Thursday, March 20, 2008

How Do You Capture Channel Jumpers?

No I am not talking about the frustration you may feel about your significant other channel surfing because they can't stand commercials on the tv.

I am talking about those people who book their travel online. Eye For Travel posted an excerpt from a presentation at their recent Travel Distribution Conference in Asia where the conversation was about this topic. Basically, it boils down to the trip being the major influence of the travel decisions being made, not the traveler.


Because we make decisions based on the purpose of the trip.

We may book through Priceline for a quick personal trip, but book through a travel agent for a more complex family vacation. Really I think it comes down to the importance of being in front of the consumer as early and as often as we can in the purchasing funnel. Whether that be the purchase of more generic hotel key words for pay per click marketing campaigns on the search engines to guide the research or purchasing long tail words for events and attractions. It may involve participating in online travel agencies, like Expedia and Orbitz, or purchasing display advertising on web sites that potential customers may visit.

Recent research shows that people visit more than 20 sites before finally making a decision. It is vitally important that hotels are participating in a variety of online channels to be found.

  • People will visit review sites like TripAdvisor and IGoUgo for recommendations from fellow travelers.

  • They will visit online travel agencies, like Expedia, or meta search engines, like Kayak, to compare prices.

  • They may visit CVB or local information sites to find out what there is to do.

  • All of this before ultimately booking, which you hope comes back to your booking engine.

Being satisfied by what your brand is doing for you or just what is being added by local sites, isn't enough. You must have a complete strategy for how you are going to get in front of your potential guests.



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