Technology

Accord Travel Trends: ‘Target online consumers at the start of their search’

Posted by Lee Hayhurston
Accord Travel Trends: ‘Target online consumers at the start of their search’

Travel Trends 2016: Accord Marketing held its annual seminar on how to stay relevent and on trend. Lee Hayhurst reports from Google’s London office

Small to medium-sized travel firms should exploit consumers’ tendency to recall advertising as they begin their research, rather than as they are poised to book.

David Taylor, Accord Marketing digital director, told the Travel Trends seminar  there is an opportunity for ‘brave’ brands to invest in marketing to customers near the top of the buying funnel.

As online customers make their way towards a decision they are served
a lot more adverts by firms competing, often on price, for their business and ad recall drops from 54% to just 16%.

“If you get out a strong message you will get a higher proportion of cut-through than in a very crowded [lower funnel] market,” Taylor said.

“There’s always been this dichotomy between creative and data, but for me it’s not an either or: these things must be considered together.

With many consumers wary of booking holidays due to the economy and terrorism in some destinations, Taylor said gaining trust now could be the key to securing early 2017 business.

Accord reported a number of trends in digital advertising emerging in 2016.

Foremost among these is a blending of channels, so that digital is no longer considered on its own. Taylor said digital is “the default”, but that it is no longer defining firms’ marketing strategies.

“It’s really about the continuation of a movement towards just good
marketing, moving away from siloed departments, siloed conversations.

“It’s about a good marketing strategy to deliver on objectives and the return on investment you are looking for.”

Taylor said the way to tackle declining advertising recall is through creative storytelling, but that this must be underpinned by data analysis.

“There’s always been this dichotomy between creative and data, but for me it’s not an either or: these things must be considered together.

“We will see creative leading the marketing plan, but underpinned by the use of data to determine where you deploy that content.”


Top tips for online marketing from David Taylor, Accord

• In light of Google removing righthand Search Engine Results Page ads on desktop earlier this year, firms should review their paid search and organic (non-paid) search campaigns. Taylor says most firms will find their organic traffic is being eroded by increased levels of paid traffic.

• Automated digital marketing technology that bases strategy on data insights will become more important as firms focus on conversion rate optimisation.

• Paid social advertising has come of age, Taylor says. He told delegates that paid social should not be a “test budget”. “Paid social has moved out of engagement-based metrics to where real acquisition and real conversion can be seen.”

• All firms should closely monitor their links to third‑party sites after Google incorporated its so-called Pengiun algorithm update to its search engine’s natural search algorithm

• All firms should closely monitor their links to third‑party sites after Google incorporated its so-called Pengiun algorithm update to its search engine’s natural search algorithm

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