The New Advertising Opportunity
for Travel Marketers
Post-pandemic Travel Requires a Personalized Approach
By Katie Arena, VP Marketing at Clinch
NEW YORK – November 3, 2022
There is no more specific manifestation of one’s personal preferences than their travel choices.
Destinations are affected by family history, climate preferences, cultural preferences, food preferences. Vacation travel is, in fact, an exercise in making dozens of choices amongst infinite options, all focused on the building of as perfect a week or two as you can for yourself.
All those decisions involve a lot of work. According to research by Travelport, a travel technology company, travelers visit an average of 38 websites while researching their trips, leading the company to conclude that “travel retailing is broken.” That’s a lot of work to make people do to buy something they are desperate to have.
All that work travelers do in researching destinations, flights, hotels, things to do, places to eat, creates a universe of data around each individual traveler. But a big part of retailing is advertising. Finding and enticing customers who are in-market for travel – and travel as a category is surging back after the pandemic, with expectations to pass 100% of pre-pandemic levels in early 2023 – and understanding their preferences is key to drawing them into the retail experience. Whether that experience happens on an OTA or with a separate airline, hotel, cruise, touring, or other companies in the ecosystem, a qualified consumer is your best customer.
Think of how airline advertising, for example, used to work: You’d show images of planes flying dramatically into sunsets; you’d show attractive flight attendants doting on passengers; you’d highlight the airline brand: “The Friendly Skies,” “The Wings of Man,” “Where Will Tomorrow Take You?”, and “Virgin Atlantic, More Experienced than our Name Suggests”.
But with data generated from context, first and third party data retargeting, etc., ads can be shaped to the individual traveler. Someone interested in diving vacations, for example, might be shown images of Belize or the Red Sea or the Great Barrier Reef, depending on who is advertising, where they fly, and other data points about the traveler. Ads that understand what choices travelers want to make, can funnel them towards the point at which they can make them.
And when their arrival carries with it the data that brought them there, OTA’s, Airlines, Hotels, and others can use that data to enrich their customer profiles and make them better offers in the future, rather than relying on their search functions as their primary devices to understand customer needs.
So what are the new strategies available to travel marketers who want to adopt a data-driven approach to campaign activation? Luckily, Clinch has been working with OTAs and airlines for several years and continually improves the best practices we’ve developed (continuous improvement is baked into the core principles of DCO.). Check out our top strategies for travel marketers (below) for inspiration.
Custom Strategies for Travel Marketers
For a detailed look at how Clinch can help travel businesses reach and motivate their customers, download our Travel strategies guide for inspiration.