Industry insights: Travel Digital Marketing in 2017

Blog | 29 Mar, 2017
Last week, we hosted a digital marketing masterclass with speakers from Jellyfish, Feefo and Lotus on behalf of the Latin American Travel Association, on floor 22 of our Shard HQ.
The event brought marketers from the travel sector together to discuss how to manage disruptive PR, utilise their best marketing asset– your customers, and the latest techniques to win against your competition across the digital landscape.

Jellyfish on the latest in travel digital marketing

Jellyfish Senior Account Director Brad Guin began his presentation emphasising personalisation as a necessity now for travel consumers.  


  1. Something as simple as including a person’s name in an email can increase clicks by 40%
  2. Personalised services command a premium, so being personal in your market will add inherent value to your product or service
  3. Customers are much more likely to recall meaningful brand engagements

Brad tackled the challenge of personalisation at scale, acknowledging it can be done through various techniques, audience segmentation being a straight forward one.

So, how can you story tell at scale?

Digital advertising is now highly advanced with large brands are utilising the latest in programmatic (automated) display.

The below steps help ongoing storytelling with programmatic in mind, but most are applicable to aid personalisation across digital campaigns:

Digital advertising is now highly advanced with large brands are utilising the latest in programmatic (automated) display.

The below steps help ongoing storytelling with programmatic in mind, but most are applicable to aid personalisation across digital campaigns:

Brad provided a series of questions to ask yourself when originating travel campaigns:

  • What aspects of your target audience segments can influence messaging?
  • Can the content and moment of the ad placement enhance this messaging?
  • Does your ad work on every screen and is the message tailored by device?
  • Are you measuring what resonates with your audiences and how they interact?

Multiple touchpoints reap rewards, but without context and relevancy they could be a completely wasted investment.

For example, you should have a different message for a prospect and a different message for a customer – to capture new audiences effectively and maximise valuable loyal customers and capture new audiences.

Using data to make creative decisions such as geo targeting, the weather, location and other behaviours can be completely game changing in travel.

Brad used the example of Kuoni who went one step further and localised their social media to the point of having unique Twitter accounts for stores across one country – the UK.

In doing so they increased engagement 400% just because they were able to provide highly relevant content to local audiences.

Thus Brad had come full circle with his point that travel is now about multi-touch, very much personal relationships with your current and prospective customers.


Feefo on customer reviews in travel marketing

Feefo’s Head of Partnerships, Robin Lewis kicked off his presentation highlighting something we’re no doubt all aware of – the magnitude of customer choice in travel marketing today. 

Robin shared the growing trend of not just scrutinising customer reviews but more and more holiday researchers examining the ways in which companies have responded to reviews:

Trust is paramount in holiday and travel purchase decision making, so much so that although incredibly rare, an 100% happy customer base people don’t believe!

Feefo as a review platform, however, is managed via request only so is a trusted review source – reducing the opportunity for fake reviews that so many consumers are sceptical about.

What part can reviews play within marketing that has proven impact?

Robin rightly said there are many, however when it comes to measurement your paid search, social and user generated content should be endorsed by your recommendations.


  1. Adding seller ratings to AdWords adverts increases clicks by an average of 17%
  2. It also improves your ads quality score which can reduce the cost per click by as much as 20%
  3. One third of customers visit social to inform their decision (social WOM)

The tangible customer review business benefits were clearly summarised in Robin’s case study examples, including business growth and invaluable customer insights:


Lotus on profile and reputation management in travel marketing

Lotus Account Director, Frances Tuke set the scene with a newspaper cutting proclaiming, ‘Everyone in this country has had enough of experts!’ and noted how media has evolved including the use of real people, live online video and social media – yet the same challenges arise.

Namely, issues and crisis. Here are the differences between the two:

Frances shared some recent examples of issues and crisis and how to react. 

PR Crisis Definition

“Any situation that is threatening or could threaten to harm people or property, seriously interrupt business and significantly damanage reputation.”

Crisis are recommended to be tackled front on with integrity and a communication plan.

Here are some tips for how to react in a PR crisis:

  1. Create a statement, even if it’s a holding statement initially
  2. Plan updates and a Q&A
  3. Be honest, open and transparent
  4. Communicate consistently across platforms
  5. Brief and inform all employees and teams
  6. Monitor media and social channels

Monitoring social channels can ensure you can either respond where necessary or keep an eye on whether sentiment is changing or the story is decreasing in coverage.

As a final note Francis advised to always monitor social activity not just when a crisis occurs – but also to look out for emerging crisis.

And finally:

“Renew brand building efforts with a positive campaign”

Want Jellyfish to be your travel digital marketing agency? Contact us today.

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