Travel marketing is messy (and getting messier)

Travel marketing is messy (and getting messier)

By building a travel marketing technology stack. How to build a travel marketing tech stack The most common challenge to a successful digital marketing effort is an ad hoc marketing tech strategy. What travel brands need is a framework to scale their marketing technology strategy. A framework drives decision-making about technology and ensures technology choices align with goals – reach more travelers, and leverage insights to optimize sales and overall brand performance. Your travel marketing tech stack should look to accomplish the following items: monitor, measure, and engage in organic social and search results create and distribute helpful content in multiple media forms for example, guides, itineraries, reviews, videos and more create 1:1, relevant paid media opportunities across search and social Booking moment = conversion When it comes time to actually book your travel plans, the leisure traveller is often switching between devices creating a conversion challenge for travel marketers. With a marketing tech stack that is engaging with travellers during the awareness stage, you have a foundation to start building on to fuel the conversion stage. Your marketing tech stack needs to ensure: retargeting across channels and devices to ensure your brand stays top of mind from planning to booking for existing customers, leverage personalization across your desktop and mobile experiences to allow seamless hand off for consumers who start booking on one device but go to another to confirm Experience moment = nurture Once someone has started their trip, the gig’s not up. social media monitoring and engagement Analytics and automation Finally, add analytics and automation to the framework. Automation Today, many pieces of marketing technology “talk” to each other through automation tools such as Zapier and IFTT. What tools would you start plugging into your travel marketing stack?

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GA FEB17 marketingstack main

In 1999 my family took a trip to Florida. This trip was dreamt of through TV ads, planned through pamphlets and documented through rolls of film.

NB: This is a viewpoint by Ryan Ruud, a digital marketing consultant.

We actually had to fly home, drop film off to be developed and wait before any of our memories could be shared. Our brand experience from Disney only occurred onsite, in person at the resort. That was it.

Every travel brand throughout the experience had a finite amount of reach and capacity. As the consumer, we didn’t have much power.

Fast forward to 2017. The travel planning process and trip taking experience is messy. Travellers spread plans across devices, screens, and touch points leaving a trail of bits and bytes for travel brands to pick up.

How are travel brands big and small to make sense of it all? By building a travel marketing technology stack.

Clean it up with a marketing tech stack

If you’re wondering what a marketing technology stack looks like, I keep a living document of mine. Here’s a snap of it today.

GA FEB17 marketingstack infog1 550w

But firstly, what is marketing technology? Cleve Gibbon, CTO of Cognifide, has this great definition:

“Marketing technology comprises tools that make life simpler for marketers to market. They automate difficult, time-consuming and repetitive manual tasks to surface customer insight. Built by technologists, used by marketers, marketing technology should aim to remove or significantly reduce the need for IT involvement.”

So how should travel brands go about building their marketing tech stack?

How to build a travel marketing tech stack

The most common challenge to a successful digital marketing effort is an ad hoc marketing tech strategy.

Too often brands begin acquiring marketing technology in piecemeal solutions. They need an email platform, so they acquire one. Down the road they need an online booking solution so they find one. Further along they beef up their digital media solutions.

Before you know it, they have a collection of tools and technology. Often, the tools don’t integrate easily or facilitate free flow of data.

Adios scale and efficiency. Hello headaches and cost.

What travel brands need is a framework to scale their marketing technology strategy. A framework drives decision-making about technology and ensures technology choices align with goals – reach more travelers, and leverage insights to optimize sales and overall brand…

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