Travel brands are certainly not immune to the tectonic shifts now ripping apart traditional digital marketing strategies. Our 2017 Digital Transformation Survey reveals that many in the industry are in fact unprepared to cope with the deluge of new digital content formats now pervading the traveler mindset.
Smart technology investments will clearly and ultimately determine the winners and losers in the race for the travel consumer; the time and capital resources that companies must now allocate in order to compete are unprecedented. In 2015, Expedia spent up to $2.0 billion (about one-third of total revenues) on digital advertising alone. Digital ad spend as a share of total revenue will continue to climb for everyone including the big online brands, down to the local independent hotel property.
A big part of the digital transformation that the travel industry as a whole is now going through involves digital marketing technology, automation and personalization, used to make more effective use of increasingly tighter marketing and advertising budgets. In this context, we launched our 2017 Digital Transformation Survey, to gain a better sense of how the industry as a whole is prioritizing the application of new technologies.
We partnered with Adobe to commission the research. Download the full report. Here is an excerpt from our efforts:
Adapting to Change
This is a truly exciting yet challenging time for consumer-facing brands in travel. The breakneck pace of disruption in mobile computing, social media, digital content creation and content delivery has completely altered the way consumers shop for, book, share and ultimately experience travel. Instant access to product information and reviews via user generated content (UGS) means that would-be travelers can now shop around on their own time – during their commute, in bed, even while in the bathroom. Innovations in digital payments and information verification have also given birth to new travel products.
The sharing economy has gone mainstream, for instance; hoteliers must now compete with the likes of Airbnb.And in this super-heated competitive environment, every traveler is also a content creator and publisher. Experiencing places before the actual experience is also now the new norm. People also expect engaging, visual, and interactive forms of content. The world is watching. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other social media channels almost guarantee that your brand will be on full display to anyone with an internet connection.