Consumers will need to be ‘coaxed back’ to travel

Travel firms will have to “coax people back” using creative, inspirational and subtle marketing.

Marketing expert Steve Dunne, chief executive of Digital Drum, said travel brands have had to approach consumers in a “different way” through their digital marketing moving forward.

He said the effects of the coronavirus crisis had meant “the lethargy in travel marketing has been taken away” with brands striving to creatively adapt the ways they deliver key messages.

Dunne encouraged travel companies to consider their sentiment and tone of voice, adding that it was important for brands to have a “soft approach with subliminal and inspirational” content in the current climate. He said “timing and framing messaging correctly” was key.

Dunne said the majority of tourist boards were no longer using generic destination brand videos, but were instead hosting digital cookery classes and putting together complimentary Spotify playlists.

And this approach will remain for the future, according to Dunne, who believes the industry needs to pay attention to the change in consumer mindsets moving forward.

“I shudder when I see people in travel talking about bounce backs. I don’t think this is a V-shaped scenario which is what bounce back implies – that we will reset and be back where we were,” he said, adding that many consumers will have been scarred by stories of travellers being stranded in far flung places.

“What we will have to do is coax people back to travelling, we will have to coax them back.

“I think marketing [teams] have understood that we have to appeal to people in a different way and I think this will carry through after lockdown to when people start thinking about travel again. We will see a shift in the way brands market travel.”


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