Volume: 8 Issue No: 1
Dear Colleagues & Friends:
Dear Colleagues & Friends:
What a difference a few weeks can make in the minds and intentions of travelers. Just as travel
providers were expecting a big bounce for the 2010 season, fear from the economic metrics has again gripped consumers. It is a reminder that we are not off the rollercoaster yet. So strap yourself in for the continuous ride.
Travelers are exhaling and the media has been calling this "the summer of the vacation" - yeah! It seems that last year's staycations were too close to home, not too exciting, and people really do want to get away.
People are shopping like mad online for the best deal. But as Henry Harteveldt of Forrester Research said recently, "Leisure travelers say value, reliability and past experience are equally important to price. There is also an upturn of people willing to pay more for products that save them time and hassle."
AAA's results for Memorial Day and projections for July 4th holiday travel showed encouraging growth.
The key for travel suppliers will be to find the sweet spot where valuable products, services, and experiences will move lookers to bookers. There is a lot of money on the sidelines, but people need a reason to jump in.
The more opportunities you create to get up at bat with consumers, the better the chances of conversion. Batter up!
The Opportunity Guy
Going Ga Ga to Get Results
The world is going Ga Ga, or so it seems. The latest cultural icon on the scene is none other than Lady Gaga. In recent articles, she was named one of the top 100 most influential people of the decade by Time magazine and the #1 most creative person by Fast Company magazine. For me, she is like Madonna on steroids.
I recently saw her in a Larry King Live interview (on CNN) and learned that she refers to her fans as little monsters. She was scheduled to open for Michael Jackson's concert series before his death, and there was also an entire episode of Glee, the hit TV show, dedicated to her music.
This past weekend both Lady Gaga and I were in Boston. I decided to experience her energy and music, and to be part of the little monsters. She creates an amazing experience! It is completely staged with precision dancers, lavish sets, and some of the most outrageous costumes I have ever seen. The audience went wild, present company included.
Lady Gaga is all about pushing the envelope, busting out of norms and traditions, and challenging assumptions and beliefs. She will try just about anything to be different and get people's attention. Her music is pretty good too - Bad Romance, Poker Face, and Paparazzi. In tourism, we are trying to climb out of the crevice of the 2008/2009 meltdown. Things are starting to defrost, but there is a lot of money on the sidelines.
What are you doing to convert customers? Are you pushing the envelope? Are you challenging the assumptions or do you expect that business will come back in the same way? Your customers and their tastes will not be the same once they are thawed out! We are definitely moving to a new place and the need to go Ga Ga has never been greater.
The formula for capturing and converting consumers continues to change. Henry Harteveldt, at a recent ATME meeting said, "There is a new era of frugality called "neo-frugal chic." He said, "saving is a point of pride. However, value, reliability and past experience are equally important to price. People also want deals."
If value, reliability and past experience are equally important to price, this creates a big opportunity for savvy marketers. The offer you create must provide value in the mind of your customers. We must create a unique experience that customers will buy and emotionally connect with to generate results.
Ga Ga Opportunities - click here for rest of article
Highlights from the Travel Marketing Executives Conference (ATME), Boston, June 2010
The following is a list of noteworthy snippets presented in the meeting from Robert Cole's blog. For a complete list of highlights, go to his blog: www.rockcheetah.com/blog
Henry Harteveldt, Forrester Research
- In the U.S., 2010 is the first year when Baby Boomers turn 65. A huge demographic shift is coming.
- Leisure travelers say value, reliability, and past experience are equally important to price.
- Era of new frugality is named "neo-frugal chic." Savings is a point of pride. Every purchase is highly researched. Travel is a reward, not an entitlement. However, seeing upturn in people willing to pay more on products that save them time and hassle.
- Mobile will become the most important gateway for travel marketers in the next 3-4 years. Mobile currently represents 5% of online travel marketing budgets.
- 72% of leisure travelers engaged in social media - same statistic in the U.S. and Europe.
- 58% of travelers have Facebook accounts, and the fastest growing aspect of Facebook is mobile.
- 52% of travelers don't have a brand in mind when they start to research their vacation. Only 3 in 10 travelers say they're loyal to a travel company.
Susan Black, Black & White Group
- 4 in 10 wake up to their social circles to get news and information.
- 56% check Facebook or social media sites several times a day.
- Social media isn't about broadcasting - it's about honesty, responsiveness, conversation, and transparency.
- 4 E's of social media: Educate, Excite, Engage, and Evangelize.
- 4 in 10 people recommend products on social media sites, 46% recommend on Facebook, and 44% on Twitter.
Rob Torres, Google Travel
- 4 key Internet trends: Mobile, Social, Local, and Personal
- New credo of Google is "Mobile First"
- 19% of tweets comment on a brand.
- On average, over 20 sites are visited before people book their travel (Note: official Google stat specified that this takes place across 9 isolated sessions.)
Christine Petersen, CMO, TripAdvisor
- TripAdvisor is largest travel site in the world bigger than parent Expedia. Also, it is larger than Travelocity, Orbitz, and Priceline combined.
- New Facebook Trip Friends App: Wisdom of crowds is great, but wisdom of friends is better.
- TripAdvisor is the most popular travel App on the iPhone trip. Mobile site/1 million visits per month.
For additional information and to check The Opportunity Guy's availability, call Joe Veneto at (617) 786-9096 or e-mail him at Joe@OpportunityGuy.com.
For a complete listing of presentations and seminars, go to www.opportunityguy.com/speaking.htm.
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