Connect with Travelers at Every Stage of their Journey
By Carolyn Childs Principal, Mytravelresearch.com | November 09, 2014
Not so long ago, Hotel meta-search site Trivago launched in Australia with a very heavy TV-based advertising campaign (see video at the bottom of the page). The campaign cleverly builds on the desire travelers have to get the best deal (or the Fear of Missing Out - FOMO - that others have got a better deal than we have).
But as I watched the ad, I once again felt the challenges that we face in trying to make a living from what we love. The information age has created unparalleled opportunities for us to connect with our customers, but its transparency makes it increasingly hard to build yield.
Tools such as dynamic pricing are helping but even better would be to create the kind of stickiness with the consumer that means we can more often connect earlier with them and command a premium - and even upsell them.
Over the years I've worked to develop and refine a 7-step 'path to purchase' model (see below) that recognizes the first purchase point is not your last and includes decisions both en route and in destination. It also recognizes that your trip may influence my travel decisions as well as your own future ones.
Yet typically, most brands tend only to communicate at a few stages - typically the most crowded ones.
To build that emotional relationship, it's important to understand that needs differ across the process. So it's also about how you talk to people at each stage and where you do so. Increasingly, you also want them talking to each other on your behalf.