Three Top Digital Marketing Trends
Guest journeys, video, and maybe even artificial intelligence can take your resort to the next level.
Faith Aronow, director of digital marketing at RCI, shares three trends that resorts should keep in mind for 2017 and tips on how to stay ahead.
Go Along on Owner Journeys
Compared with other industries such as food and beverage or retail, where the consumer experience is short and transactional, the owner journey with a resort can last for months as owners plan, book, anticipate, experience, and share their vacations. “The opportunities to surprise, delight, and engage customers at the right time are a marketer’s dream,” Aronow says. A resort can take advantage of these touch points with automated software, which can help gather insights on guest behavior. Or a resort may be able to manage journeys more cost-effectively with a manual approach, by noting owner behavior and carefully planning social posts and web updates. Either way, thoughtful messaging is key. “Understanding your prospects and sending the right message at the right time will provide inevitable value all around,” Aronow says.
Get Into Video—the Right Way
Users are turning to mobile devices to watch videos. New data released by eMarketer in January 2017 predicts that at least 62 percent of the world’s internet users will view digital videos in 2017. “Watching videos on mobile devices has quickly become a favorite pastime for millennials, and millennials binge-watch more than any other generation,” Aronow says. They’re not just watching TV shows, either—millennials also watch videos from brands they have loyalty to or that are relevant to them, Aronow notes. Mobile may be especially powerful at the beginning of the consumer journey, so choose inspirational videos that are most likely to be viewed on mobile. “This always-on device [mobile] is the most vital channel to unlocking engagement early on in the vacation lifecycle.”
Keep an Eye on Artificial Intelligence
“AI is the next logical step to big data,” Aronow says. “Resorts may now have loads of consumer data and AI provides meaningful insights and recommendations.” Though still in the early adoption phase with few cases of application, AI is worth keeping on your radar. For example, Visit Orlando has begun integrating AI into their web and app platforms to answer complex travel searches. “The primary focus should be on knowing your customers and being as relevant and valuable to them as possible,” says Aronow.
Image credit: iStockphoto