When it comes to “what’s next?” there is obviously no clear single answer. The path forward for destination marketers — and all marketers for that matter — is paved with uncertainty.
That being said, what is certain is that no matter what happens, we can expect a fundamental shift in consumer behavior with regard to travel. So how can destination marketing organizations (DMOs) best position themselves in the months ahead — despite not being able to make perfect predictions about the future? We spoke with Evan Trevers, Agency Development Manager at Google, and here are the three key steps he recommends:
1. Recognize the sudden behavioral shifts that are happening in the travel industry.
There are three types of behavior patterns that we can note as destination marketers. First, there are shocks, like the sudden spike in cancellations in March when COVID-19 was announced as a global pandemic. Second, step-ups are more subtle up-ticks that are likely to continue long-term, such as the increase of virtual tours. And then there are speed-ups, which are indicative of broad-sweeping trends that are likely to increase for a longer period of time, such as consumers seeking out longer-term rentals as more companies are making work-from-home accommodations for employees.
2. Monitoring leading indicators to track travel demand as it continues to evolve.
Simpleview’s own Insights Hub provides an aggregate view of the ongoing changes based on data like organic website traffic and meeting bookings. And beyond our own customer’s insights, Google Trends can offer valuable insights into both seasonal and in-the-moment Google search trends.
3. Accelerate the digital transformation of your business.
Take full advantage of digital technology when you can. Given that volatility is likely to continue, embrace your ability to automate whenever it is possible. This could be for the messaging, bidding and spend levels of your ads, for email drip campaigns or even for Facebook messenger bots that help direct your users to relevant information. Now is not the time to be left behind when it comes to automation!
To learn more, catch up on our conversation on The Layover Live. And if you have any questions about how to implement any of these changes at your DMO, get in touch!
Image by Jan Alexander via Pixabay