Travel marketing

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Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

28 September 2020

Travel marketing: Now is the time to re-evaluate

Those in travel marketing are certainly asking themselves, “Should we market our destinations now or wait?” The current COVID-19 climate restricts travel. So many of those in the industry are taking a wait and see approach.

Yet, they are running a business. They need income. Each destination is different, so there are different strategies per destination. And business travel is especially down as we all turn to Zoom. Maybe permanently.

So what are destinations and transportation brands to do?

Re-evaluate. Because the industry desperately needs it.

Travel marketing often promotes the expected. The features of the destination. What a specific place or a specific way to travel offers. Choosing a destination is often left to word of mouth. Because the marketing itself is so benign.

Travel marketingMarketing heavily now is not a good idea. The pot has simply shrunk too small to invest similarly to the pre-virus days. (Although, you are running a business. You should market some.)

Instead, travel brands should take a step back and re-evaluate everything they’ve been doing. Leave no sacred cows un-slain. Travel marketing stands with so little differentiation that now is the perfect time to honestly think about what you can do differently and better.

So, once travel picks up, you’re ready to take advantage.

“Do you promote your amenities before anything else? If you do, you’ve given travelers little reason to choose you. Travel marketing designed to create preference starts with who travelers are when they come to you. That tells audiences the reasons why you (and your amenities) are attractive.”

Questions for those in travel marketing

Ask yourself a few questions. Who is our traveler? What are the emotional reasons why travelers would choose you? Is your travel brand too inside-out, meaning it’s from your point of view? Not from that of the traveler?

Do you promote your amenities before anything else? If you do, you’ve given travelers little reason to choose you. Travel marketing designed to create preference starts with who travelers are when they come to you. That tells audiences the reasons why you (and your amenities) are attractive.

Without that outside-in, emotional hook, your amenities mean nothing. Every destination has them. Making audiences choose you over others based on amenities is akin to asking consumers to pick a phone based on the internal workings.

Sounds irrational, doesn’t it? The truth is we all pick for emotional reasons. Then just back them up with rational ones. Travel marketing needs to adopt more of that thinking.

With things on hold, now is the time to re-evaluate whether you’re marketing well enough to succeed once this slump is over. Or even to succeed through a pandemic.

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