Audience Platforms: The New Digital Funnel
Search, Shop and Buy
By John Padwick Vice President, Travel, Merkle | October 11, 2015
We've all seen how today's travelers have changed their behavior. They've got a remarkably short adoption curb for digital technology like mobile devices and social media, and they've rapidly come to rely on digital interactions when they shop for tickets, book flights and manage and optimize their travel plans.
Some companies are surfing the digital wave right alongside their customers. Disney's MyMagic+ product, for example, leads the industry when it comes to connecting visitors with travel-related activities that used to be handled offline. We see digital interactions becoming an increasingly critical piece of the puzzle and observe that consumers' initial and primary brand experiences are centering on the mobile device.
Remote check-in is a perfect example of this shift in customer behavior. When guests know they'll be worn out from traveling when they arrive at their room, they will frequently order food and drinks from room service and set up electronic access to their room in advance via the brand's app. All those points of traditional human-to-human interaction now get handled in the mobile space.
Behaviors like these promise a wealth of new opportunities for marketers, but they also raise the competitive stakes as customers' expectations climb higher every year. That is why it's crucial to get in front of each customer with a unique message.
Leveraging Data to Speak Directly and Personally with Travelers
Today's top travel marketers track individual customers throughout the entire purchasing path – across sites, media, channels and apps. That means marketers need to look ahead and plan messaging, asset allocation and spending from the beginning to end of the sales funnel.