Mobile First and the Silent Traveler in 2015

by James O'Brien + Skift Team
Digital Marketing
Millennials
Mobile
Travel Tech

Skift Research Take

In this study, we look at what silent travelers are doing, where they are going, and how they are getting there. What can brands do to reach them in-trip and at-destination? This report dives into demographics, travel trends, and best practices for seeking the often younger, tech-savvy, and business/leisure-combining travel consumer.

Executive summary

In 2014, we looked at the silent traveler as a demographic. This year’s report mines the stories and experiences of these trip-takers.

Who is the silent traveler? He or she is a tech-savvy consumer in their 20s and 30s who highly values both person-to-person inspiration and sharing among his social network. That says, they are difficult to reach and convert. Today’s silent travelers are almost always mixing business and leisure travel during the same trip, they are steering clear of conventional marketing and travel agencies and packages, and they are traveling in groups as much as they are journeying alone. Their destinations are often highly personal and not often the typical cities and attractions that other travelers tend to select.

Brands attempting to capture, understand, and win the business of the silent traveler are faced first with the prospect of having to initiate a personalized experience. Storytelling and social influencers figure into this process, as do approaches that solve for particular complications and challenges that the independent and self-reliant traveler might find insurmountable without some of the traditional resources that agencies and package trips can include. Messaging these advantages in ways that align with the kinds of travel the “silent” demographic prefers is critical to reaching them with these opportunities.

This report also looks at the re-crafting of legacy kinds of travel — cruises and resorts, for example — in new ways that appeal to the silent-traveler mindset. What’s more, innovations when it comes to big data will almost certainly play a role. As efforts get underway to mine large percentages of data still dark to many marketers, a deeper understanding of the silent traveler’s demographic is poised to unfold.

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