and more valuable insight was presented at the recent HSMAI conference, including research results on “The Travel Consideration Process Study: What Consumers Do Before They Book,”. Among the findings:
– Destination search activity is critical; it’s all about the long tail, being creative to give customers what they want. Destination terms are used earlier in the shopping process and offer the most potential to connect with travel bookers. Consumers don’t always know what they want and it’s a great opportunity to introduce your brand.
This presents a great opportunity for DMOs to take advantage of their position at the start of the planning and research process. They need to capitalize on the interest and offer those motivated site visitors not only information but an opportunity to finish the transaction and make a booking if they so desire. The offers should not only include local accommodation but also local services that often are of interest but can’t be reserved in advance. Here is where DMOs are in a position to leverage their strategic position and offer a platform for their local suppliers to get measurable results.
The new web 2.0 enabled customer is no longer expecting or accepting a hand-off to all sorts of third party commercial sites to finish the transaction. That is a pre-internet mindset and a key source of complaints about ROI on DMO marketing not being measurable.
What’s important for hoteliers, is even more crucial for DMOs. Insert yourself into the conversation at the time potential visitors are most susceptible to receive your message and then close the deal.