Five Tips for Driving More Digital Bookings

By Matt Naeger Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy, Merkle | December 24, 2017

Travel industry marketers are setting their sites on the customer, following in the steps of other industries such as retail and using digital platforms to strategically target and message across the customer journey.

The advances in customer experience we see today are the result of platform and technology availability. Knowing customers like to be treated as individuals is not a new concept in customer service. Not long ago personalized treatment was reserved for face-to-face conversations and luxury experiences. Digital has evolved, but the concept remains the same.

To both the traveler and the marketer, customer experience is differentiation, timing, relevancy. Everyone wants to reach those 77 percent of travelers who use their phone in search of inspiration in spare moments or who use YouTube to dream of potential destinations and use Twitter to engage with travel brands during and after their experience. So how do travel brands reach and engage in a meaningful and performance-oriented way?

Here are five tips to help you drive digital bookings:

1. Target the Right Audience with the Right Message

Consider where the traveler is in their buying journey. Are they at the "dream," "plan," or "book" stage? With this and other knowledge, you have the ability to serve highly relevant messaging. There are an increasing number of platforms that enable you to better target your audience and serve that relevant messaging in a timely fashion. Google's Customer Match is only the latest addition to your people-based marketing arsenal. In addition, Facebook Custom Audiences, Twitter Tailored Audiences, and ONE by AOL all provide marketers a way to reach their known customers across platforms and networks. You know who your loyalty members are, you can now treat them differently by serving them ads that display loyalty member perks. For a frequent traveler, maybe you serve an ad related to one of their top travel destinations.

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