Travel Agents

What’s missing from your marketing strategy?

Understanding a client’s motivations and, inspirations is key to attracting consumers. So how come so many of us can’t quite get it right?

The current digital landscape makes it easier for travellers to turn to the internet for inspiration and bookings. Travel agents have to compete with OTAs to attract customers on a path to holiday planning.

The issue, according to research from Travel Market Report, is that too many marketing efforts are made too late when customers have already done much of their decision making. This is what they dub the ‘bottom of the sales funnel” – travel agents are left to compete on price instead of value for the customer.

Instead, the key is to focus on “consumers and shoppers who don’t know about your brand by are in the consideration phase,” Seth Forman, the Vertical Director, Travel and Tourism at Quantcast, told Travel Market Report.

By focusing on the consideration phase, according to Forman, you’ll triple conversion rates of sales. Not bad, hey?

So agents must consider what motivates and inspires clients to travel when devising a marketing strategy, not just sit pretty and wait for them to come to you with a holiday idea in mind. Cause by then, they’ve already done the research and chosen you as their agent.

But what about all the other potential customers still ‘umming’ and ‘ahhing’ over where they should go, and more importantly, who to book with?

Knowing the ‘why’ behind travel will help agents better personalise a customer’s holiday.

The leisure travel habits of 1,724 consumers was studied in Phocuswright’s 2016 US Consumer Travel Report. It found that  the “desire to get away/take a break” motivated 41 percent of leisure travellers, while 38 perc ent were motivated by a desire to “to spend time away with family/friends”.

Mark Blutsein, a research analyst at Phocuswright said that the marketing strategy should be inspirational, not just promotional.

“Effective branding addresses the traveler’s inspiration and helps the travel provider appear higher in Google search results,” Blutstein told TMR.

A report from the New Digital Traveller, found that 49 per cent of travellers base their inspiration on past experiences, while 35 per cent are influenced by online travel ads.

Adapting to the digital market is essential then to inspiring clients. A survey found that 30 per cent of respondents has clicked on targeted ads and 69 per cent noticed online ads.

For expensive trip planning, consumers use a mix of internet and agent advice. Phocuswright research found that 46 per cent of consumers used the internet for trips less than $1500, while only 13 per cent used offline resources.

However, if the trip is $1500 or more, 37 per cent of consumers used both the internet and offline resources.

To read more about inspiring customers in a digital world, click here.

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