The only four things you need to know about tourism analytics

Tourism analytics are a real asset for tourism-based businesses. Data can help you understand seasonal trends, know what your competition is doing, and support your customers’ purchase and planning process. Everyone has suggestions on what to track, what tools are best, and how to link it to your business insights.
The good news is, there isn’t a one size fits all recipe. There is so much data that you can track almost anything today. We want to share the only four things you need to know when building an analytics program for tourism marketing rather than getting caught up in the tools and processes.

Figure out what you’re trying to understand:

First and foremost, decide what you want to learn. Depending on your business model, you might not need to collect every piece of data about your customers. For example, the Ritz Carlton is known for impeccable service, personalized experiences, and white-glove attentiveness. They decided to harness data to their customer management system to track trends in food and beverage, tastes and preferences, and expectations. They use this data to personalize the service delivery experience when guests are on site. You might decide you’d like to understand how your customers navigate between mobile and desktop sites, how long the sales cycle lasts and what assets they need during that time, or how to price competitively in your market. Knowing what metrics are most important will work best for you starts with defining the problem you hope to solve. Start there, and the rest of your data strategy will develop more naturally.

Realize that you can’t do it all:

Focus on the big swings. This is especially important if you are just building your data program. With so much insight available, it’s easy to try to do too many things at once. Work with your data team or a trusted marketing agency like ours to prioritize your data needs based on level of effort and impact. A good rule of thumb is to start with low hanging fruit (this might include things such as site heuristics, quick UX and content updates online, or mobile integrations).

This gives you time to formulate a problem and hopefully find its answer based in data. When choosing what metrics to track, always double check that that KPI relates back to a question you have about your business or client base. And don’t forget to pare down your strategy. To start, choose one to three things to track and work on each quarter. If you find this is easy, ramp it up; but start small to ensure you get results from your investment.

Learn and act fast:

Many digital marketers joke that ROI is out — and speed to market is in. While we still think ROI is an important metric to keep an eye on, we agree that action is key. Tourism and hospitality are ever changing industries where customers tastes shift as new trends emerge and new technology changes how we travel and interact with the world. Don’t collect data for the sake of collecting data and know what you want to do with it. Before tracking any given metric, create a hypothesis of what you think might be happening and how you would address it if data proves you right. That last part is critical. If you don’t have a plan for how you want to use this information, you’re simply collecting observations rather than insights; And that won’t help your business.

Invest in the future:

Because you might not be able to do everything at once, it’s important to prioritize your data collection and your data tools. Look ahead to consider the systems you will need in a year, or five years. Even if you opt out of these tools now, it’s important to keep them in mind so you don’t suddenly find yourself behind your competition. Partnering with a data-based agency like BIGEYE is a great way to help prioritize your data investments, tools, and collection roadmap so you are using the data you have and planning for the future effectively (and affordably).

 

No matter what stage you’re at in your data strategy, we’re here to help. Click here to learn more about the types of services we offer – from data mining and trend forecasting, to online testing and retargeting.

Understanding Generation Z

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Understanding Generation Z

By BIGEYE Posted on October 19, 2016

The New Kids on the Block

This is their turf:

  • They are the first generation of digital natives.
  • Use an average of 5 screens: smartphone, TV, laptop, desktop, and iPad.

Fenced in generation:

  • This generation values privacy, preferring social media apps such as Snapchat, Whisper, and Secret over Facebook.
  • A quart of 13-17 year olds left Facebook in 2015.

As such, they are technology-dependent:

  • 79%display symptoms of emotional distress when kept away from their smartphones.

Get on their good side:

  • By 2020, Generation Z will account for 40% of all consumers.
  • They already wield a buying power of $44 billion.
  • Around 72% of current high-school Gen Z’s want to own a business.
  • 60% want their jobs to impact their world.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows:

  • Z-Kids know a thing or two about hardship, from growing up post 9/11, the recession, and many mass shootings.
  • 58% of Gen Z’s are either somewhat or very worried about the future.
  • 57% prefer saving money to spending it.

They are not easily amused:

  • The average Gen Z kid has attention span of 8 seconds.

Augmented reality check: How AR will change the tourism industry

We can appreciate that some tourism marketers are hesitant to fully embrace augmented reality. It has the power to change the industry as we know it. And while we don’t buy into the most seemingly farfetched fears that we might end up in a Matrix-like world in which humans experience their world from behind a computer screen, we understand the sentiment. Instead of resisting this change, we recommend embracing it. Like the advent of robotic service providers that can bring towels, store luggage, or prepare meals for guests (thus eliminating the need for some hospitality roles) – the future is unavoidable. Instead of fearing these changes and risking the obsolescence of your tourism destination, find ways to integrate these new technologies with your existing service model.

Augmented reality can complement not replace tourism marketing:

There are unlimited ways that augmented reality could enhance your guests’ tourism experience. AR can help new travelers decide what type of trip is best for them (Is flying really that terrifying? Is cruising for me? Will I prefer a safari or a ski trip?). It can help them vet destinations and hotel or restaurant choices. And it can tease entertainment options that might seem like a splurge (until you experience them that is). Notice, it’s called augmented reality not alternative reality. We’re pretty sure a cross-continental flight that provides an oh-so-convenience excuse not to check work emails is enough to draw tourists from even the most farflung reaches of the globe. And in a world that is increasingly “on,” experiences are a valuable currency that lets us unplug, recharge, and connect with the world around us. Augmented reality can simply help make the preparation around these experiences more convenience.

Similarly, augmented reality could help alleviate logistic difficulties certain tourism destinations face. Whether your target audience has a language barrier, navigation challenges, or spotty internet and cell service, augmented reality can help prepare tourists for their trip and give them tools to navigate or seek assistance while on the go. This might be especially valuable for the business traveler who doesn’t quite know how to spend her freetime or who is unsure how to get to her next on-site meeting.

Augmented reality is the next best thing to tourism marketing:

That said, for those individuals who simply can’t afford to travel or take a two week vacation, augmented reality can provide a unique paid outlet for tourism destinations to monetize virtual trips to their location. We know, that doesn’t sound all that glamorous; but it is a win-win situation for those individuals who could now take park in experiences that were previously out of reach and for industry providers who will benefit from this trend. In the same way that television hasn’t replaced books or radio, we believe that augmented reality does not need to replace tourism, but can become an extension or alternative. To extend this metaphors one step farther farther: even if we’ve read the book, sometimes the movie is just as enjoyable. A trip using AR doesn’t necessarily mean there won’t be a physical trip, but it could if you jus tweed the Cliff’s Notes version in a pinch.

Augmented reality can preserve and promote tourism marketing:

If you’ve ever visited South East Asia and climbed through the ancient ruins of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, you might have wondered how long the tourism destination will continue to allow visitors access to nearly all parts of these incredible temples. Augmented reality gives us the tools to preserve historic landmarks that should be off limits to protect their beauty for generations to come. In the most fragile sections of the temple, tourism officials could offer an augmented reality exhibit of the relief sculptures rather than full tourist access. Paintings that are light or temperature sensitive could not be seen, dangerous caves could now be accessible, and so forth. The same is also true in war torn countries where tourism has become less popular due to local unrest. Countries such as Egypt, Turkey and even Israel could continue to promote and share their unique experiences in times when some travelers may be hesitant to visit. And we’d like to think that’s one small step closer to repairing our global community.

Reenergize local attractions with augmented reality:

Even if you aren’t an exotic tourism destination, experimenting with augmented reality sets your brand apart and will allow you to adapt to changes as they occur, while promoting local exploration and discovery. Encourage your regional community to learn about their homes in new and unique ways be drawing them through a historic neighborhood with augmented reality attractions. Make local educational sites more interesting, and promote local businesses by harnessing AR’s navigational tools. At even the smallest levels, AR apps and smartphone pairings can provide new business marketing tools to expose local gems that make your community unique.

We realize that some of these attractions aren’t quite here yet, but they are coming. Prepare now by priming your current multi-channel marketing strategy for the next phase of digital marketing and beyond. Contact us, we are here to help with any questions you may have about this so called, “augmented reality.”

The marketer’s quick and dirty guide to Pokémon Go

Today, the Durham Bulls are opening up their iconic baseball field to avid Pokémon hunters hoping to catch the elusive pocket monsters that are taking over the world (and our lives). The Bulls will charge people just to walk in the door in hopes of finding small digital creatures lurking around the field, and anticipate a massive turnout not unlike actual game days. And no, there isn’t a game today – they are just capitalizing on Pokémon GO marketing. If you’re asking yourself why you should care, we’re about to tell you.

Pokémon Go marketing:

Pokémon GO is a Nintendo and Niantic Labs gaming collaboration that combines elements of augmented reality with the wildly popular Pokémon franchise. Using your smartphone’s camera, you can search for Pokémon in the real world as the game guides you to local hot spots, historic landmarks, and hidden gems in your city where the creatures are hiding. It’s not uncommon to see grown players and children alike scanning the world with their smartphones hoping to catch a glimmer of an unsuspecting monster. The app-based game has transformed people’s lunch breaks, dog walks, and errands forever. … And Pokémon GO marketing is about to transform your business. 

What if my business is already a pokéstop?:

Niantic Labs has compiled a list of geo-based hangouts where Pokémon like to congregate or play based on user input. In the past, businesses could even submit themselves as a Pokéstop or Pokémon gym if they had a cool story or interesting space to share with the world. Due to the overwhelming popularity of Pokémon GO and the subsequent influx of submission requests as marketers and business owners realized the untapped potential of luring Pokémon (and potential customers … we mean hunters) to their location, Niantic Labs has temporarily suspended this capability.

If you’re one of the lucky businesses that is already tagged as a Pokéstop, you may have noticed an uptick in foot traffic as players visit your store. Instead of turning away Pokémon players (we will admit, Pokémon hunters’ blank stares and distracted demeanor can make them somewhat hazardous – or at least annoying – to the rest of the world), invite them into your business with Pokémon GO marketing tactics. Or even better, get in on the game. You can use an in-game “lure” to attract Pokémon creatures to your business for 30-minute windows. Go ahead and announce you’ll be having a Pokémon happy hour (lure included) or flash sale Pokémon frenzy and watch the gamers, and customers, roll in. The game’s popularity will only increase, so don’t be afraid to find creative ways to engage this new audience.

Pokémon GO has given business owners a way to generate foot traffic at their brick and mortar establishments like no other geo-based or augmented reality program has done in the past. Niantic Labs has even alluded to future sponsorship and marketing opportunities inside the game so companies can leverage the Pokémon GO marketing potential. For now, bust out the chalkboard signs and Yelp reviews to let this alternate universe know you’re worth a visit.

But what if there are no pokéstops in sight?:

Don’t worry if you haven’t been identified as a Pokéstop yet. There are still plenty of opportunities to take advantage of this hyper-trend. Log on to your local MeetUp.com chapter or register an event with your local Chamber of Commerce for Pokémon GO enthusiasts to socialize. Although your space may not be a Pokémon hot spot, that doesn’t mean players won’t congregate together if you give them the opportunity to do so (after all, they may find a few Pokémon nearby anyway). And voila, suddenly you have a whole group of potential customers at your fingertips. Offering a discount to Pokémon players never hurt either. If your business doesn’t need a boost of traffic, simply sharing articles about the Pokémon trend, or local insights into where to find them, can engage users with your social media community in new and meaningful ways. Engagement is the key to conversion, purchases, and sharing, so don’t underestimate the potential of a good Pokémon article.

Taking advantage of these types of social or pop culture trends gives marketers an opportunity to engage with customers who might not have noticed them otherwise. Trust us, they may not seem to be paying attention to the real world, but Pokémon GO players are highly engaged with other enthusiasts. Embracing the Pokémon GO marketing craze is a broad, viral platform to connect with prospective customers who are hungry to connect to get more of this new, exciting world. Aligning your business with the Pokémon trend gives you an instant boost of popularity – or at least curiosity – for players and passerbys alike.

For ideas on how your business might benefit from a few pocket monsters, give your local Orlando marketing agency a call. We aren’t saying we’re obsessed or anything, but we know a thing or two about what attracts Pokémon fans to your place of business.


Update!

More than 6 months from when Pokemon Go was created (see above), let’s explore how quickly its popularity came to an end, despite how wildly obsessed people were, and why the phenomenon turned out to be just a fad.

What is Pokemon Go?

Pokémon GO is a Nintendo and Niantic Labs gaming collaboration that combines elements of augmented reality with the wildly popular Pokémon franchise. Using your smartphone’s camera, you can search for Pokémon in the real world as the game guides you to local hot spots, historic landmarks, and hidden gems in your city where the creatures are hiding. It’s not uncommon to see grown players and children alike scanning the world with their smartphones hoping to catch a glimmer of an unsuspecting monster.  At its height, Pokémon GO had 45 million daily active users.The app-based game had literally transformed people’s lunch breaks, dog walks, and errands. … And Pokémon GO even started to transform businesses.

Our advice when this game was at its peak was to become a “Pokestop” and then advertise that you were one using a chalkboard or Yelp, so on and so on.

Why did it “die”?

Because of Pokemon Go’s precipitous decline, the game has been labeled a fad. But, what went wrong? Some argue that the game had a lot of missing features, while others say the game got boring & didn’t introduce new features in a timely manner to keep their interest. Besides failing to introduce new features, Pokemon Go also removed popular ones.

What is going through Nintendo’s head?

While improvements and additions to the game have been made in the form of the buddy system, a revamped tracker and holiday events, there’s much more work to do in order for Pokemon Go to gain back its popularity. But, some people believe that Niantic is up to the challenge. You know what they say…only time will tell.

What happens if it makes a comeback?

We’re not thinking that’s likely, but hey, you never know! What we do know is that Pokemon Go tried to make a “limited-time celebration” game for Valentine’s day that was only available from 11:00 A.M. PST on February 8, 2017, to 11:00 A.M. PST on February 15, 2017, to encourage players to grab their valentine, get out, and explore the world around them, but it didn’t go over too well. In fact, many people didn’t even know it was happening.

For ideas on how your business might benefit from a few pocket monsters if a come back occurs, give your local Orlando marketing agency a call. We aren’t saying we’re obsessed or anything, but we know a thing or two about what attracts Pokémon fans to your place of business.

 

4 reasons why digital advertising matters in healthcare marketing

It’s definitely a challenging time to be working in healthcare.
There are political pressures – and competing agendas – to expand or undo the insurance structure. Along with increases in billing, every insurance provider requires their own rules and paperwork, and regulations are constantly evolving regarding the best practices for discussing or sharing patient information.

On the brighter side, there are also more tools to help patients, such as information that can be easily accessed or shared on mobile devices. And the economic outlook for the industry as a whole is nothing but positive – the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the medical and health services workforce to grow by 23 percent by 2020. More Americans are now eligible for care, which is good for them, but it may create challenges for providers who already have been feeling stretched thin. Consumers are also increasingly interested in managing their own care, which also is a noble goal but can create concerns about quality.

So healthcare marketing is especially critical – providers need to get the word out that they’re available to assist. And they also need to connect with audiences who no longer seek their services in the same places that they used to, such as newspapers or phone books.

For those who follow current healthcare marketing trends, the industry is increasingly going digital. Here are 4 reasons why you need to secure an online presence via a sound digital advertising strategy:

1. It’s where the audiences are:
According to the U.S. Census, 83.8 percent of households owned computers in 2013 – and jumped to 87 percent the next year. Of these, 78.5 percent own a desktop or laptop and 63 percent have a handheld computer. As of 2015, 84 percent of households reported regular Internet use, and 73.4 reported high-speed connections. The Pew Research Center said that up to 80 percent of Americans have also tried to look up health info online, especially specific conditions or diseases for themselves or others. Whether you’re promoting your medical services on social media or online ads on other sites, your healthcare advertising can reach a significant amount of the general population. Ad programs also can let you drill down and target certain age groups or geographic areas who will especially receptive to your message.

2. Audiences want health info:
The same Pew study showed that 70 percent of surveyed adults received healthcare information from their health provider, which is good. But 60 percent said they also get health info from friends and family, which may be riskier. With the power of the Internet, people can now learn about any sort of ailment, no matter how uncommon. It’s also an easy source to self-diagnose, from basic sniffles to a new blemish. According to the U.S. Library of Medicine’s Medline Plus site, teens are especially prone to seek out their information online first, even before talking to their parents, their teachers or health providers – 58 percent usually start with a Google search. Your healthcare digital marketing can focus on you as someone who can help find answers quickly and easily.

3. To counter the bad stuff:
Though an online community that’s increasingly aware of basic health can have its advantages, the downside can be that they may wind up at questionable, unreliable, even dangerous sites. However, you can portray yourself as a health professional who will always provide accurate information, or dispel some of the half-truths or outright lies they may run across online. Your healthcare digital advertising can drive people to your site to get our perspective, and you can even reinforce the point with web content or blog posts telling why some online claims aren’t quite true.

4. To build your brand:
Whether you’re a sole provider, part of a group of physicians or even part of a hospital community, you need to claim your online presence and find a way to stand out from the other area providers. A hospital marketing itself online can portray itself as the community’s prime source for all levels of medical needs. Consider allowing visitors to do everything at the site from learning about the facility to paying a bill to finding out about area health resources and even job openings. Even though an established local health center may have good word-of-mouth by nature, a comprehensive site and an online hospital advertising campaign can increase its presence – and the perception that it is the local authority.

Though it’s easy to want to focus on performing healthcare services well, today’s consumer desires even more. At this least, prospective patients are seeking assistance to educate themselves on a specific service to determine if it might be the right avenue to pursue in treatment. It’s easy to receive unqualified advice from one’s well-meaning friends, but there’s no substitute for reliable, qualified medical opinions.

Are you a healthcare marketer in need of some digital advertising prowess to positively impact your strategy for success? Contact our team of experts today for your own “check-up,” and to learn more about reaching prospective patients online.

Seven smart ways banks can utilize paid ad campaigns

It would be oh so simple for a bank to forgo newer methods of communicating – such as social media.
After all, to someone less familiar with social networks like Facebook and Twitter, these online channels all seem like places where people personally love to play, not conduct or discuss serious business. And financial institutions – especially the ones that have been around for awhile – often like to uphold a solid, traditional image, far from anything hip and trendy.

Unfortunately, as any teen or twenty-something can tell you – or maybe should be telling your institution’s decision-makers – today and tomorrow’s customers are actually the ones spending time on these networks. Like it or not, they’re the audience banks need to connect with – to some extent – if you want to remain profitable. If you manage your brand properly and tell your story well, you can still use modern platforms and search engines as outreach tools to describe your longevity and values. The difference is, you need to show your current and prospective customer that your institution is not only in touch, but also looking toward the future.

Beyond a basic social media presence, or hoping users “like” or follow your bank’s activities, your bank marketing ideas should also consist of spending money for additional exposure. Most larger social networks and search engines now encourage businesses to pay to put their messages in front of more people, or at least target different demographic groups of potential customers.

Like many other industries, bank marketers also have the ability find other ways to purchase advertising, whether it’s buying common keywords that customers may use when conducting a search, or running online ads designed for a specific target audience. Though budgets may reflect a preference toward financial marketing approaches that are low to no-cost, in the current online economy, you are definitely able to obtain a farther reach – and likely a better return – if you’re willing to make the investment in a paid ad campaign.

Here are 7 smart ways banks can utilize these paid ad campaigns to generate the greatest ROI

Facebook audiences won’t see everything you put out there – The actual number is a little vague, and depends on your audience, in tandem with Facebook’s method of determining what individual users see. While Facebook states that your audience will organically see just 16 percent of your posts, no matter how interesting or clever you make them, other media professionals and search experts say this figure may be as low as 2.27 percent for pages with more than 500,000 likes. (If “organic” is a new term for your marketing team when used in this context, it describes how people come across your information naturally, on their news feeds. Your inorganic reach means that you can pay a bit extra to have more seen by a larger audience.) Facebook offers a variety of payment options, from a small daily amount over time for a certain-sized audience to larger amounts designed to reach more people.

Consider boosting – Along with creating a paid campaign for your news feed to be seen by a larger target demographic, Facebook business page owners also have the option to pay to boost the reach of individual posts, placing them higher in people’s regular news feeds. This could be handy for a particular promotion, event, or contest. It also is a good tool to measure the amount of traffic with or without boosts for similar campaigns. If you see a noticeable spike in participation – such as actual new business and “real life” customer activity — it could be a good indicator that investing in boosting truly attains tangible results.

Frequency works – Just like the old adage states that a marketer shouldn’t buy an old-school newspaper, radio, or TV ad for only one day for an ongoing campaign, it is also advised that you not run a Facebook business page, or a post, for just a short time. Even though you may be following best practices and posting new material several times per day, not everyone will be checking in regularly to see it. Or, with all the clutter out there, they may not notice your ad or post the first few times it appears. It is wise to plan on running any campaign for at least one month – this will give you a longer-term view to gauge your response rate over time, and then you may adjust your message, or the scope of it, as needed.

Target your audience – As unbelievably cool as the fantasy would be for every Facebook user to see and love your bank’s message, it’s a smarter bet that not everyone among the 1.65 billion active users will care about your bank’s ads. So when you’re planning your paid bank advertising, you may be able to target your ideal potential customer by selecting gender, age, geographic location and similar demographic information. This will be a better use of your budget by appealing directly to people who are more likely to want to know more info about your institution rather than “anyone out there.”

Try other networks – Other social media companies also allow you to buy general and targeted ads, especially if you think potential customers will be using their services. LinkedIn, for instance, is more of a professional network, lacking the games and general feel of Facebook. This site focuses more on workplace networking, so there are posts about economic sectors, employment trends, management strategies, hiring tips, and labor issues. Banks wanting to attract certain potential customers or employees on LinkedIn can purchase ads and target everything from certain job titles to geographic areas. Though actual ad space is limited to a few dozen characters, you may include a call to action. This demographic group should be quite familiar with you, and in turn, want to know more.

Run multiple campaigns at once – Since marketing is always in motion, it’s smart to focus on one more than one prong at a time for all of your outreach. This is also of benefit for your audience – not every online user will use every network. Some may prefer Facebook, but others may frequent Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat, or any of the common platforms or search engines more regularly. Running multiple campaigns simultaneously will also provide you with a chance to customize your message for different platforms, and adjust as needed.

Easy-to-see results – A good bank PPC campaign has the potential to provide all sorts of data –  starting with who was reached and how they responded to your message or multiple messages. Google Ad Words or similar analytics programs share both high and low points, including the most frequently clicked keywords, where people came from, what percentage went directly to the landing page, how long they stayed, and what times of the day, week, or month saw the most activity. If you’re working with someone proficient with Google AdWords, you will also have access to a general Return on Investment figure based upon how much you spent and your overall reach. Actual conversions from the campaign to customers can also be a strong indicator.

Overall, creating a bank paid search campaign can be a fun way to connect with potential new users, while also enhancing relationships with existing customers. While facilitating paid ads via your institution’s social networks may be considered “unchartered waters,” the return is well worth the investment, with campaigns that may be customized, and that offer measurable results. For more information on the paid advertising approach, and the development of the best strategy to meet your needs, contact our team of digital experts today!