The Marketing Corner: Online Travel

By Adele Lassere
Adele Lassere
Adele Lassere
October 6, 2013 Updated: October 6, 2013

The world of travel has taken on many forms today. Travel plans are made daily to a variety of destinations—domestically and internationally. Some of these plans are made by corporate travel agencies and others by consumers for personal trips. One thing is for sure, online travel websites are getting more traffic as consumers search for the best deals and information about specific destinations.

Given this evolution, there is a breed of emerging travelers who are taking more trips. These consumers tend to be more connected via mobile devices—smartphones and tablets—than the average consumer. Below are some common characteristics of these travelers. They tend to:

• Have children present in the home
• Spend more dollars on quick weekend getaways and/or long trips
• Seek more activities while on vacation
• Travel internationally
• Be more social media active via Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and so on

Small-business owners specializing in online travel business have been able to compete within the industry given the advances in technology. By taking note of the above characteristics one can set oneself apart from competitors. With digitally connected travelers, you can use their behavior patterns online to catch their attention. Social media is an avenue that would allow small businesses to engage with these savvy travelers. Additionally, one can appeal to this group by offering one or more of the following:

• User-friendly booking applications online
• Photos of the location, hotels, activities, and so on
• Digital coupons, vacation packages, and so on
• User-generated reviews of the location, hotels, and so on
• A website suited for smartphones and tablet usage
• Easy-to-use tech support and/or speaking to a “live” body if a problem occurs

The aforementioned can assist in keeping small businesses at the head of their class and differentiate them from the competition. The goal is to have these savvy travelers take to social media after a trip to speak about your services. Hence, you gain brand ambassadors for your business.

Remember: Social media is not overnight revenue generation. However, long-term it could be very beneficial in assisting with word-of-mouth recommendations that will lead to the desired return on investment. When making changes to your business offerings and website, ensure that the changes that are being made keep the consumer in mind first and do provide some benefit or solve a problem.

Adele Laser is a marketing/advertising consultant with 20+ years of experience, freelance writer, and author of “Elements of Buying: A How To Reference Guide on Advertising for Business Owners,” available at Amazon.com. Adele was listed on Black Enterprise’s 2011 Top Execs in Marketing & Advertising and Black Enterprise’s 2013 Top Women Executives in Advertising & Marketing. Contact: adelelassere@gmail.com