Digital Travel Trends and Takeaways – August 2018

From the Thought Leadership Team at USDM Digital®



Data from The Travel Marketer’s Guide to the US Digital Travel Landscape by Phocuswright

Insights from USDM Digital® 

Trend:  Mobile conversion will take time to catch up to desktop. Most travelers who shop on mobile still book on desktop. Mobile marketing spend must be measured carefully.

USDM Digital® Take-Away:  While today’s consumers spend a lot of time on mobile devices researching travel and finding inspirations and recommendations on social media, when it comes time to pull out the credit card to book, the majority still prefer the security of their home- or work-based computer rather than a wireless device.  

Trend:  The battle between Online Travel Agencies and supplier brands continues. Airline, hotel and car rental brands’ strategic imperative to become more competitive up and down the sales funnel is driving a shift across all marketing initiatives to build brand awareness, loyalty and retention without losing focus on conversion. Brands that drive true customer loyalty – a customer’s desire to come back and book directly with a brand – through guest experience and personalization as well as price will win the traveler.

USDM Digital® Take-Away:  Each digital marketing channel (mobile, social, email, search, display) has its own strengths and advantages for reach, brand building, customer engagement, conversion and loyalty building.  An overall, integrated, strategic digital marketing plan is a must to deliver better results AND the data that drives future improvements and the ability to match new markets.

Trend:  The power of personalization. Surveyed travelers had a higher recall of online ads that were relevant to them, featuring a brand, destination or their set of travel dates.

USDM Digital® Take-Away:  Beyond (yesterday’s) integrating a person’s name into your email marketing, data-driven personalization tactics can now build a rich customer profile of likes, dislikes and other preferences that facilitate a personalized message

Trend:  Don’t wait for emerging tech to grow up. Although emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, voice-activated assistants and user interfaces, messaging, and virtual and augmented reality are still in the early stages in their evolution, there is clear traveler appetite.  Smart travel brands are already actively investing in, offering or testing ways to serve their current and new customers through these technologies.

USDM Digital® Take-Away:  Data-driven digital marketing through multiple channels is designed for and targeted to individuals, enhanced by personalization, and driven by insights from data feedback throughout the process.  Embracing new technologies that consumers are using puts you ahead of your competitors that don’t.


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