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Published on Thursday, April 30, 2020

Make sure your brand is ready for the post-Covid resurgence

There's never been a more important time for travel organisations to continue investing in digital marketing to maintain brand awareness, says Dom Mernock, strategy director at digital agency Engage. Here he discusses how the travel industry can make the most of the travel resurgence post Covid-19.

"Travel organisations should maintain their market orientation to ensure they are in a position to make the most of the resurgence when it comes. Although trade budgets will be cut and many business leaders will be considering cutting back their marketing activity, the longer term success of the business will be positively impacted by continued marketing activity. This isn't a recession caused by the economy, so there should be some bounceback once the lockdown ends and consumers feel confident to travel.

Keeping a brand alive
The main consideration for any airline or travel organisation should be focusing on their brand and maintaining loyalty and awareness. If a brand stops all marketing activity, the loss of awareness will mean that it will be much harder to make the most of the resurgence and attract customers.
Even smaller budgets can still be used effectively, especially in digital marketing as this allows organisations to be more nimble and agile. Keeping brand building communication running during lockdown will mean that return to growth will be quicker than for those who stayed quiet.

The travel resurgence
From a marketing perspective, business owners must be aware of the different mindsets which consumers will have when it comes to travel after the lockdown. Certain consumers will have a 'no holds barred' approach where they are keen to book a holiday and travel, either in the UK, or internationally. These people will be out in force at the beginning, but brands need to consider how to sustain their spending over a longer period and keep bookings coming in. Loyalty systems which encourage multiple visits are a great way of making the most of this group.
There will also be people who are more anxious and conscious of stepping back outside after months of isolation. This group is likely to consider the risks of travel and potentially take much longer to consider investing in movement. Organisations must act on this and investigate operational changes that clearly reduce risks to encourage this group of consumers.

Finally, we have people who will be happy to consider travelling but will have less disposable income. Travel companies need to consider a marketing strategy which speaks to these consumers in a sympathetic and understanding way, yet still encourages them to start thinking about domestic or global travel. There are a number of marketing tactics businesses should employ to weather the current storm and prepare for the travel resurgence once lockdown has ended.

Marketing in action
It takes a strong stomach to continue spending in times like these, especially in sectors such as travel. But with risk can often come reward, as discovered with its Easter 'smash an egg' campaign. Despite having its whole fleet indefinitely grounded, Jet2 continued to invest in marketing to maintain high customer sentiment and generate excitement amongst consumers. Over 270,000 users smashed over 28 million eggs in just four days. These results highlight the importance of continuing to engage with consumers and ensure a brand is delivering fun and interactive experiences. This in turn will keep Jet2 front of mind, and ready to make the most of the resurgence when it comes.

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