Harnessing the power of the crowd in the travel and tourism industry Published March 17, 2017 Humans are social animals – we’re inexplicably fascinated by what others do, say and think. And it’s not just curiousity – our intentions and actions are shaped by a herd mentality that nudges us towards conformity (Journal of Consumer Research, 2014). And our behaviour when booking holidays or travel plans is no different – we can’t help but be swayed by the crowd. We research popular getaways, panic-buy when we see restricted availability and don’t dare book without trawling through TripAdvisor. In this post we take a look at how marketers in the travel and tourism market can harness the power of the crowd. How they can use real-time marketing tactics that highlight what other people are doing, to trigger interest, engagement and those all important bookings, by using tools like PureTargeting Inspiring purchases with crowd sourced suggestions Consumers like to know about best sellers – if others are choosing a particular product above the rest we find it reassuring – after all there must be a reason, right? Rightly or wrongly we just assume that the best choice will be the most popular, and with PureTargeting you can show your customers exactly what those best sellers are. The tool will allow you to feature your crowd sourced best sellers on both your email and website, allowing you to tempt people to explore and discover hotels, destinations or flights they may not have considered before. You can even choose to show products that have recently been browsed by others to trigger interest. Prompting bookings with real time inventory Airlines are great at showing us up-to-the-minute availability on pricing, flights and even seats but it’s not for the sake of consumers’ convenience. They know that there’s nothing like a sense of urgency to prompt action and secure a booking. People have a fear of missing out – we hate to think we’re paying more than someone else or that others will nab our spot. Nowhere is this more prevalent than the world of low cost airlines which have honed the art of prompting action through a sense of urgency. Real-time inventory shows us the most up-to-date information on pricing, flights and even seats, nudging us that one step closer to booking with every alert or update. Our PureTargeting technology allows you to send email alerts and post real-time updates on your websites, the moment availability or pricing changes. This means you can trigger customers to act now rather than waiting until it’s too late. Influencing decisions through peer pressure We’re more influenced by what our peers think then we might like to admit. In fact research shows that 70% of consumers look at product reviews before making a purchase and we tend to trust what people like us say above the marketers (Kissmetrics). PureTargeting will allow you to integrate user-generated content such as ratings and reviews on your emails or website, influencing behaviour and prompting purchases through social proof. Research on the topic found that including user-generated content on a hotel’s own website improved engagement and also boosted the conversion rate by 17.8% (Click, 2015). Our technology allows you to integrate social content including tweets or Facebook updates into your website feeds and email content. It’s these updates that show your customers what other people most recently thought of your destinations, resorts, customer experience and services. And it’s the very latest user-generated content that’s the most influential, according to a survey which found that 73% of consumers think reviews older than three months are no longer relevant (Local Consumer Review Survey, 2016). All of these features allow travel brands harness the power of the crowd by influencing decisions and prompting actions based on what others do. So next time you think about how you can create more engaging campaigns and content maybe it’s time to follow the crowd by using a behavioural targeting solution such as PureTargeting. If you’d like to find out how our technology can help your travel brand convert more browsers and secure more bookings then contact one of our team.