The prevailing notion that travellers plan their trips in a predictable way following the ‘average’ is debunked by new research.

The study demonstrates the need for travel brands to use highly personalised targeting in order to reach and impact travellers across the full range of shopping options.

The age of mobile bookings is here with a trend not only towards research by mobile device but increasing numbers of mobile bookings, according to the report by travel direct demand firm Sojern.

Commercial director for Europe, Matthieu Betton, said: “Across eight user journey examples ranging from 63 to 735 touchpoints, our report explores the complexities of how consumers search and book travel online – debunking the myth that there is an average traveller.

“Many have been working on the assumption that a traveller does 40 to 50 searches or site visits before making a purchase, but this report illustrates that no two consumers are alike and that planning ad campaigns based on just an average misses reaching a large portion of potential customers.

“Each user is unique – researching on different devices at different times across verticals, destinations, and brands.

“The spontaneity in which online consumers make decisions and move from dreaming to booking demonstrates the need for real-time monitoring and a sophisticated media plan.”

He added: “What is clear from this research, is without a data-driven, multi-channel approach, you are marketing in the dark.

“A traveller’s path to purchase is complex. And there is no such thing as the average traveller, let alone an average number of touchpoints in any one path to purchase.

“The most successful marketers are using the latest technology to deliver personalised messages directly to individuals in real time.”