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May 16, 2017

Digital Marketing Tips for Destination Marketers

Aruba, Jamaica, Bermuda and Bahamas… The tourist destinations are endless and it is just about that time of year when people begin planning their summer vacations.

travel bags

Aruba, Jamaica, Bermuda and Bahamas… The tourist destinations are endless and it is just about that time of year when people begin planning their summer vacations. From booking flights and hotels to thinking about what to pack, planning a trip can be quite the task. As if planning trip logistics isn’t stressful enough, travelers also need to consider the costs involved with their glorious getaways. Recent studies show that “69% of leisure travelers worry they’re not finding the best price or making the best decision while booking a trip.” In an effort to book the perfect trip at the right price, “the majority of people use different websites during the travel purchase journey…” With this new generation of tech-savvy, price-conscientious travelers, marketers need to keep up with the latest digital trends if they wish to gain new customers.

Digital enables marketers to go beyond traditional demographic targeting and gain insights about travelers’ intentions through their recent searches or content that they have engaged with across the web.  The trick for marketers is to take this data and use it to their advantage – to get their brand in front of current and potential customers.  How do they do this? The following three simple strategies can help marketers understand potential customers and convert them while they are on the hunt.

The first strategy is to prioritize the target audience. By examining lifetime values, marketers can segment customers by the value they bring. Marketers should strive to target customers that are loyal and travel frequently over someone who only travels occasionally. Marketers can refine audience segments by tracking online behaviors – for instance, knowing how often someone searches vacation destinations across the web.

Next, engage valued customers by serving them timely advertisements. One way to do this is to utilize re-marketing lists for search ads. This allows brands to use signals such as “date-range inputs” to customize follow-up messaging. Serving the right ad at the right time is crucial for marketers to get in front of their target before their competition.

Lastly, marketers should optimize for the entire customer journey. Successful marketers look beyond the last-click conversion to better understand their customers thought process while planning their trip. For example, marketers should study keywords their customers used during their travel planning to learn which were most profitable.

Luckily, advances in technology have helped marketers gain unparalleled insights about their target audience and their traveling behaviors to determine when and where they should serve them their ads. By using the three strategies previously mentioned, marketers can get their brand in front of the right people at the right place and time.  While it is imperative that marketers understand their customers’ behaviors, they also need to focus on the message. Just having a presence in the market is not enough – they have to make their brand more appealing than others do. Marketers can do this by “differentiating their brands and driving consideration throughout the travel shopping journey.” In other words, they need to make their brand appear to be the most attractive and luxurious – and they need to serve this message at the right time and for the right price.