Published on Thursday, February 15, 2007
Travel companies are likely to divert funds away from search engine optimisation and invest in more targeted online advertising as the battle to attract consumers direct intensifies.
Technology already exists to track when consumers are in a purchasing frame of mind and target them with specific advertising on what they have researched online, but not booked.
Speaking at a TravelTechnology Show seminar on future travel trends Michael Benedek, vice president of business development at AlmondNet, said consumers could be targeted once they had been on the search engines or when they had visited a particular supplier site, without making a booking.
AlmonNet specialises in behavioural marketing technology and Benedek said: “If marketers are focused just on search and not leveraging behavioural technology they are missing out on a wad of customers.”
He said AlmondNet had worked with companies such as Cendant and improved online conversion rates tenfold in some cases.
“Behavioural marketing is the fastest growing component of internet advertising and I believe that in terms of total budget it will surpass search,” he added.
Worldspan vice president and general manager for EMEAA Graham Nichols said the GDS was also looking at promotional technology but for travel agents and other intermediaries.
“The trend is towards personalisation and it’s about targeting people at the right time with information that is relevant to them.”
He said Worldspan was developing technology for agents’ desktop system Worldspan Go!, to help them target customers with ancillary products a few weeks before customers leave on holiday.
by Linda Fox
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