marketing creates leverage through communication at the most relevant times, read more in Sojern’s Guide to Always-On Marketing in 2020.