Parry Malm, Phrasee
"When it comes to the way in which travel brands market their brands to consumers online, change is in the air."
Quote from Parry Malm, co-founder and CEO of Phrasee, in an article on PhocusWire this week on a return on ethics in marketing.
Each Friday, PhocusWire dissects and debates an industry trend or new development covered on our site that week.
Today’s consumers are savvy: Those from younger generations in particular have grown so accustomed to living life digitally they’ve developed a knack for knowing what’s legitimate and what’s not when it comes to brands hawking their products and services online.
Today’s consumers are also overwhelmed: For every marketing email unsubscribed, another five pop up in its place, and the clutter of messages hitting at all angles - email, social media, search engines, e-commerce sites - begs the question if marketing tactics are even effective anymore.
Of course, as those in the travel industry know, marketing is an effective - and necessary - mechanism for attracting and retaining customers. Travel is a high-consideration purchase, and many travelers begin the process unsure of what they want or need out of a trip.
However, as Parry Malm says in his article, travel marketing has reached an important tipping point. Misleading practices - such as advertising the number of hotel rooms available at a specific price or how many people are viewing a certain property - have inspired negative emotions around fear and doubt in consumers.
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You can’t blame the consumer for, frankly, being over it.
Malm says travelers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that engages in positive marketing tactics, and to that end, travel marketers need to rethink their strategies to take a more ethical approach.
On paper, that sounds reasonable enough, and travel marketers stand to gain a trustworthy brand perception, more robust relationships with customers and, theoretically, increased revenue.
But is taking the ethical route enough? Or are consumers so jaded by any brand promoting any product that how that product is advertised doesn’t matter?
That’s something travel marketers will come to understand as they experiment with new techniques. Malm is correct in saying the day has come where consumers have had enough - but whether they turn around at all is up for debate.
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