Digital communication during a crisis
A checklist of immediate things to keep in mind for digital communications in the COVID-19 crisis.
Article | by Dan Archer
Do you feel like a holiday? I’m pretty sure, if you feel like I feel, you’re desperate for not just some time off, but time away. It might be taking off, setting sail or driving away, it doesn’t matter - a holiday of any kind resets the mind and body and drastically improves wellbeing - now more than ever. Nearly half of the 2,000 people we spoke to said they needed something to look forward to, something to improve their mental health.
Around 10 million people had a package holiday cancelled since March 2020, that doesn’t include the many more who didn’t take flights or cancelled their accommodation due to so much uncertainty. That’s millions of people desperate to get away, desperate to commit to a booking and see it through. With more than £1bn being processed in refunds, there’s a huge cash potential right now. (Source)
The Google insights team described the 5 stages of travel a few years ago - dreaming, planning, booking and experiencing (and later added, then removed, sharing but ignore that technical point for the time being). Right now, the travel industry is suffering due to the bottleneck at booking. Uncertainty around Covid and Brexit is still prevalent and this insecurity is creating an industry-wide halt on hitting ‘Book now’, and it’s hurting everyone, even with a comprehensive vaccine strategy being rolled out.
This presents a huge opportunity for the travel industry, specifically operators and travel organisations, to unlock this cash potential at the booking stage. By winning hearts and minds at the dreaming stage, by providing a platform to easily plan, save and share your trip (cheer Grandma up with something to look forward to) and then ensuring a smooth, easy route to purchase at booking when the time is right, a travel organisation can own the end to end experience and drive some guarantees. Avoiding the media bunfight with the industry big hitters and spenders, opting out of the race to the bottom on price and offering a more memorable experience during the planning phase are all advisable right now.
The positives benefit both parties - customers get to dream, plan and commit to their trip to give them something to get excited about (Lord knows we all need it), ready to press go as soon as they’re able. Businesses get the benefit of a revenue forecast that’s pretty much a dead certainty - the advantages of this are self-explanatory.
The goal should be to ensure your business is the first place they visit when they’re looking to get away from it all, and the last place they visit when they are ready (and allowed) to book. The key is creating the journey that enables this in the current climate. By allowing people to lose themselves when planning, by offering them a confirmation model that reduces the financial risk and giving them a reimagined booking funnel when the time is right, you can increase the likelihood of them booking with you 10 fold.
You can get more insight into this in our latest white paper on the state of the travel industry right now as well as read our recommendation, strategically and tactically, on how to unlock the cash potential that exists.
You can download it in just 3 clicks right below.