SAN FRANCISCO – 21 February 2019 – Sojern, a leading provider of digital marketing solutions for the travel industry, today published a new report called “State of the Industry: The 2019 Report on Travel Advertising.” With more than 600 respondents and 46 countries around the world represented, this is the largest ever global survey focused exclusively on travel marketers. The findings cover a wide cross-section of topics including budget allocation, investments in social media and personalization, technology adoption, media channel effectiveness, and more.
“With more than 8,500 customers around the world, we obsess over travel marketing minutiae every day. We know marketers working in every area of the travel industry face unique challenges—from stressing over budget decisions, to delivering personalized customer experiences, to keeping up with mobile and how quickly the digital marketing industry is changing. We asked ourselves, what might happen if we could all share perspectives and learn best practices from one another?” said Jackie Lamping, vice president of marketing, Sojern.
Survey respondents include travel marketers working to maximize annual budgets of less than $50,000 all the way up to those managing multi-million dollar budgets, representing brands across the spectrum of airlines, hotels, destination marketing organizations (DMOs), cruise companies, online travel agencies (OTAs), metasearch, attractions, homesharing, and more. The report is a must-read for travel marketers who want to better understand industry best practices and establish a benchmark for their approach against others in the industry.
Personalization is a Priority
46 percent of travel marketers said that delivering personalized ads and offers in real-time was a top challenge. Personalization has become a priority for marketers because customers expect it. Brands are expected to provide a modern customer experience which begins by providing the right offer at the right time in a way that works for them. Harnessing the power of data gives travel marketers the ability to advertise with quality over quantity—more precisely targeting travelers based on their preferences, trip motivation, and where they are on their path to purchase, instead of general demographic data.
Increasing the Return On Advertising Spend
45 percent reported that achieving return on investment (ROI) targets for advertising investments, targeting travelers during a specific point along their path to purchase, and keeping up with the fast-paced advertising landscape were also top challenges. With better visibility into a traveler’s behavior, marketers can deliver the right message at the right time regardless of channel or device—ultimately optimizing their advertising efforts, delivering better customer experiences, and increasing ROI.
Increase Social Media Usage to Reach and Engage Travelers
55 percent of respondents said they plan to spend more this year on social media advertising to reach and influence their audiences. As Facebook and Instagram continue to launch advertising products to help travel marketers and address their specific needs, you can expect travel marketers to continue spending on the platform.
Embrace Visual Storytelling with Video
54 percent of those surveyed plan to use YouTube advertising, 50 percent plan to use Instagram Stories, and 49 percent of travel marketers report that they plan to use Facebook Stories to reach travelers. Through the power of video, travel marketers are able to showcase their properties and experiences in a more engaging manner—creating excitement among prospective and booked travelers, whether it be on social or YouTube.
Use Data to Better Understand Customers
Today’s most successful travel brands are going beyond what data they already know and asking about what data is left unseen. 61 percent leverage data for the ability to target travelers based on intent and/or where they are in the path to purchase. 60 percent said data gave them better visibility into traveler behavior across websites and apps, and 59 percent activate data to understand where they’re winning or losing customers across the path to purchase.
With the complete knowledge into a traveler’s complete path to purchase and trip motivations, brands gain a deeper understanding of who their customers are, and where they are winning and losing across the buyer’s journey to more intelligently plan future campaigns and their overall digital strategy.
To explore the findings in more detail, download the full report State of the Industry: The 2019 Report on Travel Advertising.
Sojern is built on more than a decade of expertise analyzing the complete traveler path to purchase. The company drives travelers from dream to destination by activating multi-channel branding and performance solutions on the Sojern Traveler Platform for more than 8,500 customers around the globe. Recognized as a Deloitte Technology Fast 500 company six years in a row, Sojern is headquartered in San Francisco, with teams based in Berlin, Dubai, Dublin, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, Mexico City, New York, Omaha, Paris, Singapore, and Sydney.