No longer can travel marketers ignore the new forces at work. In 2007, more than half of all U.S. travel was purchased online, and online corporate bookings grew at a double-digit pace. As we kick off a new year, here are tips to help you navigate the changing landscape of Internet marketing.
Cindy Estis Green, managing partner of the Estis Group and author of “The Travel Marketer’s Guide to Social Media and Social Networks,” said at HSMAI’s Travel Internet Marketing Conference, “Supplier control over the branding message is no longer effective or desirable. It is now about customer engagement.”
- Tip No. 1: Monitor and participate in online conversations. Join the conversation as an expert and don’t hawk your services.
- Tip No. 2: Recognize the value of return on engagement and understand the limitations of relying on return on investment as the only measure of marketing success.
“More people come to travel sites from search engines than in other industries,” said Mike Pusateri, chairman, Vantage Strategy Consulting.
- Tip No. 1: Allocate more to online efforts and review your cost of acquisition and profitability by booking channel.
- Tip No. 1: Consider all available online initiatives. Fund advertising on third-party channels or provide a compelling offer to generate new sales.
- Tip No. 2: Offline targeted direct marketing often will stimulate online booking activity.
Search engines like Google crawl your Web site looking for keyword density and relevance.
- Tip No. 1: Have your Web developer develop a way to easily track results from search engine advertising and optimization.
A recent study conducted by comScore and The Kelsey Group found that online consumer reviews have a huge impact on buyers.
- Tip No. 1: Monitor consumer reviews online.
- Tip No. 2: Establish a feedback loop with your teams for product or process improvements.
Skill sets, resources
The lines between Internet marketing, revenue management and customer relationship management are blurring.
- Tip No. 1: Take a holistic approach to defining a strategy for all these disciplines.
- Tip No. 2: Cultivate in-house expertise by promoting education for those with responsibility in these key areas.
This article was first published on Hospitalitynet.org