Sojern, a leading provider of digital travel marketing solutions, published a new report titled, “How Travel Marketers Are Activating Digital Advertising in 2021.” Worldwide Business Research (WBR) Insights surveyed senior decision makers in North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific, who own the marketing budget for a hotel, attraction or tourism brand. These 300 travel marketers shared key challenges faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led them to test new solutions, innovate with new messaging, and generally do more with less.
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“The last 18-months have been quite the rollercoaster for travel marketers navigating the global pandemic, but one thing is clear: travel marketers are more focused than ever before on effectively and efficiently spending precious resources to drive a business return,” said Noreen Henry, Chief Revenue Officer, Sojern. “In this environment you need to be agile, data-driven and optimistic—travel is coming back and it’s a great time to take part in that recovery.”
Key findings of travel marketers surveyed include:
- 56 percent agree that the current environment is ideal for direct response campaigns. Travelers are booking directly because of clearer cancelation or refund policies, coupled with their frustrating experiences navigating online travel agency (OTA) reimbursements for cancelled trips.
- 88 percent have increased or kept their digital advertising strategy budget the same since COVID-19.
- 87 percent tightened spending on brand campaigns and increased spending on performance campaigns in 2020.
- 84 percent rated machine learning and artificial intelligence as top priority for personalization across channels.
Consumers are eager to travel, and with the increasingly widespread administration of COVID-19 vaccines, the hard-hit travel, media, and entertainment industries are all expected to rebound in 2021. The upward swing is already under way, with a surge in domestic and regional tourism, as newly vaccinated consumers exercise the option to travel within their own borders.
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