5 Things Marketers Can Learn From Innovations in Travel

From booking tickets at the counter to booking with a click, digitization has permeated the travel sector to assist in arranging the perfect vacation from start to end. The technology and innovations in the travel industry within the last decade led to the emergence of global megatrends where apps have become indispensable. Here are 5 megatrends in the travel industry to pay attention to and apply going forward.

Mobile responsive websites

With the travel industry moving towards digital-first behavior, statistics show unprecedented levels of competition between travel marketers trying hard to understand their audience’s ‘digitally influenced’ consumer behavior. Mobile marketing is massive as travelers prefer information on-the-go. The mobile-first approach can be used effectively to draw in more consumers. It is, therefore, vitally important to ensure sites are mobile-responsive, and done correctly, to provide a seamless and super-fast booking experience. It will help travel brands to align with consumer interests and connect with potential consumers.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence, as Google predicts, will be a major focus in the coming years. In this age of hyper-connectedness, AI and machine learning is used to improve consumer service and sales. A recent online survey shows that 57% of businesses are using AI to improve customer experience and support. (Source)

AI is helping marketers to achieve growth goals by improving their products and services using personalization, optimized targeting, and real-time advertising insertions. A study by Blueshift says that 43% of marketers are using AI for audience expansion while 28% are using it for product recommendations. (Source) Targeting and retargeting using AI is a foolproof strategy to generate potential leads for your business.

Personalization with big data

Big data has blessed marketers with unparalleled insights into customers’ digital journeys. The consumers are heavily influenced by digital touchpoints and the acquired data helps to understand their virtual behavior. Personalization is becoming a huge focus of investment all around the world. Using the advanced tools and omnichannel integration, marketers can deliver to the expectations of travelers, both explicit and implicit. Custom ads can be generated for the target audience while pop-up questionnaires are used to seek customer preferences. The right data based on demographics, preferences, possible budget range, destinations, etc. can help create a better travel experience.

Chatbots

Chatbots are cheaper than staffed customer support and generate instant real-time responses without using a real person. Several studies suggest that chatbots have helped in an overall increase in conversion rates. They can be customized to work as ‘virtual travel assistants’ and help simplify the entire booking process for consumers. Offering live chat support system can be a real game-changer for your brand.

Marketing automation

The main essence of automation is to eliminate time wastage and increase collaboration. It has been a major trend and will continue to grow in 2019 and beyond. Marketing automation software and tools help bridge the gap between sales and marketing department of your business. Lack of collaboration in these departments can lead to loss of important leads and more importantly the wastage of precious time. Implementing automation will streamline the entire booking process, send real-time messages, reach the target audience and prospect consumer effectively, encourage visitors to act, save customer journeys, measure success and above all save time.    

Clearly, travel marketers need to adapt and act quickly to become as digitally advanced as their travelers. The digitally empowered travelers of our generation expect brands to match up to their expectations and it’s about time we capitalize on these megatrends. 

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