I continually get asked about whether or not to shift advertising dollars away from traditional media to marketingÂ online through tactics like search marketing, searchÂ engine optimizationÂ and social media marketing.Â Although I would recommend a large portion of advertising dollars be spent online, I guess the proof is in the pudding.Â Marketers are still wondering whether or not their target audience is really shopping online or if what they are seeing online will really affect a purchase decision.Â
Specifically with travel, I am sure that most of us, young and old would agree that at the very least we are using search engines to research and compare destinations, hotels, airfares or cruises â€“ if not toÂ purchase travel online.
I donâ€™t usually like to resort to the statistics or surveysÂ becauseÂ it isÂ really all relative to the type of product you sell and how your target audience buys your product or service.Â I will howeverÂ make reference to the recently released PhoCusWright â€œNext Generation of Travellersâ€ survey to make the point thatÂ a solidÂ webÂ marketingÂ strategy shouldÂ be in place for any travel related business.Â
Some Highlights of the PhoCusWright â€œnext generationâ€ survey:
Â -2,559 adults surveyed who are active online users and travel (age was not necessarily important to this sample, it was behaviour)
-next generation is educated and affluent (despite the idea that online users are young with little disposable income)
-they Â â€œspend, on average, over 50% more on travel services annually than their less tech-savvy counterpartsâ€
-â€œ (71%) use the Internet to search for travel information…41% have taken a virtual tour of a destination, and 38% have built a trip itinerary onlineâ€
-â€œ (37%) report being influenced by personal comments read on social networking or travel advisory web sitesâ€ â€“ I guess this means advertisers should be paying attention to Facebook after all!
So there you have it â€“ that is the â€œnext generationâ€ of Travellers who donâ€™t seem to fit the normal demographic breakdown â€“ but what about age?Â
e-Marketer estimates that â€œfrom 2006 to 2011, the percentage of Internet users ages 62 and older will increase at a 7.6% average annual growth rateâ€”more than twice the 3.1% growth rate for the entire US Internet population.â€
I guess that â€œnext generationâ€ really means a whole lot of people researching and booking travel online!Â So where do you put those advertising dollars?Â Thatâ€™s another post.
[tags]tourism internet marketing, search marketing tourism, phocuswright next generation survey, travel online, travel trends, web marketing strategy,social media marketing[/tags]Â