Let’s face facts: we can’t escape technology. But like any tool, it’s only as good as its purpose and its user.
There are isolated parts of the world where you can go off-grid. Machete in hand, hacking through dense foliage, you find that uninhabited spot of natural beauty, pitch your tent and sing campfire songs to a jungle audience. Guess what? That spot has a GPS location, which is how you found it in the first place. There’s a cell phone tower within texting proximity and the locals in the nearby village know their LOLs from their OMG’s.
In the same breath, your brand is fighting for survival in a jungle of travel products around every turn of the globe. Want better exposure for your brand?
Exposing your product
You’re in this business to increase sales, grow brand awareness, expand your business, and build loyalty among clients and trade partners. It’s great getting your reps out visiting agents and operators to punt your products. That’s feet on the ground, cars on the road, good wholesome face-to-face contact. How about complementing that with a comprehensive digital presence?
If you think of marketing as the heartbeat of your business and distribution as its life blood, technology is like the pacemaker of your travel business.
Your product content needs to be available and visible to the trade and travelling public – at the click of a mouse, you can get it seen, used and sold/bought any time of day, anywhere in the world. That’s what technology can do: it’s skilled at putting your brand everywhere, continuously and consistently distributing your content to wherever it’s sought online.
65% of leisure and 70% of affluent travelers begin researching online before they’ve decided where or how to travel
Easing the pains of marketing
Did you hear? Apparently, people don’t like reading much anymore… So, marketing your offerings with rich, visual media content will suit your audience perfectly – fewer words, more imagery.
You can literally show your target customer how your offering connects with their travel desires. The future promises more exciting advances in visual marketing tools but you can always count on video to be marketing gold. The rate of video consumption on social media increases yearly, with Facebook and YouTube leading the charge. Here’s a golden opportunity to influence your audience in the research and planning stages.
Not only is this fabulous for tracking consumer interest, but video conveys a depth of empathy for the audience (and their appetites), like this work of content art from our friends at Digital Shelf.
It ticks all the juicy marketing boxes in one go: video is visually appealing, digitally accessible, inspirational, and it goes just about everywhere.
By the way, it’s a well-known fact that tour operators and travel agents suffer badly when searching for and sourcing good content for their proposals. That’s one reason it has to be you managing and making it available to them. Another reason is to eliminate the risk of your product’s being overlooked for their sales. Yet another reason: eliminating the risk of misrepresentation by external content curators.
And the quickest, easiest and cleanest way to update your content?
Not by publishing and printing new brochures each time something changes with your offering. That costs money, as does getting it distributed. We don’t even want to think about all the old brochures in circulation, brandishing outdated information… Yikes, of the 10,000 copies you had printed, how many actually get read? What if you have new specials to promote? What if you’re keen to target the German and French markets but all your brochures are in English?
What if we told you that technology can solve all these problems?
- That same brochure content in digital format can be altered efficiently, without killing a forest.
- You can update your content once in one place and it will be instantly available across the globe.
- Add a content translation here, a special offer there, and your francophone client can purchase your latest stay/pay deal at the click of a button.
- It puts you in full control of how your content represents your offerings, a great deal more consistently than an ageing print job.
Optimising for mobile
You’re dealing with a tech savvy audience, many of whom are increasingly sensitive to green issues and will frown upon your over-use of paper, even if it is lovely and glossy.
A good mobile strategy reaches consumers where they live, and mirrors how they live.
Consider the lay of the land:
- This is an evolving digital culture – people live on their phones.
- Your target customers want direct, instant contact with you and 24/7 service.
- Everyone loves a good mobile app or a user-friendly mobile website.
- They definitely expect interesting content and it’s got to look good on their device.
In your strategy, technology takes a position of huge value. You and your clients can engage directly on digital messaging platforms; guests can take a short-cut past the lobby queue via online check-in or digital concierge services. Technology has the skills to mitigate any obstacles that might exist between your client and the seamless experience they deserve – it can make convenience a service that sets your brand apart from the rest.
Hotels with mobile apps like check-in and e-menus are a big plus when making decisions where to stay.
How’s this for irony? The way to travel, where to go, what to do, with whom, where to rest… it’s all deeply personal. Yet, as the 21st century hurtles along, the power to revolutionise the experience of travel lies squarely in the innovative palm of the impersonal machine. Technology is an artist. And the traveller is its muse.