How Travel & Hospitality Marketers can Manage the Road to Recovery with Agility and Innovation
The impacts of COVID-19 have been felt across every industry, but few more so than travel and hospitality. From airlines, to hotels, to food and beverage, and logistics companies, the industry has been overhauled by massive changes in customer behaviors and global mandates around social distancing and travel restrictions. McKinsey research suggests that recovery to pre-COVID-19 levels in the travel and hospitality industry could take until 2023. While it may be a long road to recovery, travel and hospitality companies have already started to innovate in new ways to accommodate the safety and comfort of their customers, with services such as contactless check-ins and check-outs, additional cleanings between stays, minimal housekeeping, fewer seats and tables in restaurants, bars and lobbies, and more. And, as tourism and travel begins to bounce back, it is more important than ever that marketers prioritize personalized, informative communications to their customers and to stay agile and flexible in their marketing strategies. With this approach, they ensure the delivery of exceptional customer experiences, while also making the most of their limited and often reduced marketing budgets and resources.
Top challenges for travel & hospitality marketers
Travel and hospitality companies create differentiation by creating unforgettable memories and experiences for customers and to succeed, they need to create and execute seamless, personalized interactions with travelers before, during, and after their trips. But, even in normal times, travel and hospitality marketers face key challenges – challenges that have now been exasperated by the current economic and travel environment. Travel and hospitality marketers cited engaging with customers in real-time, budgetary constraints, and innovation as their top three challenges in 2020, according to the Sixth Edition State of Marketing Report.
Within travel and hospitality organizations, stakeholders often span across regions and business units, such as booking agents, sales teams, on-property personnel, and owners. In addition, marketers often manage data from sources across paid social, email, ad tech platforms, TV, booking, revenue data, and more. In fact, on average, travel and hospitality marketers stated that they have to manage 14 different data sources to reach their customers across each touchpoint along the customer journey. With each data source producing a vast volume of data, marketers struggle to connect and harmonize the data in one place in order to analyze performance and act on insights. 57% of marketers spend a week or more each month solely on data harmonization.
Moving quickly to innovate and reflect the latest customer and market trends
In today’s environment, marketers need to move quickly to gain insights into customer and market trends. This enables them to engage customers with the most relevant, educational, and personalized content, as well as optimize their marketing strategies at the creative, copy, and channel levels to effectively manage their limited marketing budgets. This starts with a solid foundation in unified marketing data and measurement capabilities that allow marketers to iterate, test and learn, and optimize all of their programs.
Marketing intelligence platforms like Salesforce Datorama allow marketers to establish a centralized system of record for all of their marketing data. With a holistic, cross-channel view, marketers are able to gain a real-time understanding of the market landscape and customer behaviors, to determine if their approach to campaigns, messages, and channels is working. With access to AI-powered insights, marketers can also gain the speed to insight they need to optimize their KPIs and make smarter decisions. Lastly, at a time where innovation is the key to keeping up with change and staying competitive, travel and hospitality marketers need the flexibility to change campaigns in-flight, add new data sources, or pivot on tactics in order to adapt to the highly unstable industry. With marketing intelligence technology and a data-driven approach, marketers have the tools they need to lead their companies successfully through the road to recovery and ultimately, to a future of business growth and satisfied customers.
Check out the success story of one of our Trailblazers, Trivago, and learn how they unified data across all marketing channels to create a global, single source for cross-departmental insights and performance optimization.