• Data and the future of travel marketing

Press release: Tuesday, 29 January 2019

How smarter marketing automation is set to shape the future of NZ travel marketing

According to Google’s latest Travel Trends research, 85% of leisure travellers choose activities and itineraries after arriving at a pre-planned destination.

Leisure travellers make up just over half of the New Zealand tourism industry. Being able to reach these visitors when they’re travelling in-market is crucial for operators marketing their experience.

The combination of travel-related consumer data and clever automation has now made this achievable. Ad recall (how well people remember an ad or brand) is 337% higher at the beginning of travellers’ purchase journey, when they arrive at their destination, compared to the middle or end.

But, despite this, traditional automation platforms are not built to communicate immediately, as most industries (such retail or finance, who seek an organic engagement first) don’t demand it. Instead they’re designed to display more ads when the target audience is closer to purchase.

Getting in front of tourists when they arrive at a destination is key to driving performance

This is not an effective strategy if you want to reach recently arrived leisure travellers.

Because ‘first mover’ advantage is so vital, choosing an automation platform that can tailor its approach to reach people at the exact point they arrive at the destinations is key to influencing travel behaviour.

Automation also allows for personalisation. Through automation, this customer discovery process is instant. Data about destination searches, website’s people visit and specifics about the trips they book create an opportunity for brands to identify what a valuable experience looks like at a very granular level.

Think serving a certain ad set to a family flying into Auckland Airport vs a retired couple – what’s going to work for one audience isn’t going to work for the other. Very few automation platforms offer this capability.

This depth of detail is the most effective way of creating long-term brand connection – research shows that 67% of leisure travellers feel more loyal toward a travel company that shares information during their trip that is personalised, therefore improving their travel experience.

Applying this tech to NZ tourism operators on the ground

Auckland-based tourism marketing agency Maverick Digital has been working with automation platform Crimtan for over a year, driving online sales via this approach with a number of NZ-based tourism operators.

“We’ve had New Zealand clients experience online sales growth of over 100% YOY some months while using this technology,” says Alex Bayes, Maverick Digital’s Head of Strategy.

Combining the first-mover approach – only achievable with platforms that offer postcode level targeting – with audience-specific personalisation of ads – is what’s made the biggest difference, Bayes says.

“Other companies have the data, but without the technology to implement it effectively, it’s essentially wasted investment.”

What do NZ’s leisure travellers want from their trip?

New Zealand defines Active Considerers as leisure travellers. Active Considerers are aged 18-74, they are aware of New Zealand, and it is a preferred destination to visit for a holiday in the next three years.

NZ’s top foreign visitors are from Australia. Their top reasons for visiting are “To Have Fun and Enjoy Myself” (64%), and “To Learn and Explore New Things” (62%).

Travellers from NZ’s fastest growing foreign visitor market, China, said their top reasons are “To Get in Touch with Nature” (70%) and “To Broaden My Mind” (58%.

18% of Australian tourists believe they need more information about, “What/Where the Recommended Things to Do and See Are.” And 17% of Chinese tourists believe they need more information about, “What/Where the Recommended Things to Do and See Are.”

Developing marketing personas that integrate these types of audience insights is key when mapping out the campaign journey. When creative and landing experiences are based on real traveller preferences and desires – and not just assumed stereotypes – the opportunity to affect actual behaviour and inspire a booking is so much greater.

A partnership that will help brands leverage this advantage

To better enable brands to leverage the advantage of smarter marketing automation, Crimtan have partnered with Maverick Digital. Maverick specialises in empowering the tourism industry through digital. They achieve high-impact results for tourism businesses and organisations through industry-leading digital strategy and activation.

Combined with Crimtan’s ability to deliver intelligent display campaigns using audience, creative and investment intelligence, power lifecycle marketing and increase customer lifecycle marketing, the partnership will mean tangible results for tourism clients through the creation of industry-specific visitor acquisition strategies.

Maverick Digital specialises in empowering the tourism industry through digital. We achieve measurable results by taking a holistic, industry-specific approach to our clients’ digital presence, partnering with tourism operators like Hobbiton Movie Set and Rotorua Canopy Tours.

Crimtan delivers intelligent display and to power lifecycle marketing, increasing customer lifetime value. Automation strategies are tailor to the needs of each individual client. A proprietary, full stack technology, that is easily adapted for specific clients, data providers and inventory suppliers. The platform is currently a managed service for media delivery, with a self-serve analytics tool for planning and reporting.