According to Google's latest Travel Trends research, 85% of leisure travellers choose activities and itineraries after arriving at a pre-planned destination.
Leisure travellers make up just over half of the New Zealand tourism industry. Being able to reach these visitors when they're travelling in-market is crucial for operators marketing their experience.
The combination of travel-related consumer data and clever automation has now made this achievable. Ad recall (how well people remember an ad or brand) is 337% higher at the beginning of travellers' purchase journey, when they arrive at their destination, compared to the middle or end.
But, despite this, traditional automation platforms are not built to communicate immediately, as most industries (such as retail or finance, who seek an organic engagement first) don't demand it. Instead, they're designed to display more ads when the target audience is closer to purchase.
Getting in front of tourists when they arrive at a destination is key to driving performance
This is not an effective strategy if you want to reach recently arrived leisure travellers.
Because ‘first mover' advantage is so vital, choosing an automation platform that can tailor its approach to reach people at the exact point they arrive at the destinations is key to influencing travel behaviour.
Automation also allows for personalisation. Through automation, this customer discovery process is instant. Data about destination searches, website's people visit and specifics about the trips they book to create an opportunity for brands to identify what a valuable experience looks like at a very granular level.
This depth of detail is supposedly the most effective way of creating a long-term brand connection – research shows that 67% of leisure travellers feel more loyal toward a travel company that shares information during their trip that is personalised, therefore improving their travel experience.
Auckland-based marketing agency Maverick Digital has been working with automation platform Crimtan for over a year, driving online sales via this approach with a number of NZ-based tourism operators.
Maverick Digital head of strategy Alex Bayes says, “We've had New Zealand clients experience online sales growth of over 100% YoY some months while using this technology.
“Combining the first-mover approach, only achievable with platforms that offer postcode level targeting with audience-specific personalisation of ads, is what's made the biggest difference.
“Other companies have the data, but without the technology to implement it effectively, it's essentially wasted investment.