A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
Said Lao Tzu.
I personally love traveling and experiencing the culture in another corner of the planet; so do many other people in the world. In fact, 85% of travelers worldwide will sacrifice spending in other ways to fund travel plans according to the latest Tripadvisor survey. When they travel, 95% use various digital resources in the course of travel journeys according to a recent report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
Experienced marketers always have well crafted plans targeting each phase of the customers’ decision journey and so should travel marketers. Targeting BCG divided travellers’ journey to 6 parts: dreaming about, planning, booking, experiencing, and reflecting on the trip:
In 2013, almost half of all travellers using digital resources started the “dreaming about” phase of their travel journey on one device and completed it on another, according to the BCG report. Travellers’ use of multiple devices especially mobile, from PC/laptop to smartphones and tablets, adds complexity and difficulty to travel companies marketing efforts.
Mobile is playing a more and more important role in travelers’ journey. Take a look at a few facts:
- Mobile hotel bookings worldwide will triple from $20 billion to $60 billion according to Deutsche Bank Securities
- 28% Chinese consumers are using mobile apps to plan their trips (source: BCG); Ctrip saw total mobile transaction value for the second quarter of 2014 more than tripled from a year ago (source: CIW)
- TripAdvisor’s mobile app and Chinese online travel company Qunar’s mobile app each has been downloaded 100 million times; Ctrip Apps 200 million times
Some marketers intend to discuss “mobile” as a separate topic or a different marketing channel but I would consider it as a new evolved dimension of digital marketing, emerging and becoming part of every person’s life.
Train Yourself to Be Mobile-minded
When you develop a digital strategy or a single digital campaign, you should have a very good understanding of the mobile journey and keep that in mind. For example, when you plan a campaign trying to capture the users who are in research phase before hotel booking, you would probably consider search; and, when you do, don’t ignore the mobile part of search. And, do know this: mobile advertising costs less than other form of digital ads.