Keeping the customer in focus - The key to intelligent digital marketing in travel.

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A recent Intercontinental Hotels Group survey piece demonstrated a marked desire for totally tailored travel services; 59% of respondents said these were important. When these are provided, satisfaction surveys report 59% of respondents saying the hotel was more comfortable and 59% report feeling more valued. The tailoring necessary varied greatly according to age group and particularly region of origin. Requirements from respondents from the UAE varied markedly from those of travellers from Brazil or China for example. These findings are not necessarily a surprise but they do emphasise the importance of gathering accurate data and using the insights it provides to localise and personalise travel services across the board.

Personalisation and Localisation
Ensuring the travel purchase cycle is seamless regardless of the traveller’s demographic is crucial in an increasingly competitive market. The impulse traveller or frequent business traveller need the process from search to purchase to work in a way specifically tailored to their needs – their needs being vastly different from say the once a year holiday traveller who plans a year ahead.

In addition to this kind of personalisation, we add in the challenges of marketing a brand globally (in the case of larger travel companies or hotels), but at the same time providing localised offerings. These need to be tailored to individual travellers on a particular day and according to the specific location they are in.

Localisation and personalisation are about delivering the right message to the right market whilst keeping consistent with the brand identity and boosting the brand value. According to an EConsultancy post in August 2013, 60% of customers online prefer it if sites remember their contact details and purchase information, and the logic behind it is simple really. It enables the audience to do repeat business, simply and easily. Making their life easy and enabling choices to be made simply engenders brand loyalty. Both personalisation and localisation increase the chances of upselling, increase customer engagement and advocacy and consequently contribute increases to revenue and gains in market share.

The same EConsultancy piece describes how when Co-Operative Travel began to integrate these things into their marketing strategy and implemented them on their website, they had a 95% increase in unique visitors and 217% increase in revenue.

Mobile Marketing
This leads us to mobile. Despite the latest ‘The SITA/Air Transport World Passenger IT trends survey’ showing 74% of passengers have smartphones, only 5% of them actually book their travel on their phone. Mobile offers unique opportunities to localise and personalise (particularly offers) with the use of GPS etc, so any travel company not ensuring their mobile offering is totally up to date is missing a major opportunity.

Of course all the above apply to other industries.  Whereas, however, for example the retail industry has moved forward at a pace to utilise the benefits of ‘SoMoLo’, much of the travel industry has yet to embrace all the opportunities the latest channels and available data insights offer them.

Creating tailored conversations and engagement in each individual market, improves the customer experience, increases business revenue and boosts conversions.


Intelligent Digital Marketing for Travel companies: Focus on the customer
Sagittarius is holding the first of a series of events on the 26th March 2014 designed to help increase conversions and customer engagement through intelligent digital marketing.

This event is aimed at anyone with the remit of improving results from digital marketing within Travel.

The aim is for delegates to leave the event with a greater understanding of how to maximise the benefits of a cohesive digital marketing strategy for your business. The event will also address some of the top challenges travel marketers face in the current climate and look at ways to overcome them.

If you would like to attend this event, please register your details here:

Sagittarius Marketing are experts in providing digital marketing solutions to global brands. If you would like to talk to us about your specific requirements, please do not hesitate to call us on: 01233 467 800 or email:

Paul Stephen
Paul Stephen
Co-Founder & Executive Director
With over 25 years in marketing, Paul is one of the UK's leading experts on digital marketing. He oversees the agency and often lectures and consults within the industry on digital and marketing related subjects and has a particular interest and skills in the travel and tourism sectors.

Paul operates nationally and internationally, helping brands to think outside the traditional horizontal and vertical channels and transform their business with creative multi-channel marketing and digital re-invention.
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