In Part One of my WebinTravel reflections, I shared ten things I overheard about the plans and strategies of various travel companies.
Here I list another ten tweets, notes and notions on industry trends and market activity overhead at the conference in Singapore last week.
1. On digital marketing
It is often said that online marketing is cheaper that offline marketing. During a panel on marketing and branding Nick Baker the EGM of marketing for Tourism Australia said that he plans to dramatically increase the online marketing spend from 26% of spend in 2010 to 60% of spend in 2015.
But that does not mean that his marketing costs will drop. He said that going online is not cheaper due to the high costs of good quality digital content.
2. On China
Fritz Demopoulos, CEO China metasearch company Qunar, gave some detailed background on why he thinks foreign companies struggle in China.
He said that their natural advantages in entering new markets markets – access to capital, technology, market knowledge and access to people – are not as important in China.
He said that capital and technology are not constraints for Chinese companies. Similarly top talent prefers to work for Chinese companies rather than international ones.
3. On Japan Part I
Every member of the panel discussing the Japanese market shared the same worry – young Japanese are not travelling.
For monetary and social reasons they prefer electronic and home based entertainment activities to travel. There was a discussion about how to fix this, about how to encourage the younger generation in Japan to travel.
However, no concrete answers were provided – leaving behind an air of gloom and doom about the JP travel market.
4. On Japan Part II
Social media is big in Japan but not as the West and other parts of Asia know it.
Stats were shared confirming that local Facebook clone Mixi is kicking its social rival, but that Twitter is the biggest of the three.
The stats provided said that Mixi has 15% share of social media, Twitter 16% and Facebook less than 3%.
5. On Indonesia
Main message on Indonesia coming out of the emerging market session (which also included a discussion on the Philippines and Korea) was the mobile web is growing in Indonesia at rates that are exceeding everyone’s expectations.
There were even claims (which I have heard anecdotally from others) that Indonesia is the largest Blackberry market in the world.
6. On the airline market
Peter Harbison of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation painted a grim picture of the financial recovery and airlines.
He said that the current recovery was financial and not economic. Meaning that while stock markets are well up from the lows of 2008, economic indicators like unemployment, consumer confidence and consumer spend are still well down.
For full service carriers this meant strength in the front end of the plane but weakness down the back - where 60% of the revenue is made.
7. On Mobile Part I
Gerry Samuels, founder and executive director of Mobile Travel Technologies is convinced that the time for mobile web transactions is now.
While many are still talking about the mobile web for location services, customer care and stay services (like check-in), Samuels showed tables and charts to indicate that mobile web bookings are growing faster than services.
8. On Mobile Part II
Everyone agreed that 2010 was “the year of the app” [check out my 2010 predictions where I said the same].
Brett Henry of Abacus argued that the rise of the mobile app will support intermediaries more than suppliers.
He said that as consumers move more and more to the use of apps over browsers to access the web, they will more and more favour intermediaries over supplier direct as the consumer won’t want to go to more than one app to get the choice they need.
[NB: See more on this in my Tnooz two parter: Two missing pieces from the mobile revolution jigsaw].
9. On Social Media
Circos Brand Karma boss Morris Sim summarised the impact of social media on marketing with reference to an Ogilvy & Mather article called “The four Ps are out, the four Es are in”.
The four Ps of marketing (Product, Place, Price and Promotion) are giving way to the four Es. From Product to Experience, from Place to Everyplace, from Price to Exchange and from Promotion to Evangelism [full article here].
10. On Search
If you will allow me to quote myself, I discussed how the future of search and online travel is answering open ended questions.
The whole travel inspiration funnel, circle, bow tie etc is now online.
Consumers not longer want suppliers and OTA to just provide prices and timings for itineraries planned and scoped by the consumer.
Instead the consumer wants some combination of experts, friends, family, crowds, technology and suppliers/OTAs to help them answer the age old travel question "where do I go next". To do this search has to change.
The future of search is one that answers open ended questions, where we can draw together information from more than one content location (multi-destinational search) and prioritize it based on different trust or ranking metrics (multi-dimensional search).
Where search brings together the answers from different existing pages (destinations) as well as different perspectives and sources (dimensions) such as the instant responses of experts, the instant responses of our sociograph and the instant responses of a searcher’s tastegraph- search will change.