Digital Travel Trends and Takeaways June 2017

From the Thought Leadership Team at USDM Digital®


TREND: Millennials, born between 1982 and 2004 and now the largest demographic in the U.S., are emerging as one of the most valuable population segments for the growing US travel industry. Millennials view travel as a vital component to their personal growth and a part of their identity. In fact, it is so important to this generation that young adults rank travel as more important than escaping from their student loans, buying a “big ticket” item, improving relationships with family and friends or even starting a family of their own.  — Mintel

USDM Take-Away:  Another shot across the bow for travel marketers in their 40s and 50s to embrace new technology and demographic shifts away from their comfort zones of how things have always been and towards exciting new opportunities these shifts represent. Is it time for reverse mentoring — millennials coaching managers on content strategy, social, and more?

TREND: Collecting anonymous booking metrics from accommodations partners gives destination marketing organizations (DMOs) powerful, data-driven insights that improve the relevance of how, when, and where to spend their marketing dollars, and its impact. Collecting only ZIP Code, date booked, date actualized (visited) and dollars spent, without collecting any personal or property brand data, keeps consumer privacy and lodging partners’ competitive data safe. Some DMOs have achieved this and the resulting data greatly improves the effectiveness of DMO marketing dollars bringing in more bookings for all lodging, entertainment, dining, and shopping constituents. —

USDM Take-Away: Small to medium sized DMOs can call for a co-op program that requires no cash contribution, but simply the adoption of a customized data interface link into an accommodation’s reservation system that supplies the DMO confidential data points, that once compiled and analyzed against marketing schedules, would yield actionable insights. The more transparency the better in making every booking partner a winner under a DMO umbrella program.

TREND: Digital media advertising spending growth continues to strongly outpace traditional ad spending, which, in many media categories, is declining year over year. Particularly in the travel industry, ad budgets are shifting from traditional to digital as travel marketers increasingly rely on multichannel, multi-platform digital marketing, increasingly driven by data analytics, for more effective cost, reach, engagement, response, and new data for remarketing.  – eMarketer

USDM Take-Away: Travel consumers now overwhelmingly turn to online sources for their travel planning and booking – that’s where they find you and that’s where you can reach them. Digital media has the additional enormous advantages of trackability, transparency, and accountability. Advertisers know precisely how many saw their ad, responded, and even purchased. Media buys can be based on performance rather than estimation and adjusted in real time.        


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