In light of recent news on COVID coming out of the UK and US, such as plans for re-openings and increase in vaccine distribution, travel companies have seen a much-needed surge in vacation bookings.
The Guardian reported that Easy Jet flight bookings from the UK jumped 337% and package holidays surged 630% when compared with the previous week. In the U.S., a recent survey from TripAdvisor found that 80% of consumers planned to take at least one overnight domestic trip in 2021, with over 1/3 of respondents planning at least three.
A term coined in recent weeks, “revenge travel” is the latest buzzword for travel marketers to know about. Surveys suggest that people will want to travel as soon as they can, and this pent-up demand will likely result in similar booking surges around the world as each respective country communicates their road to recovery and timelines of normality.
How to Win:
- Leading with Data
In April 2020, I wrote that Business Intelligence and First-Party Data was the vaccine to neutralize competitors. This is even more important now, as advertisers scramble to recover lost revenues. Airline marketers should be leaning on their Data & Analytics teams, requesting access to 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. 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 program to ensure efficiency and competitiveness.
- Enhanced Automated Optimization
The unknown ahead will likely lead to peaks and troughs in performance. Auction intensity will increase. Impressions and CPCs will rise. Firstly, advertisers need to get back to basics with account health and do this quickly.
Marin can collaborate with advertisers and agencies to find the ideal solution that leans into publisher optimizations while also leveraging first-party data, flexibility and control.
- Cross-Channel Audience Alignment
Integrating your performance channels and viewing your data in a unified way is a start, but advertisers need to do way more to get ahead. Your audience data, and how you use it, is incredibly important.
By combining data with digital audience solutions, savvy travel marketers can connect with travellers better – and drive more bookings. Advertisers should be reviewing lifetime value (LTV) to understand how to communicate differently to varying value customers and optimize throughout the entire customer journey.
- Reporting & Visualizing Data
As we see travel reopen, it is likely that we’ll see new “Top Routes” emerge and it’s pivotal that marketers stay on top of these changes. A great way to do this is to lean on a solution like Data Studio, Tableau or Looker. Customized dashboards in these tools can give you the data you need, right when you need it.
Did you know that Marin can easily send data to these tools?
Travel advertisers certainly have a mountain to climb to execute a recovery plan, and success is ultimately tied to each country’s reopening timeline. However, advertisers need to be agile and ready to capitalize on the recovery of travel.
Speak to a member of the Marin Team to understand how we can help you prepare for the return of travel today.