Three Lessons The Travel Industry Can Teach You About Online Marketing: Social, Local & Mobile Experiences

The travel industry is a very big industry, one with lots of competitors, lots of options and filled with a variety of pricing options (and more).

It’s an industry wherein those offering travel services have to maximize their use of online media to a higher degree, at times, then even other industries.

Let’s say I want to take a trip to Denver, Colorado for a family vacation.

I’m going to do a Google or Bing search and start digging around. Of course Travel Advisor and dozens of other top travel sites are going to factor into my search as well. Overall, however, those sites and travel services providers that offer the best in online content will come out on top as the best winners.

Episerver, which providers software to power social and commerce web sites has a blog post and related white paper which dives deep into how the travel industry can maximize online content and technologies. Their insight is also of relevance for any business who wants to reach consumers.

The blog post reads that, “retailers need to sell an experience that starts from the moment a traveler arrives at their site and extends the experience across all potential channels with which customers may choose to engage”

Mobile is hot, “As mobile becomes a customary part of a traveler’s repertoire, travel and leisure companies will have to consider yet another medium with which to engage with customers. ”

Bob Egner, VP, Product Management and Global Marketing, EPiServer AB writes the following in his blog post:

I recently read an interesting report by Forrester Research that touches on this topic and discusses why its 3 I’s: Inspiration, Individualism, and Immediacy, will allow brands to better empower their travelers and improve the user journey to ultimately win over customers. The report, also cited in our whitepaper says that Inspiration is coming from high-quality pictures, video, and user generated content which provide sources of inspiration for travelers looking for their next vacation. Travel and leisure companies should be sure their mobile sites allow for multimedia and social connections that can make a difference in the traveler’s user experience.

The concept of Individualism as defined by Forrester shouldn’t come as a surprise. These days, custom curation and personalization are essential to any successful marketing strategy.  Leveraging social and location based smart phone features to create a personalized online experience for a mobile user can make or break a traveler’s buying decision.

Today, Immediacy is what customers are really looking for.  In a world where instant gratification is the only kind of gratification, travelers’ expectations need to be personalized across all channels.  A personalization strategy can get the right information and offers to your customers at the right time, while recalling their preferences for convenience and a better online experience.

Lessons learned – the social, mobile, local revolution is NOT coming – it is HERE. You must be a part of the revolution or you will get crushed.


About Ramon Ray

Ramon Ray, Marketing & Technology Evangelist, & Infusionsoft. Full bio at . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook