According to some stats shared by Intrepid MD James Thornton at the Travel DAZE conference this morning, 21 per cent of people would give up sex before losing WiFi access for a month, such is the age of the internet.
“When you woke up this morning, what was the first thing you touched?” Thornton asked the audience.
Minds back out of the gutter and laughter aside, he revealed the answer was probably your mobile phone.
And it’s a clear sign that mobile user experience, quality websites, and digital engagement are becoming some of the most important things to consider as a brand.
“It’s not just changing the way we book travel, it’s changing the way we actually travel,” Thornton added, speaking from a tourism point of view. But the mobile doesn’t just stop at travel.
“Digital is the way you can reach with your customers, and which channels you use depends on how you want to engage them,” ADMA CEO Jodie Sangster said.
Sangster explained that, in the case of travel marketing, travellers will typically visit 22 sites before booking a holiday, with 92 per cent of visitors to a website never returning – making re-marketing absolutely essential.
“Sixty-nine per cent of travellers begin their search online and on mobile,” Sangster said. “So if you only do one thing, make sure your website is great, easy to use, and give people what they want.”
Another revelation from the same Intrepid survey amongst travellers was that 31 per cent of people are actually missing sites and destinations because they’re too busy taking photos or posting on social media.
“Five years ago, the most commonly asked question on a tour was ‘where is the toilet?’. Today the most commonly asked question is ‘what’s the wifi password?’” Thornton added.
“The one thing that is certain is that change will happen. We have to ensure that change is for the better.”
Given the scale of people dealing with brands online and the dependence on the internet of things, brands need to start putting this element of their business up there on top of the priority list.
“Data provides powerful metrics that can accurately assess your customer’s potential value,” explained another speaker, ADARA commercial director Stuart Stacy.
“The challenge is extracting insights from all of the pieces of data you obtain from your customer, and introduce another layer of uniqueness.
“It’s very easy for us to lose focus of what matters. As marketers we need to leverage data to capture customers.”
“Globalisation and technology are going to continue to change things,” Thornton added.
“The critical thing is brands have to be strong, they have to be bold,” Thornton stressed. “If you’re bold, consumers will follow you and you’ll be successful. And that takes guts but I’m sure if we do, it’s going to pay off.”