As we all try to recover physically, emotionally, and financially from the pandemic, US congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to salvage us. This over $2 trillion relief package has been approved last March 27, 2020 to help mitigate all the damages done by Coronavirus to American families, small businesses, workers through direct economic assistance.

The travel industry, if not the most, is known to be severely impacted by this pandemic. The stay-at-home order for months has caused a ‘holocaust’ to all businesses and attraction-related jobs and establishment. Now as we all slowly reopen services, being granted the CARES Act fund would be a big relief to any small business, as well as any local entities. Eligibility for Cares Act Funds can be read thoroughly here.

How to maximize Cares Act Funds in Re-Establishing your Destination

Being eligible is great but being granted the funds is a whole new level. Given that this funding is very limited, how do you really maximize every approved dollar? If every visitor center’s goal is to regain the number of visitors or remarket their attractions, what are really the best ways to get travelers to notice your destination? What are the best investments with a controlled subsidy from the government? Here are our top three suggestions:

  1. Technology – Why should you invest in technology? If this question is thought through deeply, you will know that this is not just a reflection of a strategic mindset but could actually trigger an inner realization that you are opening doors to highly beneficial, futurist investments. In fact, this has always been the way to go and this pandemic just speed things up when it comes to automation. The United Nation’s World Tourism Organization has recently released Global Guidelines to Restart Tourism longing to restore confidence in tourism. Have confidence that it’s safe to start traveling again, knowing that we won’t be just spreading viruses. Know that technology plays an essential role in making this happen: Building a new, safe, and seamless travel experience.
    • Mobile Apps or Progressive Web Apps Due to social distancing, most people prefer to just be on their phones, shopping, exploring food options, and planning the next getaway after all this hysteria. Native apps are common but we suggest making use of PWAS – these are web-based apps allowing your visitors to experience the same functionalities without the hassle of downloading from the play store. Easy to use and works with any browser!
    • Video conferencing, Virtual Assistants or Chatbots Video conferencing modules if selected properly can work on any device and connect to a travel professional anywhere in the world.   Chatbots have been the way to go by almost all industries in responding to web inquiries. This saves the customer’s time as this would answer FAQs instead of having to wait for an agent or a staff to get back to them. You can easily program and make changes from the backend to accommodate all keywords relevant to your destination.
    • Digital Signages, Touchscreens, or Kiosks No doubt that destinations are now heading to the idea of reducing face-to-face interactions to help both staff and visitors from any possible infections. The use of these touch solutions to display attractions, upcoming events, wayfinding, or even itinerary creation is now the new normal. Utilizing these devices to not only educate but to also allow your visitors to know their options can create a whole new level of visitor experience!
    • Temperature scanning, mask detection solutions.   Stand alone units and solutions that can leverage all types of interaction are a great investment.    These can be used for employee and visitor protection and ensuring policy, as well as WHO standards.  If you are having events and meetings this could be a must for tracking and management
  1.  Explore Other Revenue-Pooling Options
    • Exhibiting or running stakeholder/business ads through your website, digital displays, kiosks, or local apps. Make use of your technology to sell advertisements on all your available tech resources. Use this to gain passive income while actually helping your visitors have more options around the area.
  2. Enhanced Marketing Strategy for
    • Social Engagement – since we are trying our best to limit face-to-face interactions, it’s the perfect to make use of Social Media channels to reach potential visitors. The good news is that most social media platforms are free to use! Funding in a social media manager or even your local staff who can manage these platforms can help vastly in promoting good visitor engagement even through these social mediums.
    • Brand Awareness – Finding ways in promoting your destination can be done through social media channels or advertisement. Enabling options to retarget audiences through ads can help immensely in boosting brand awareness. Some other options may require on-site appearances such as launching PR campaigns, holding events or sponsoring events or exhibits.
    • Partnerships – Invest on complementary partnerships that could provide mutual benefits. Investing on deals and coupons for visitors with say, restaurants or hotels, can help provide better booking opportunities.

If you are interested to learn more about implementing frictionless and contactless solutions for your existing and prospect visitors, feel free to contact us @ 833-300-6664 or email us at [email protected] and we’ll get an omnichannel strategist to help find the best options for you.

In our new contactless world, digital products and services are no longer optional, they are now necessary. The post-Covid era had left organizations, hotels, and destinations no choice but to utilize online services in communicating and reaching current and potential customers.

One of the most familiar visual-based online advertisement forms is “Banner advertising” otherwise known as “Display advertising”. This enables communication with the desired audience and target market through visual items such as videos, animations, logos, and other graphic imagery. These advertisements are commonly found in social media platforms, websites, and mobile applications.

Why go for Display advertising?

Display advertisements do not solely rely on Click-through Rates (CTR) as this actually boosts the intention to purchase, not to mention brand recognition. Here are some of the benefits that you can get from deploying display advertisements.

  1. Digital display ads are definitely one of the safest and most reliable investments as it drives relevance by featuring highly visual contents that yield higher guest and visitor engagement. This allows your organization to be as creative as possible and be able to showcase your destination/brand’s best visual assets.
  2. Promoting Brand awareness – Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has done previous research showing how effective digital display advertising is. It showed to have boosted brand awareness by 21% for all campaigns done through digital displays. It increased the intent to purchase by 3% and overall education by 2%. This just means to show that placing relevant advertisements on displays, websites, or mobile apps can definitely help brands or local businesses be known especially to new visitors.
    1. If you are a Destination or a Hotel, you can utilize existing or new digital devices to promote local businesses and partners. Through Omnichannel, you can easily reach your target market within the premise or outside through geofencing.
  1. It is seen that Display advertising has generated 31% of ad-based bookings overtaking branded search.
  2. In 2019 alone, digital display advertising through different platforms has generated bookings more than Tripadvisor and Google Hotel ads, combined.
  1. Targeted Ads allow you to pick and choose the most relevant ads to place on pages or screens that you think fits the parameters. Targeted ads will allow you to fully choose the applicable ads for your target market depending on the location or time of day. The combination of display and competitive SEO content can definitely attract and educate your desired customers or visitors.
  2. They cost less. Unlike other forms of advertising channels, digital display runs and gets charged mainly on the number of impressions received. Unlike TV or radio ads that require huge production costs, digital advertisements allow you to utilize even just your local competent graphic team. Rates for about a thousand impressions on a website can cost roughly from as low as 50 cents, depending on the site and ad placement.
  3. Know your potential customers through effective analytics – ad tracking and engagement. Without Analytical tools backing up your digital advertisements, it would all fall down to pieces. Use advanced analytic systems that can track customer engagements on different channels and even across digital devices. If you are utilizing digital display/Omnichannel ads, know that finding the right analytics would empower revenue generation by knowing the right content to use for people within your property. As you gather prominent information about your guests/travelers, you can simply impose different applicable promotional offers or advertisements
  4. Within a specific region or area
  5. Depending on the time of the day

As technology continues to innovate, today is definitely the time to invest and integrate digital display advertisements. If you are a destination or a hotel looking for an experienced technology firm that can implement ads on your existing devices, you can freely contact us at [email protected] and we will have a strategist to help you gain the ROI that you are aiming for.

As a rule, the Chief Marketing Officer of any company is dedicated to facilitating the growth of the organization, especially that which involves sales and marketing. Traditionally, the focus is really towards brand engagement, consistency, and ensuring placement in the marketplace. All the market and brand efforts are under the CMO’s responsibility and therefore this person must be able to showcase thorough strategic plans for the company.

However, as the market demands continue to change, the CMO’s responsibility is now evolving toward that of Digital Experience Officer. Leading the company to be focused on how the device, omnichannel, and the contents are best for the correct medium. The idea is that, in order to fully understand the needs of the market and generate the right marketing content, marketers have to understand the experiences needed to connect and convert users to acquire users, fans and customers.

The challenge in this so-called ‘Prosumer Age’

As we continuously evolve with the unprecedented improvements happening in physical and social life, we evaluate products, services, and all brandings differently now. All of us are consumers in some way and it is a common truth that we now define brands, based on our experiences rather than what they quote they are about.

With this being said, the challenge is how our CMOs or CXOs will justify the ability of brands to stand within what they claim to be and how they are recognized by consumers. Since customers are now living in an omnichannel society, know that marketing strategies and brand identity become more exposed to every touchpoint.

How to Utilize the Omnichannel for your Brand

Brands and organizations can be reached through so many channels unlike before. With the power of social media and the internet, customers can easily reach out to every available customer-facing part of any organization. Gone are the days when you have to compliment or complain about customer services from the mall because now everyone can be reached online. So how do you really improve your customer relationship through all these new channels and outlets?

  1. Segmenting your customers through the ‘Customer journey’ to know which touchpoint actually leads to an actual sale or booking. Be able to modify this as you find the one that leads to better sales and conversion.
  2. Find the right technology investment. As you create your own Omnichannel solution for your brand, you must consider the portals that your customers are mostly reaching out to.
    1. If you are gaining more sales from your actual sites, consider establishing touchscreens or kiosks to allow your customers to explore options from your shop without having to ask a staff over and over.
    2. Consider creating a mobile app that will support pre-visit and onsite check out options as well.
    3. Digital signages can greatly help in brand awareness especially if placed on good high-traffic locations, which can instantly provide purchase or visit intentions.
  3. Ensure you invest in multi-skilled customer service agents to observe best practices. Whether they are located on-property or via chat services online, properly train them to be customer-centric so the experience can be worthwhile.
    1. As we all know, this is the AI era, thus you may want to consider using Chatbots. Know that in one study by Acquire, about 1.4 billion people are now utilizing this service and that 27% of total consumers are considering and are interested in using artificial intelligence support tools.
    2. This can save your production costs as they are programmed to answer repetitive questions and instead of having your customers wait for an agent, they can easily find these common questions online through your FAQ pool.

OmniChannel Customer Experience

OmniChannel customer experience may include both off and online strategies in marketing and selling. The difference between multichannel with OmniChannel strategy is the overall customer experience that they may get on each segmented sales channel.

Your potential buyer may go through the app to check your available inventory or visit your website to see more about your product line. They may go on your social media accounts to see customer feedback and then finally can place their order online or by visiting an actual store. Customers prefer simple transactions, more so, if it’s a personalized experience.

One study shows that shoppers who have interacted with more than 3 channels are more likely to make a purchase by over 250% than a single-channel user. This same set of shoppers also has 13% more Average Order Value than the latter.

If you are interested to learn more about implementing this solution, feel free to contact us @ 833-300-6664 or email us at [email protected] and we’ll get an omnichannel strategist to help find the best options for you.