Marketing Trends: Brand Standards, SEO and Feedback

Travel brands rely on search, but neglect standards and metrics

Wanderlust More than half of the marketers surveyed in the Wanderlust Travel Marketing Best Practices Assessment fail to effectively monitor brand compliance and take advantage of feedback loops to improve marketing outcomes. These surprising results appeared in the Travel Marketing Trends Report 2011, a special issue of The Wanderlust Report online newsletter, along with some insights on these and other trends in travel and tourism marketing. Here are the last of the survey results.

Travel marketers lax on brand standards

Travel brands appear to be moving targets for many destination and resort marketers. We were disappointed that as much as a quarter of the marketers surveyed don’t have brand standards to help guide marketing decisions and brand executions. Another quarter of respondents have brand standards, but don’t have a person or persons assigned responsibility for monitoring consistency of the visual identity and marketing messages. In all, less than half of respondents have clearly defined brand standards AND personnel assigned to monitor compliance.

Basic search strategies are marketing staples

We were encouraged to see that about 60% of travel brands employ basic search strategies to improve the visibility of their destinations on the web. More than half use Google Analytics, targeted keywords and links to improve traffic to their sites. These results provide further evidence of the travel industry’s increasing maturity and sophistication in using the Internet as a marketing tool. Still, 16% of respondents ignored search as an opportunity to influence the purchase decisions.

Marketing metrics too often ignored

While nearly all respondents claim they know how to track results, more than half of them aren't measuring results and adapting their strategies accordingly. Responding to feedback is a powerful way to exploit successes and reduce wasted effort, so why the failure in execution? It may be caused by a lack of planning or failure to define expectations at the outset of a project. Without goals, it’s hard to know what to measure or what constitutes a successful response.

Read more of Wanderlust Travel Marketing Trends Report 2011 in the Wanderlust Report, Volume 3, Number 2. Take the Wanderlust Travel Marketing Best Practices Assessment yourself: www.createwanderlust.com/best-practices-assessment

About Wanderlust

Wanderlust provides marketing and branding expertise to destinations, resorts and tourism attractions. We help them uncover what will drive people to choose their destination above others and build integrated marketing programs to attract them — using mobile, the internet, social networks, direct marketing and mass media.

Contact: Mark Shipley
Phone: 518-272-2500
Email: mshipley@createwanderlust.com

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