Friday, April 27, 2007

Web 2.0, the Travel Industry, and the Customer Experience

As mentioned earlier, we are big fans of Web 2.0 and it's increasing impact on marketing. It is quite interesting to see its impact on various industries. For example, the travel industry is now examining how to utilize Web 2.0 principles in helping them to better drive traffic to their websites, increase sales, and decrease overall costs. In fact,the editor of Eye For Travel online magazine, has defined Web 2.0 for his industry as meaning that consumers now rule the web and that user generated web content is the key to increasing traffic, and therefore, increasing sales.

As a result of this, this industry is debating whether or not to continue to pour money into social media phenomena, such as YouTube and Trip Advisor (2 of the fastest growing websites on the internet). Through these sites, consumers can post their opinions of airlines and hotels, and rate them based upon their traveling experiences. The alternative philosophy is to pull back spending in this area and instead simply focus on customer retention techniques.

As you can imagine, there are differing opinions on both of these ideas. We argue that no matter what your opinion is on this debate, companies have to focus first on the customer experience. If the customer experience is not good, it doesn't matter how you market. You will alienate customers either way if their experience is not positive.

For more on this interesting debate, you can attend the Affiliate Marketing Travel Industry Conference in May. It promises to be a conference filled with a rousing debate on the best ways to capture consumers' travel share-of-wallet most effectively.

Have a good weekend!

Via;: Direct marketing blog

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