PPC, SEO, content marketing, social media, email marketing, TV ads – it’s easy to watch a travel brand’s marketing budget spiral out of control but it doesn’t have to be that way …
It’s hard to be heard in travel and for many that means spending more and more to try and reach the customer. However, innovative brands in the industry are doing things their way and not only reaching the customer for less but getting them to come back too!
HolidayPirates, a German company started out of a single travel blog, has grown to the stage of having more than 30 million Facebook fans and 20 million visits per month through the power of social media alone. “We don’t invest any money in Google ads, we don’t do TV – no traditional marketing, offline, and so on,” says David Armstrong, CEO of HolidayPirates, who will be speaking at the Eyefortravel’s Europe Summit in London this June. “We only go into social media, our own app of course, but also into messaging.”
He says their recipe for success was based around getting people’s attention on social media and then keeping it through being authentic, transparent, entertaining, relevant and trustworthy.
For HotelTonight, another brand speaking at EyeforTravel Europe that has learnt how to reach customers cost-effectively, they focused on the being relevant to their customers through data-driven operations. “We have hundreds of models running for specific markets, specific days of week, then also for specific segments of users,” said their chief technology officer Sam MacDonnell at EyeforTravel North America. “We dialled in these models to be super accurate. A 90% probability that you’re going to book the results we serve. We have been able to increase our conversion just in the last six months using this system by 15%, and not only for repeat bookers, where we have more data for how they are actually behaving, but also for first time users.”
They have also focused on their loyalty program, launching a new in-depth rewards system that gives users immediate money-off bookings, with discounts levelling up as consumer spend more. Alongside this they have created a live-chat personal concierge service to cater to customers as they travel. Potential uses include “requests at the hotel itself, so if you want to check-in earlier, check-out later, if you want to have something waiting for you in your room,” says Amir Segall, VP of global supply, up to “local tips about the city, like ‘I want recommendations for a restaurant.” This has created “enormous lift in their engagement says Segall.
Airbnb has also taken a data led approach, using ‘machine learning at almost every step of the user experience,’ says company data scientist Theresa Johnson speaking at EyeforTravel’s Smart Travel Data Summit North America 2018. “So, when a guest comes to search for a place to stay, they are presented with tailored results to them based on our categorizations and collections, based on what we know about them and what we know about the properties, and that is improving all the time.” This has allowed the company to grow to more than 200 million guest arrivals since its founding in 2008 despite a relatively low paid media budget. The company has also announced that it is heading towards a loyalty program, trialling its ‘Superguest’ reward program this Summer.
If you want to hear from these brands and more then attend EyeforTravel’s European Summit. The Summit features many innovative brands who are finding ways to reach the consumer for less and keep them coming back for more, including:
- Choice Hotels
- Red Carnation Hotels
Join four cutting edge travel conference under one roof and change how travel is sold. Get your ticket to the EyeforTravel Europe Summit 2018 today!