Marketing Through The Haze
Ypartnership travelhorizons™ survey results
Seems like the bad news just keeps coming. And practically every indication from the field suggests that most in the travel industry (both domestic and international) will have to work harder in the months ahead to capture a meaningful share of the demand that's out there. Some have even questioned, appropriately, if there is sufficient life left in the marketplace to continue to invest in advertising and related marketing efforts given the strong headwinds. The answer, as corroborated through our continuous monitoring of the sentiments of American travelers, is yes, but increasingly from a more upscale demographic group.
What economic and social forces weigh most heavily on the minds of those who are planning to travel? The specter of high gasoline prices tops the list (thank goodness the price of oil has abated in recent weeks), but the depreciated value of one's primary residence appears to be less of a concern as revealed below:
So what's the message for travel service marketers?
The locus of demand for travel services in coming months will gradually shift upward to reflect a slightly more affluent demographic profile, but these individuals, too, will be aggressive comparison shoppers to insure they get what they consider to be rightfully theirs in a buyers' market: a good deal. Value is, once again, king. As a result, fully seven out of ten individuals who are planning a trip during the next six months intend to go online to "comparison shop for the best prices." And it is interesting to note that affluent travelers (annual HHI >$75,000) are significantly more likely to "comparison shop for prices and rates, specifically on the Internet" than their less affluent counterparts (64% versus 58%). Assuming you're successful in getting your message in front of them, you probably won't get more than one shot at converting those who are interested because of the spate of competitive offers that are likely to be just one click away. So the smart strategy is to keep the pressure in the marketplace on, and put your most attractive offer(s) right up front without subjecting it to a litany of purchase conditions or disclaimers. There will be more than enough prospective travelers watching to make it worth your while.
For more information on the results of travelhorizons™ please visit the Publications section of .