The average consumer makes 48 searches for the best deal before booking a flight. This may come as no surprise, as today’s vacationer is well known to rely on the internet for research and planning. Yet, this number also represents a myriad of opportunities a customer has to be lured by your competitors.
So in a digital world where “attention is the currency,” as described by Sergio Restrepo, our VP of Global Digital Marketing Services, how are travel companies supposed to break through the noise to win customers’ trust?
In a recent webinar, Restrepo was joined by Danica Wong, Direct & Email Marketing Manager at Hawaiian Airlines, and Ted Wham, VP, Vertical Industry Solutions at Oracle Marketing Cloud, to talk over ways to engage consumers in one of the most competitive industries in the world. A mishmash of invaluable global marketing strategies for travel companies, the discussion started by exploring the concept of “micro-moments.”
What are micro-moments?
There are many ways to describe the customer journey, but a simplistic way of viewing the experience is as a series of micro-moments. In the travel industry, these can be broken down into four categories:
The goal is to achieve stickiness at these four levels. How? Restrepo recommends four ways: be there, be fast, be creative and culturally fit, and be useful. Of course, this is relatively easy to achieve when addressing only one market or language, but the true challenge comes at scale.
Let’s look at each stage at a global level:
- Be there.
According to Google’s Zero Moment of Truth study, consumers consult an average of 10.4 sources of information before making a purchase decision. The customer touches many points in the paid, owned, earned, and social ecosystem before deciding on a brand, and if you want to make the shortlist, yours needs to be one of them.
The challenge is that brands no longer control the conversation. To meet the customer where they are, we have to plan ahead and anticipate their behaviors. Keep in mind where the customer will look for information, make sure you’re present—and most importantly, fresh—in those locations, and remember that not all touchpoints are necessarily digital.
- Be fast.
If your brand is prepared to scale, it should be prepared for the race to get there. The technology stack required to run your digital ecosystem (including your website and email, for example) needs to be revamped to target every region, language, culture, and device at speed.
- Be creative and culturally fit.
When it comes to global marketing strategies for travel companies, perhaps more than any other industry, precision in language is key. Words don’t mean the same from place to place, but our content still needs to incite the same excitement and emotions in other cultures. This is where travel companies should consider working with linguistic experts to go beyond translation, with transcreation.
Transcreation is about preserving the creativity and emotion that went into the original content while giving it cultural relevancy. The travel industry, which largely relies on the power of emotional advertising, is uniquely positioned to run with such a solution.
- Be useful.
A potential customer is always one click away from a competitors’ content. With all the variables driving our audiences’ decisions, global marketing strategies for travel companies need to focus a lot of energy into creating the best content out there—which means making it truly useful. Not only does it need to be high quality, but your content also needs to work properly on all devices, be run in any region, and be available at any time.
The next question travel companies might ask themselves is how to approach a content strategy for global execution. Restrepo suggests that the ultimate goal is personalization, and having a singular customer view to facilitate more personal conversations. But this can only be achieved with the right technology stack. The goal of the webinar, Marketing and Technology Strategies Transforming Travel, was to show how one brand, Hawaiian Airlines, has implemented technology to successfully manage seven websites, 229 email templates in five languages, 10 social media channels in four languages, and multimarket digital banner ads.
Like Hawaiian Airlines, the successful brands of tomorrow will be those that have a strategy for understanding and meeting consumers’ needs in their micro-moments. Watch the webinar on-demand to learn about the airline provider’s tools for creating and distributing multi-language marketing content and its three keys for success.