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It is no secret that consumers are expecting a lot from tourism businesses in social, mobile, content and experiences. However, very often these expectations might be difficult to meet and certainly in comparison to other industries, the tourism industry is lacking behind in digital. It is therefore interesting to see whether campaigns in general are actually meeting consumer expectations. There is an imminent gap between marketers’ understanding of various messaging channels and consumers’ ideas. This gap needs to be overcome in order to ensure that campaigns can be most efficient. However, this gap might actually lead back to the fact that consumer expectations are completely misaligned (eMarketer 2013).


When it comes to marketer’s campaigns 25% of consumers make their purchase decisions based on messages delivered via email. In comparison to that, only 16% of consumers find a personalised web experience as a valuable marketing channel. This is very interesting, as it demonstrates the need for personalisation with regards to responding to consumer expectations. Only 6% of consumers think mobile ads are useful and 5% think mobile apps are helpful.

Marketers are often not very realistic about the value of marketing channels, as 87% of marketers think personalised web experience is most important, followed by 82% emails, and 42% Facebook and Twitter. This illustrates the fact that marketers often have an unrealistic view of which marketing channels are most valuable which can be dangerous, as opportunities might not be taken advantage of and marketing channels might be used that consumers actually do not see as important and valuable.


Consumers have a very positive perception of emails as a marketing channel. Emails seem to enable businesses to deliver relevant marketing messages to consumers. One in three consumers expect email messages to be accurate and over one quarter consider it memorable. Even though marketers consider personalised web experiences as very important, most consumers actually consider emails more memorable than personalised web experiences. This is certainly something that is a bit of a surprise and showcases again that there is a discrepancy between what marketers consider as most important and useful marketing channels and the reality of consumers, their expectations and what they consider most useful, accurate and memorable.


Marketers really need to ensure that campaigns meet consumer expectations and decisions with regards to marketing campaigns are made on the basis of actual consumer preferences. This is absolutely crucial! Assumptions should not be made by marketers to what marketing channels are the most useful and relevant ones. By following this approach, marketers can be more efficient and campaigns can really meet customer expectations.

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