The Role of Digital on the Customer Journey

Is there research, surveys or anything else from last few years which show the role of digital and social in the customer journey on making travel decisions?

Is there research, surveys or anything else from last few years which show the role of digital and social in the customer journey on making travel decisions?

This was a question we received from one of our members in light of making the case for digital and social post covid-19.


Post-Covid Consumer Panels

‍

First of all jumping to some of the most recent content on this subject, the series we did together with Beautiful Destinations shows some really interesting insights from a series of 'focus group' consumer panels.

‍

It doesn't show data, but it does give us an understanding what content and digital platforms Gen Z and Millennials need and will respond to. Importantly, the two panels give us really great insights into what content is needed to persuade and convince these travellers to book. Take a look πŸ‘‡

  1. Panel with Gen Z
  2. Panel with Millennials

‍

Sophisticating Digital Platforms with Data & AI

‍

One of the biggest shifts of recent years has been the way in which AI has crept into our every day approach to digital. Whether that's image selection or targeting sophistication, the data we gather on our users is increasingly entering automation engines which can analyse and make more accurate decisions on what to show, when and where.

‍

At Global 2019, we saw a lot of great examples of this:

Tourism Ireland - Using Machine Learning & AI in Digital

In this talk, Brian Harte shares his own vision for what he refers to as 'next best' when it comes to making content decisions. It's a great deep dive into the mind of a highly respected digital marketer and his view on how AI will play a critical role in the next iteration of Ireland's global digital brand presence. Whilst COVID-19 is going to hit hard, ultimately Tourism Ireland will be remaining on course with this strategy.

‍

Visit Wales - Repositioning the Destination Digital First

This is a great example of rebranding a nation with a digital-first approach. In this talk Jon Munro of Visit Wales talks about the very thorough and extensive approach to redesigning the Visit Wales website to focus on rich editorial and deeply relevant content delivery. This brand overhaul in digital comes after a lot of consideration about how content and different platforms have performed and how the nation brand of wales as a tourism destination should sit alongside wales as a country brand for inward investment.

‍

Switzerland Tourism - Transforming the DMO Website Through Data & AI

Switzerland Tourism have always been a leader in digital, recognising the importance of investing in a strong customer and user centric approach built around needs and balancing the need to create a rich brand experience but also lead customers through the funnel to discovery and planning. In ST's recent Β site re-launch, they have completely re-thought the role of content focusing on deeply immersive content and the use of AI to process routine image selection, cropping and placement so that they can execute an effective omni-channel strategy efficiently in the future.

‍

‍

Targeting Relevant Consumers with Content

‍

Finding the right consumer today requires sophisticated omni-channel, data driven strategies. The use of programmatic and AI allows marketers to establish a broad range of messaging and creative to respond to different behavioural interactions with relevant and targeted messaging.

‍

We have seen this play-out two fold.

  1. Destinations who 'curate' content experiences and carefully select the channels and audiences who they will resonate most with.
  2. Destinations who 'target' a sophisticated array of data touchpoints, to deliver the right brand impression and evolve that through the funnel.

‍

Of course, the best are those that combine both and deliver a rich, content driven immersive campaign, supported with behavioural based targeting to optimise and develop interest which can be measured in terms of booking volume through partners.

‍

Here are a couple of great examples:

Brand USA and Succeeding with Paid Content Partnerships

Brand USA are a real champion of bringing partners together and fundraising to create large-scale global impact campaigns. If you want to see a true 'customer journey' concept come together, look no further than some of the work the team at Brand USA have executed in recent years. Their recent 'Sounds of the USA' campaign is a perfect example of tapping into a niche yet making it mainstream and targeting customers in potential markets through a diverse set of digital media partnerships, brought together with a rich content experience.

‍

Tourespana on Targeting with Data
Just before the pandemic we caught up with Tourespana to understand why data has become such a major priority in their strategy and how they apply that. This was one of our most interesting case studies from an NTO on the topic of data as it shows the importance of having a wide array of digital media partners who can both deliver large-scale brand impression but also working with local digital companies with more acute innovations who can run more experimental targeting, such as contextual based targeting etc.

‍

Panel on Big Data - Tourespana and Benidorm Discussing Content Targeting
Lastly this panel on Big Data held at Global shows the different considerations when it comes to the use of data to target the right consumers. Benidorm, in particular, shows how important it is to have a holistic view on the different social, content and digital touchpoints and to measure the interaction and hand-over of visitors from one to another.

‍

‍

Favourite Talks with Timeless Learnings

‍

Digital evolves continuously but the principals and learnings often remain unchanged. So to look back at some of those talks which left the strongest impressions, we thought it would be a dis-service not to mention a few which really stood out to us when it comes to understanding the customer journey in digital and applying a really smart strategy to support it.

‍

San Diego's Tourism Authority - Shifting to an 'Always-on' Content Strategy
San Diego Teaches us to be really brand oriented when it comes to adopting an always-on digital strategy and to have relevant content 'at hand' for every scenario, ready to roll-out.

San Diego did a Talk about this and also a Case Study filmed at their offices, both giving different perspectives and well worth a watch.

‍

Closing the Content Strategy Loop with California 101
If you want to see a great example of a DMO who has re-launched in the middle of a pandemic, look no further than Visit California's US Version, which has just been relaunched. The build-up to this has involved a lot of critical thinking about the different digital touchpoints on the omni-channel content journey and critically a conclusion (look towards the end of the talk) that the destination's 'owned' digital assets are the only true conversion points for visitors, stressing the need to continually invest and strengthen these.

‍

Always-on Marketing for the Chinese Traveller with Dubai Tourism
When it comes to executing a really thorough and staged approach to creating brand awareness right through to conversion with an emerging market, look no further than our highest-ranked talk at Global from Dubai Tourism, where we got a deep dive look at how they work on different channels and platforms, from their website through to dominant Chinese social media but also how they worked with different influencers to truly activate the brand messaging around that for a successful digital brand strategy.

‍

Banff & Lake Louise - Marketing Canada's First National Park with a Data-Driven Approach
One of our favourite all time talks has to be Banff and Lake Louise. They show us the value of building campaigns together with all of your industry partners to increase investment in media and also refined the messaging as you re-target visitors through the funnel. This is all about using the right brand strategy, smart media investment and measuring conversion through to the booking phase.

Is there research, surveys or anything else from last few years which show the role of digital and social in the customer journey on making travel decisions?

This was a question we received from one of our members in light of making the case for digital and social post covid-19.


Post-Covid Consumer Panels

‍

First of all jumping to some of the most recent content on this subject, the series we did together with Beautiful Destinations shows some really interesting insights from a series of 'focus group' consumer panels.

‍

It doesn't show data, but it does give us an understanding what content and digital platforms Gen Z and Millennials need and will respond to. Importantly, the two panels give us really great insights into what content is needed to persuade and convince these travellers to book. Take a look πŸ‘‡

  1. Panel with Gen Z
  2. Panel with Millennials

‍

Sophisticating Digital Platforms with Data & AI

‍

One of the biggest shifts of recent years has been the way in which AI has crept into our every day approach to digital. Whether that's image selection or targeting sophistication, the data we gather on our users is increasingly entering automation engines which can analyse and make more accurate decisions on what to show, when and where.

‍

At Global 2019, we saw a lot of great examples of this:

Tourism Ireland - Using Machine Learning & AI in Digital

In this talk, Brian Harte shares his own vision for what he refers to as 'next best' when it comes to making content decisions. It's a great deep dive into the mind of a highly respected digital marketer and his view on how AI will play a critical role in the next iteration of Ireland's global digital brand presence. Whilst COVID-19 is going to hit hard, ultimately Tourism Ireland will be remaining on course with this strategy.

‍

Visit Wales - Repositioning the Destination Digital First

This is a great example of rebranding a nation with a digital-first approach. In this talk Jon Munro of Visit Wales talks about the very thorough and extensive approach to redesigning the Visit Wales website to focus on rich editorial and deeply relevant content delivery. This brand overhaul in digital comes after a lot of consideration about how content and different platforms have performed and how the nation brand of wales as a tourism destination should sit alongside wales as a country brand for inward investment.

‍

Switzerland Tourism - Transforming the DMO Website Through Data & AI

Switzerland Tourism have always been a leader in digital, recognising the importance of investing in a strong customer and user centric approach built around needs and balancing the need to create a rich brand experience but also lead customers through the funnel to discovery and planning. In ST's recent Β site re-launch, they have completely re-thought the role of content focusing on deeply immersive content and the use of AI to process routine image selection, cropping and placement so that they can execute an effective omni-channel strategy efficiently in the future.

‍

‍

Targeting Relevant Consumers with Content

‍

Finding the right consumer today requires sophisticated omni-channel, data driven strategies. The use of programmatic and AI allows marketers to establish a broad range of messaging and creative to respond to different behavioural interactions with relevant and targeted messaging.

‍

We have seen this play-out two fold.

  1. Destinations who 'curate' content experiences and carefully select the channels and audiences who they will resonate most with.
  2. Destinations who 'target' a sophisticated array of data touchpoints, to deliver the right brand impression and evolve that through the funnel.

‍

Of course, the best are those that combine both and deliver a rich, content driven immersive campaign, supported with behavioural based targeting to optimise and develop interest which can be measured in terms of booking volume through partners.

‍

Here are a couple of great examples:

Brand USA and Succeeding with Paid Content Partnerships

Brand USA are a real champion of bringing partners together and fundraising to create large-scale global impact campaigns. If you want to see a true 'customer journey' concept come together, look no further than some of the work the team at Brand USA have executed in recent years. Their recent 'Sounds of the USA' campaign is a perfect example of tapping into a niche yet making it mainstream and targeting customers in potential markets through a diverse set of digital media partnerships, brought together with a rich content experience.

‍

Tourespana on Targeting with Data
Just before the pandemic we caught up with Tourespana to understand why data has become such a major priority in their strategy and how they apply that. This was one of our most interesting case studies from an NTO on the topic of data as it shows the importance of having a wide array of digital media partners who can both deliver large-scale brand impression but also working with local digital companies with more acute innovations who can run more experimental targeting, such as contextual based targeting etc.

‍

Panel on Big Data - Tourespana and Benidorm Discussing Content Targeting
Lastly this panel on Big Data held at Global shows the different considerations when it comes to the use of data to target the right consumers. Benidorm, in particular, shows how important it is to have a holistic view on the different social, content and digital touchpoints and to measure the interaction and hand-over of visitors from one to another.

‍

‍

Favourite Talks with Timeless Learnings

‍

Digital evolves continuously but the principals and learnings often remain unchanged. So to look back at some of those talks which left the strongest impressions, we thought it would be a dis-service not to mention a few which really stood out to us when it comes to understanding the customer journey in digital and applying a really smart strategy to support it.

‍

San Diego's Tourism Authority - Shifting to an 'Always-on' Content Strategy
San Diego Teaches us to be really brand oriented when it comes to adopting an always-on digital strategy and to have relevant content 'at hand' for every scenario, ready to roll-out.

San Diego did a Talk about this and also a Case Study filmed at their offices, both giving different perspectives and well worth a watch.

‍

Closing the Content Strategy Loop with California 101
If you want to see a great example of a DMO who has re-launched in the middle of a pandemic, look no further than Visit California's US Version, which has just been relaunched. The build-up to this has involved a lot of critical thinking about the different digital touchpoints on the omni-channel content journey and critically a conclusion (look towards the end of the talk) that the destination's 'owned' digital assets are the only true conversion points for visitors, stressing the need to continually invest and strengthen these.

‍

Always-on Marketing for the Chinese Traveller with Dubai Tourism
When it comes to executing a really thorough and staged approach to creating brand awareness right through to conversion with an emerging market, look no further than our highest-ranked talk at Global from Dubai Tourism, where we got a deep dive look at how they work on different channels and platforms, from their website through to dominant Chinese social media but also how they worked with different influencers to truly activate the brand messaging around that for a successful digital brand strategy.

‍

Banff & Lake Louise - Marketing Canada's First National Park with a Data-Driven Approach
One of our favourite all time talks has to be Banff and Lake Louise. They show us the value of building campaigns together with all of your industry partners to increase investment in media and also refined the messaging as you re-target visitors through the funnel. This is all about using the right brand strategy, smart media investment and measuring conversion through to the booking phase.

This was a question we received from one of our members in light of making the case for digital and social post covid-19.

‍

This was a question we received from one of our members in light of making the case for digital and social post covid-19.

‍

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