Digital Travel Trends and Takeaways – December 2017

From the Thought Leadership Team at USDM Digital®

WHAT’S TRENDING in Digital Marketing

TREND:  According to Forbes, voice search is one of the top travel trends of 2018.  What Siri started doing for iPhone users a few years back has transformed into an entire industry, focused on devices such as Amazon Echo and its digital assistant “Alexa”.  Voice Activated digital assistants will quickly grow in popularity and usage because they provide faster, easier solutions and more precise answers than hand-operated mobile devices. These “assistants” utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI) to analyze millions of data points to provide the most relevant information in milliseconds, rather than a screen full of suggested links.   Already, some hotels have installed Echos in guest rooms to provide millennial customers the technology they expect and to interface with hotel staff for an improved guest experience. –

USDM Digital® Take-Away:  Already, one out of five searches come from voice queries, according to Google, and growth is expected to boom in 2018.  Marketers need to upgrade their content and search optimization strategies to accommodate these important changes.  From mobile page load time to conversational keywords and more, several important tactics can significantly improve your results.  Need help?  Contact

TREND:  Consumption of digital travel content is on the rise with a growth rate of 44% in the U.K., 41% in the U.S., and 18% in Canada. –

USDM Digital® Take-Away:  Easy and pervasive mobile search and content delivery is dramatically driving much greater and faster content consumption.  This empowering demand for content keeps increasing while busy schedules and many choices shorten consumption time.  The result: consumers now quickly scan eye-catching online content.  Travel (and other industries) Marketers must update their content creation and delivery strategies to a) compete, and b) maximize new opportunities to better target prospects and drive greater response with short, compelling headlines, images, and videos that grab attention.  More, new, concise, topic-focused content is needed and distribution through many social channels is driving results.  Find out how you can deploy the newest smart automation solution, contact to ask about the XELLERANT™ Content Marketing and Distribution System.  XELLERANT™ lets your budget work smarter, faster, better. 

TRENDMobile’s share of total digital ad spending in the travel industry (49% vs 51% for desktop ads) continues to increase, and in the future, will represent a majority of the industry’s ad spending. 

USDM Digital® Take-Away:  Mobile is the new standard for everything — the unstoppable new norm for communications, marketing, booking, commerce, and payment.  All your content, advertising, e-commerce, payment and customer service systems MUST NOW be quickly delivered across all mobile platforms. To verify that all your programs and systems are fully mobile compliant and mobile first, Contact an SME at about a Digital Gap Analysis®.  Get a thorough analysis of your programs, technology, competitors, and impact to identify gaps, challenges, and most importantly, missed opportunities.

TRENDChanges in media consumption are leading some major brands to shift media budgets from TV to digital, with budget split moving from 70% TV/ 30% digital to now 50/50.  According to Under Armour’s senior vice president of brand marketing Adrienne Lofton, “The reality [now] is that the consumer is consuming around 3,000 messages a day, our research showed,” she said, “often it’s social and digital — consumers are just in a constant state of [media] consumption.”  — Business Insider

USDM Digital® Take-Away:  For decades, the sight-sound-and-motion of television delivered a superior branding message to a widespread audience.  That has all changed. In today’s untethered, high-speed mobile, internet-driven world, consumers trust recommendations from social media more than from brands direct and video is increasingly consumed online and mobile.  As delighted as advertisers are with seeing their brand on primetime television, the data no longer supports TV advertising as the predominant medium.  Digital channels deliver measurably more impact for branding, audience targeting, multi-channel prospect engagement, buyer decision journey data and message retargeting, reviews and recommendations, direct feedback, direct purchasing, and instant payment.

TRENDData analytics and “match targeting” digital campaigns are driving new revenues for tourism and other industries. Digital media company Orange142 is recommending to tourism and hospitality clients to create digital budgets in 2018 that include match-and-reach campaigns. Orange142 analyzes clients’ best performing 2017 campaigns to create exact match lists of new prospects to target using digital ads and videos.  The tactic is very successful for new market expansion and niche marketing. –

USDM Digital® Take-Away:  Lighting speed analysis of large amounts of data is delivering reliable and actionable recommendations for not only the best responding creative elements and advertising channels, but also for new prospects.  Leveraging superior data-driven marketing does not mean you must invest in more technology and staff.  Instead, invest by outsourcing to Orange142 for delivery of turn-key services for analyzing your data to identify new prospects, re-engage current customers, and distribute best-performing ads across the premium channels at lower ad costs than you would expect.


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Digital Gap Analysis® is a registered trademark of USDM Digital® LLC.

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