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4 tips for localising travel and tourism marketing

in Travel and Tourism

Global marketers are coming up against an increasing number of challenges at the moment. In the competitive modern business environment, it is hard enough for businesses to thrive in their domestic sector, never mind on a global scale.

Whether it is economic pressures or a lack of suitable skills, it is important that companies make sure they understand their shortcomings and create campaigns that can be easily adapted to different cultures and regions.

Travel and tourism is one of the sectors where localised marketing is absolutely crucial in order to attract the right audience and build a strong customer base. By not developing marketing strategies to suit a global audience, companies could lose potentially loyal customers and damage their reputation.

To help companies to manage global tourism marketing, here are four top tips:

1. Make sure you use specialised translation services

Marketing strategies will differ from country to country, but the general aim should always be to encourage buyers to spend their cash regardless of the campaign. Gloria Cappelli from the University of Pisa looked into this closely in a recent journal.

Ms Cappelli highlighted that translation is becoming absolutely crucial for global businesses. She explained: “Translators for the web cannot rely on the amount of theoretical support on which translators of literary or technical texts can rely.

“Nor does there seem to be any clear criteria to assess the quality of web translations, and yet, in a world where some businesses depend predominantly upon their presence on the World Wide Web, a good translation of the content of their websites is often responsible for their successes and failures.”

Ms Cappelli explained that, even though businesses are aware of the need for efficient translation, many websites are still “badly translated”.

2. Be aware of cultural sensitivities 

While businesses often have a firm grasp of their local culture, they often know very little about societies in other areas of the world. Just because a marketing slogan works in the US does not mean it will necessarily work in the UK.

We’ve seen plenty of mistakes before, ranging from a meal in China called “wild speculation” to a dish called “spicy grandma”. These seem humorous from an outsider’s perspective, but they lead to confusion among travellers and can damage the reputation of companies massively.

To stop this from happening, marketers need to make sure they use specialists who have wide knowledge of different global regions and will be able to spot these mistakes in the planning phase before any reputational damage can be allowed to happen.

3. Make sure online forms are properly translated

While marketing content is often the first type of media to be translated by global companies, many disregard the importance of online forms, which are absolutely crucial in order to engage customers online.

Research from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) found that 56 per cent of business travellers rank “finding the right price” among their top three booking priorities, which shows that they may be receptive to corporate travel buyers’ efforts to persuade them to book in ways that lead to the biggest savings.

Joseph Bates, GBTA Foundation vice president of research, said: “By meeting traveller expectations with corporate booking tools, travel buyers can encourage travellers to stay within the system and not seek out alternative methods.

“Travel buyers also have an opportunity to influence what travel apps are downloaded and used bringing consistency to the use of travel apps within their travel programs.”

To meet expectations, companies need to make sure all of their online marketing tools are translated efficiently without mistakes.

4. Look at excellent industry examples

Many travel and tourism companies are ahead of the curve when it comes to marketing, with TripAdvisor being one of the key leaders in the industry. A recent study from Strategy Analytics found that users of TripAdvisor’s app are three times more likely to have other travel applications from airlines and other holiday companies.

Josh Martin, director of travel analytics at Strategy Analyics, said: “Mobile is a very different place than the PC where it’s easier to rely on tools like retargeting, website reach data and more to try to find the right audience.

“On mobile as consumers rely more and more on apps – the resulting silo-ed information – makes it difficult to get a comprehensive view of users.”

Along with the increasing popularity of mobile apps, there are many other industry trends that businesses need to be aware of, and data is more important than ever before.

A recent paper from Global Customer Experience Management investigated trends in the travel industry, offering key points of advice for organisations who are looking to roll out the most effective marketing plans possible.

Data is absolutely crucial in order to provide a tailored marketing experience for businesses, with retargeting, video marketing and multilingual options all essential for companies. TripAdvisor are excellent in all of these areas and, while tourism marketers may not be able to reach their levels of success, they should try to follow their example.

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