The travel industry is constantly being disrupted, which often provides great benefits for travelers and a path to fostering a culture of innovation and new business models. A current trend in hotel and travel disruption is coming from a new breed of unlikely players within the luxury brand space. Over the course of 2015, brands have surprisingly taken the leap into the hospitality industry, from a plan by West Elm to launch a line of boutique hotels, Equinox expanding into hotels earlier this year, and Karl Lagerfeld's decision to launch his own brand of hotels.
Social media influencers provide opportunities and challenges for travel brands looking to leverage these increasingly important and influential voices.
I spend a good deal of time in the car retail market, both working in the industry and, of course, as a regular business traveler. We are all very used to seeing the same names in the same airport spaces, but in terms of change, we rarely see more than gradual digitization and improvement to the customer experience.
According to eMarketer, native advertising is already a $16-billion business and is expected to more than double, to $33.5 billion by 2020. And it makes sense: Native ads, unlike traditional banner ads, consist of high-quality content that integrates with the website they're displayed on by looking and feeling like they are part of the page. They're not intrusive and they're relevant to the other content on the page.
TV is the thing this year TV is the thing this year Radio was great but it's out of date TV is the thing this year. Those lyrics are from a 1953 Dinah Washington song (warning: it's rich in double entendre) and, guess what, for all the digital frenzy, TV is sometimes still the thing for travel marketers who see the medium as a tool that can be incomparably powerful in the right situations.
For decades, travel advertising efficiency was based almost exclusively on creative content. Over time, technology came into the fold and brought with it solutions for consumer targeting, ad delivery and results measurement. Today, creative and technology work together harmoniously to drive overall brand goals.
Our industry has a chance to bring hope and opportunity to those who see none.
I talk about brand experiences ad nauseam in my quarterly contributions and this entry will be no exception. During 2016, we activated more brand experiences than any year past. With each new activation, I dwell on the symbiotic relationship between brand experiences and their locations. When planning said experiences, its success theoretically hinges on the location, but I'm beginning to think the relationship is more mutual. What I'm suggesting is that locations need brand experiences just as much as brand experiences need locations, and here's why.
Though we may not want to admit it, Christmas is right around the corner, and with it comes one of the busiest seasons for travel marketers. It's not a secret that during the holiday season everyone amps up their advertising for one last push before the end of the year, and it can be a challenge to stand out in all the advertising noise.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who views any complex travel planning with a mixture of stress and terror. As part of a generation that's become very accustomed to ordering a cab through one press of my Apple Watch screen, I feel that pretty much everything should be this easy.