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Navigating the Covid-19 Crisis: Tips on How The Travel Industry Should Respond

Navigating the Covid-19 Crisis: Tips on How The Travel Industry Should Respond

By   April 14th, 2020

The travel and tourism sector is one of the world’s largest industries. The direct economic impact of the industry, including accommodation, transportation, entertainment and attractions, is approximated to be in the trillions of dollars. 

Now more than ever, with the onslaught of COVID-19, marketers face a challenge like none before. As I put pen to paper in my new office – a small space in my downstairs hallway – I ask you to reflect on the potential opportunity the current landscape brings. 

The Power of Data

The most powerful weapon a performance marketer has is their own data. Business Intelligence is the vaccine that can neutralize competitors, whilst achieving performance efficiencies and guiding accurate budget allocation across all marketing channels. 

Airline advertisers should be looking inwards, to their data teams and analysts, leveraging route codes, profitability metrics, and flight details to automate the creation and optimization of search and social campaigns. Similarly, those marketing the supply of accommodation, should be leveraging internal catalogues, occupancy data, and room value to balance the supply / demand of bookings. Of course, this data offers little value in our current world, however, as we begin to see countries emerging from restrictions, and life returning to normal, using this data to power your performance channels will be pivotal. 

The travel ecosystem is dictated by supply / demand. Marketers, all the more, need to integrate the supply/demand equilibrium to their performance programme to ensure efficiency and competitiveness. 

Incorporate Customer Lifetime Value

As performance marketers, often our theoretical focus is on the acquisition of new customers. However, in reality, very few actually optimise and report on User Acquisition or LifeTime Value. Businesses understand that the value of a new customer extends far beyond the first transaction – and this is especially the case in the travel industry. Undoubtedly the most valuable customer is a loyal customer, and in most instances, the cost of acquiring a new customer will barely cover the initial investment associated with the purchase. 

Travel brands are already well-aware that there are different types of buyer personas: business travelers, big spenders, bargain-hunters on a budget, global explorers, and casual family vacationers. To predict and optimize customer lifetime value, you’ll need a clear understanding of these personalities and how they interact with your site. From there, you can tweak your keywords, content, and value proposition–through relevant messaging and loyalty programs.

As marketers look to acquire more customers through the digital battlefield that is Google, Facebook, Apple Search etc. , we need to re-focus our attention not only to external references, but to the internal data we have available to us.  This synergy—plus the insight and efficiency AdTech brings to advertising—wins more customers, revenue, and ROI.

Now Is The Time to Act

As travel advertisers facing the uncertainty of when tides will shift, I believe that now, more so than ever before, is the time to lean into all things data and technology. Advertisers and agency partners should be using these usual times, which in reality are a down-time for our teams, to double-down on technological and data powered integrations to ensure post-covid, travel advertisers are bouncing back better than before. 

I implore those in travel to remain positive. As a collective, let’s reshape our perspective. just as a woodworker might carefully shave a piece of wood to reveal its inner grain, use this time to work on data-driven solutions that we often do not have the time to deploy. 

It may be that you are solving for the above, ingesting profitability and supply demand into the optimisation and creation of campaigns, however I ask you to go deeper. Have you come up with a solution to track your conversions amidst Apple’s latest ITP update? Are you leveraging your Audience data to the best of your ability, and does it incorporate a consistent brand experience across all channels? Are you using first-party searches on your site to dictate expansion? 

Marin as an AdTech partner is positioned to solve for all of this. If you would like to have a conversation around how you could better leverage your internal data, I and my wider team are available to speak with you. Please schedule a demo with one of our account representatives today.

Stay safe.