In the eyes of travel professionals, 2020 can’t come to an end soon enough. Borders are shut, flights are cut, airlines are filing for bankruptcy, hotels are empty, and this is—without question—the worst year on record for the travel industry. At Zeta, we know the pain the entire sector is in, which is why we put together these marketing tips for travel brands in 2021.
Tip #1 — Don’t stop pushing deals and discounts
It’s hard to promote deals and discounts when the balance sheet is bleeding cash, but research shows nothing ignites travel excitement like a good old-fashioned deal (as far as marketing tips for travel brands go, this is the most obvious).
This will be especially true in 2021 as the global economy works to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Use email to extend deals to former customers, and retargeting campaigns to promote special prices to known site visitors who demonstrate interest in certain destinations.
Tip #2 — Don’t obsess over “look to book”
In the travel business, look-to-book is often thought of as the metric to consider in evaluating any marketing campaign’s success…but should it be? Look-to-book focuses on cost rather than revenue and retention. While cost might be the most important thing to consider in a damage-control year like 2020, a recovery year (which is what 2021 will be) requires increased emphasis on revenue and retention.
When engaged in omnichannel marketing (something every travel brand should be doing), things like page errors get factored into the look-to-book ratio, which can skew campaign performance evaluation. On the other hand, measuring the revenue per search (after conversions) across every channel paints a more accurate picture in terms of which channels are delivering the best returns.
Tip #3 — Make sure everything is mobile responsive
Every travel brand can agree on two things:
- Today’s traveler lives and breathes through their smartphone.
- Considering how abysmal 2020 has been, the competition for consumer dollars amongst travel brands will be more intense than ever in 2021.
When competition for consumer attention is intense in an industry, there’s a great deal of promotional parity. And when there’s a lot of promotional parity, travel-shoppers lean on experiential elements to make a purchasing decision. To that end, travel brands can ill-afford to offer anything less than an exceptional mobile experience.
Tip #4 — Pay attention to today’s data signals to anticipate where people will want to go in 2021
It has NEVER been more important for travel brands to have access to the very best data and data trends available. Real-time access to accurate behavioral, transactional, and geographic signals can be the difference between creating a marketing campaign that delivers impressive ROI and one that crashes like the Hindenburg.
Put another way, when signals start indicating a changing tide in consumer behavior, the travel brands capable of getting in front of people first have a HUGE advantage. Therefore, it’s important for travel brands to pay close attention to data signals in order to run optimally-timed campaigns with messaging and creative that’s personalized to the individuals looking to book.
Why should you listen to Zeta’s marketing tips for travel brands?
Zeta supports travel brands and marketers by becoming an extension of their internal team. We integrate our people, products, and drive for optimal performance into our client’s marketing framework to achieve the best results possible. Use our account strategists, programmatic traders, data insights, analytics, artificial intelligence tools, and the rest of our robust resources to meet the unique marketing needs of your travel brand.