Demand for holidays continues to rise despite the uncertainty around Brexit, a packed-out audience at the Ham Yard Hotel was told during the latest Thinkbox event, ‘Destination effectiveness: travel brands on TV’.
Danielle Rowson, director at Deloitte, kicked off proceedings with a deep-dive into the solo travel market, where a steady increase in the number of bookings being made by women in particular has created a compelling marketing opportunity for companies in the sector.
A growing interest in adventure travel is also something brands should think about capitalising on, argues Danielle, with consumers seeking authentic experiences rooted in local cultures. An appetite for destinations off the beaten track suggests a weariness toward over-populated tourist hot-spots is another consideration for marketers.
Matt Hill, director of research and planning at Thinkbox, built on Danielle’s findings with insights on how travel brands can maximise the effectiveness of their marketing strategies.
Citing research from Binet & Field, Matt demonstrated how the decay rate for advertising campaigns in the travel market is slower than those seen in other sectors. This means the impact of an effective brand building strategy stretches further and runs deeper.
According to Binet & Field, scale is as important as penetration; it is the former, in fact, that drives growth. Consequently, advertisers are advised to develop a strategy anchored by the reach of broadcast mediums like TV and out-of-home (with an optimal marketing mix of five media channels).
Matt stressed the importance of prioritising a branded focus over short-term sales activation for products that have a higher price point. First, a brand needs to drive awareness and consideration; if implemented successfully, this longer-term approach will also pay short-term dividends in the form of sales increases. Much like the banking sector, consumers need to be able to trust travel advertisers in order to buy from them – and there’s no better way to foster trust than through a constantly nurtured, visible brand profile.
Our final key takeaway comes from a case study by P&O’s planning partner, Maria McHugh. Focusing on the brand’s latest campaign – featuring Rob Brydon – Maria shone a spotlight on the importance of humour. As proven in the fintech sector, emotion is more effective than rational triggers in enticing consumers to choose one travel brand or destination over another – especially among the ABC1 demographic.
While price remains an important factor in purchase considerations, tapping into our aspirations and deep-rooted need for escape forms the basis of every effective travel creative.
To learn more about the marketing opportunities available to travel brands, why not contact our travel experts today?