Summer is a little over a month away and digital consumers are just a search, scroll, and click away from taking advantage of the flexibility that the season grants, as many take a break from their day-to-day and book the perfect getaway. As one of the largest industries, projected to reach $2.4 trillion in the next ten years, digital marketers need to ensure they are up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies, especially as consumers continue to utilize online booking capabilities. Nearly half of travelers begin trip planning with a search engine, 30% on social media and 23% watch videos, so utilizing the power of digital advertising and ensuring your brand is front-and-center in the planning process is key. It’s essential for marketers/media planners to understand the different types of travelers, how they are deciding where to go, when they’re booking and how to reach them in order to execute a winning programmatic campaign. So, Digilant has complied an infographic, based on industry research and insights, outlining the answers to all these questions.
Download the infographic here.
Part 4: The Rise of Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots
Artificial intelligence in the form of chatbots and voice assistants is making travel planning a simpler endeavor for today’s travelers. 36% of Gen Z and 32% of millennial consumers in the US already believe digital assistants are simplifying the booking process. Younger travelers crave being in constant communication. As they engage with hotel, airline, and rental car brands, they want to connect, (either with human or bot) at every stage of the process. There are trillions of questions that arise when vacation planning — particularly regarding prices, locations, activities, etc. — and A.I. has the power to address concerns and solve problems quicker than ever before. Companies affiliated with the travel industry must prioritize combining technology with communication this year because by 2020, almost 85% of consumer interactions will come to life through bot conversationalists.
What’s the Appeal? Why AI?
Adding artificial elements to your brand’s site or mobile app will enhance your consumer’s journeys tremendously. Today’s travelers have little time to submit contact forms and wait weeks for responses back – they are preoccupied and impatient, seeking accurate answers in real-time, so being directed from place to place like a pinball is discouraging. With a bot or voice assistant, a consumer knows where to ask a question and trusts that these devices will either (a) give them the answer or (b) direct them to someone who can answer the concern right away. This technology has the power to give your brand a unique voice that is strong, efficient, and entirely consumer-focused. Whether chatbot, mobile trip planning app, (think of Walt Disney World’s My Disney Experience app) or Amazon Alexa voice command, artificial intelligence provides instant connectivity that is accurate and straight-to-the-point. It’s the transparent communication revolution that travelers have been craving for years. Embracing advanced technology will not only enhance the planning process, but the entire vacation itself.
Why Should a Brand Invest?
30% of travelers have used chat platforms to research and solidify trips. Another 60% would be comfortable doing so in the future. Consumer interests aside, technology is advancing and expanding across the globe quickly. Ample voice assistants are being introduced to the public. More chatbot businesses are forming and expanding their reach to companies across all industries. Simply put, sitting out on artificial intelligence is no longer a viable option. As the preferences and expectations of consumers change, so do a brand’s operations and strategies. Investing in A.I. comes at a hefty price, but its power to transform how your company forms relationships with vendors and consumers is undeniable. 40% of travel brands plan to use 2019 to invest in voice technology. By implementing new tech, your company is able to become a top competitor in today’s long awaited, extremely profitable, newly embraced A.I world that is here to stay.