Are you focusing on the right things or p***ing it away?
I am a search marketer in the travel sector, I have to confess I don’t know as much about travel as I should. I have traveled and I like holidays! I also know how the travel industry infrastructure works and how to make that work on large scale e-commerce sites.
We are all obsessed about improving site conversion. Focusing on qualifying visitors and introducing them to the right landing pages. Then tweaking and MVT’ing those pages to get the conversion/continuance/reduce bounce improvements we seek.
Sometimes, it is easy to forget that the basics of marketing. You need to have the right PROMOTION, the right PLACE (site), but you need the right PRODUCTs at the right PRICE.
In the last couple of years due to the global macro-economic buying and traveling patterns have changed. So, ensuring you are promoting via marketing through to merchandising on-site the right destinations for the country you are selling in is essential. Then with the right essentials/extras/package at a price that the consumer will pay.
If you are running either a SEM or SEO campaign we too should be promoting the destinations that will actually sell. That is the only way that you will be prioritising your resources and getting those incrementally efficient sales. Being no.1 for a destination nobody is searching for it good, but pointless.
So, how do you find out what those trends are:
- Your colleagues. There will always be experts. Either other marketers with a passion and/or those who are located in the market
- Trading trends – watch the growers and the falling stars metrics in your internal data
- Google – you have to have a suspicion – but you then can confirm it with products like Google Insights
- Attend Briefings / Conferences & Events from industry experts
- Official tourist boards and EU data sources
- Blogs of personalities or figure heads
Here are some of my RSS subscriptions favourites this week
There are plenty others, but here are just the sites that I have read today and worth a note.
My pet hate is when you get so obsessed with a small increment you MAY miss the big picture. Always look for the bigger trends in travel.
I have just been playing in the Google labs with a new kid on the block. There is a new product in test called City Tours.
There seems a move by all the major players away from a search engine returning list of resources. To engines that actually add-value to that experience. A move to providing answers.
As someone who works in travel and someone who believes in quality inspirational content, this could be a threat or equally a huge opportunity. Still not sure what my opinion is, other than it could be great. Once they sort out some decent answers.
Check it out for yourself >>
Hotels.com Nanobreaks new trend
Did you know the new thing in travel if you don’t have time for a weekend break? Try a “Nanobreak”.
In a recent press release from Hotels.com they explain from their extensive data that people are not cancelling their holidays, but instead are changing where they go, and for how long for. In the Nanobreaks release they talk about a 29% Year on Year increase in people looking for a single night stay. Previously people would go Friday and come back on a Sunday. Now people are going early Saturday til late on Sunday to squeeze the most out of their trip.
From a UK perspective, the winners are cities like Bournemouth, Brighton, Edingburgh and London. But also people are taking advantage of some great airfares and travelling to Marrekesch, Venice, Rome, Copenhagen and Nice.
So much so, Hotels.com are currently running a social media campaign around “Nanobreaks” and their onsite page explains it here.
Nanobreaks – the Nanolog campaign from Hotels.com >>
It seems that people are resilent and wont give up on holidays, but will just change where and when they go.
The logo of Best Travel Deals dot Net
The web is, im my humble opinon moving to a state of near perfect knowledge. (to final use an economics A-level term correctly!)
Here in the UK we have seen the rise of voucher code and offer sites, generalists and ones that specialise in food/restaurants. And if you believe the stats, and attribute the success of these sites to the state of the economy, are becoming more and more important.
As we, the cynical marketers know, these sites are populated by the general public for their peers, but also ‘leaked’ by companies. Not that I have ever uploaded a code or tweeted one myself 🙂
I was very pleased to see a mail the other day from Mary Song, a US based serial entrepreneur who I would like to call a friend, who has launched a new site. I am cheap, but I wouldnt normally write a post about a new site because they just asked. But I am genuinely interested to see if this works. With all UGC sites, you need to make your own tipping point to make it work and hopefully this will happen soon.
So, check out BestTravelDeals.net and see for yourself >>