Earlier this week Travel Trade Show WTM London 2012 took place in Excel London. For 4 days people from all over the world were doing business accross all travel sectors. One of the most busy ones was Online Travel Technology sector. As one of the most non-invasive forms of wealth distribution these travel shows always attract a lot of attention and with advance online technology travel market specialists look towards Search Engines and Social Media as money saving solutions.
Question is – did you join any technology seminars this year? If you didn’t there are 5 main points which were discussed this year. You can treat this article as your guide to online travel technology and advertising 2012:
And the most important one:
- how to use these techniques fully combined for your holistic marketing strategy.
I must admit this fifth point is something we’ve been waiting for over the past five years.
This is quick review of what happened during 4 days of seminars
1) Bloggers get their proper recognition this year. It was joyful to find in the seminar rooms dozens of bloggers. For the very first time I can say travel industry recognises bloggers on this same level as technology sector does.
On Tuesday in Platinum suite you could feel buzz like never before. This will only get bigger.
Take away point – find connections with travel bloggers ASAP if you do not have some already!
2) Search Marketing. No one needs to be convinced what benefit can you have from website. We had people from major players on the podium including chaps from innovative side of Search – Semantic Search. Where you can talk about artificial intelligence in search.
What you could learn here is that Google is so big regarding product span and operations that an external Search focused specialist knows more about their products than an internal representative (it was fun to watch). Of course this showed how advanced online marketing techniques are these days.
Search – Yahoo!|Bing setup is still confusing regarding advertising opposite to Google where GDN and your AdWords pannel can cover all aspects of online advertising including YouTube, Gmail, Google Places and G+
You still have no straight forward approach to introduce advertising within Hotmail, MSN messenger, Yahoo publishing properties. This of course creates Bing platform less competitive especially for businesses with budgets below certain threshold. Sometimes people like Yahoo!|Bing alliance forget there are thousands of businesses which spent millions and millions of businesses which spend only thousands.
Google fully recognises this and this is the reason you can still create revenue on Google form campaign which has spend of £50pcm! Incredible but true.
Take away point two – make sure you always hire specialist from search to keep your team updated. Your team is not focused on general trends in search make sure you not running blind – talk to search engine specialist ASAP
3) Video – bigger then ever before YouTube annotations as way forward for linking videos made their stage this year. Good for annotations but what about content productions. There were some interesting results there too.
Take away 3 – Get your videos linked together and do not spend money on video production. Ask your customers to do it – give them a bit of claim to fame.
4) Mobile – If you do not do it this year apparently you will be dead by the end of 2013. This was main message from specialists in this and other online marketing areas. Apart from couple of funny figures mainly “guesstimated” you could found out from speakers we have 4 billion internet enabled mobile devices in operation in the world and 5.9bn mobile phones altogether. All predictions for 2013 say this number will be higher then number of people in the world as soon as end of Q1.
Take away – four – make sure you have your mobile presence sorted – hot stuff is coming mostly from Android market and make sure you’re making a division between phone screen and tablet screen
5) Holistic marketing. When you decide to go ahead with promotion just make sure you talk this same language offline and online have decent approach to print as this will still run but needs online connections like QR codes and short URLs for each offer. Make sure when you do something you do this across the whole web. And perhaps the most important. Try to avoid country specific offers. This are old days tools now there is no borders. Your country local campaign will make it to social media in minutes and trust me you do not want to upset your followers from different countries and tell them they have to wait for this same offer another 2 months.
Take away number five – give it a go – all at once, use this same language, make easier to customer to switch marketing channels and make sure 4G is still ages away so create solutions which take advantage of downloadable material in case customer has no access to connection.
Now is all up to you – Go get your business in 21st century style cheap and effective.