Thursday 4 August 2016

Turn Global Uncertainty on It's Head

This blog post was written by Julia Heighton, the organizer of EyeforTravel’s flagship event TDS N. America 2016, taking place in Las Vegas on October 6-7.

In times of global turmoil, the travel industry is often the first to be adversely affected. With Brexit, talks of another recession and unrest on a global level, there is plenty for travel brands to fear.

Fortunately, with uncertainty comes profound opportunities. Innovation in the industry is booming and consumers in the US are more likely to travel now than they were 10 years ago. Now is the time to ensure your brand is positioned to effectively win these customers and take valuable market share from your competitors, before they take it from you.

Here are 6 key areas travel brands should be focusing on to stay ahead of the competition:

·        Customer experience – Gone are the days when the quality of your product was the key differentiator between you and your competitors. Now you are judged on the interaction your customer has with your brand at every touchpoint. It’s absolutely crucial to take advantage of the fast growing innovation in the industry and ensure you are providing a consistent, seamless, user friendly experience at every stage of the customer journey. True customer centricity starts with thinking what will make your customer’s life easier, not your own.

·         Online reputation – Word of mouth is now the most influential form of marketing. Online reviews, social media posts and user-generated content are fast growing and a huge opportunity for travel brands to use what their customers are saying about them to further increase sales. Remember, even bad reviews are a chance to engage with customers, show the human side of your brand and hopefully turn a negative experience into a positive one which will result in a loyal, repeat customer.

·         Partnerships - The changing world of ground transportation, corporate travel, group travel and property management companies means the travel ecosystem is becoming increasingly interconnected. Forming partnerships with other travel brands is now crucial to exceed customer expectations and cater to their needs throughout all stages of their trip.

·         Distribution – The cost of acquisition is rising and the increasing amount of channels available is making your product’s route to market extremely complex. Now is the time to develop a distribution strategy which looks at the true value each channel brings to your business so you can optimize the most profitable ones and cut those that aren’t delivering.

·         Revenue Management – The role of Revenue Managers is rapidly changing and the long-awaited innovation in RM systems means this function is now a central force in aligning departments and achieving the ultimate goal of increasing profits and driving growth. Ensure these teams are equipped with the systems and talent to really drive change and innovation throughout your organization and you will reap the rewards.

·         Personalization – Treating your customers like individuals and catering to their personal preferences is a huge opportunity to increase engagement and drive loyalty. Investing in technology which will allow you to easily interpret your data and turn it into actionable strategies is crucial to deliver true personalization.

These might sound like good ideas and in an ideal world you would execute them all tomorrow but what is actually a good starting point when budgets and time are precious? At EyeforTravel we believe there is no better way to stay ahead of industry trends and learn how to implement innovative strategies than by meeting and benchmarking against your peers, which is why we launched TDS N. America almost 20 years ago.

The only industry event where you won’t just hear from strategy setting CEOs but executives who are doing the same job as you and share your challenges and interests. With 60+ expert speakers sharing real-life case studies and insights relating to the areas of opportunity we’ve outlined above, TDS N. America 2016 is your platform to turn global uncertainty on its head and deliver growth across your organization.

Download the event brochure now to find out how you can be a part the most informative and useful industry conference taking place this year -