Technology Lets Tourists ‘Go Local’ with Micromoments
January 12, 2016 8:38am
Bronwyn White of MyTravelResearch.com shows how micromoments are transforming the tourism experience. Destination marketers need to be across this. Airbnb and Google are there already.
I was delighted a few weeks ago when I saw that Airbnb had created a new product off the back of Google market research around micromoments and mobile that was released earlier in 2015.
Micromoments are about providing information that is snackable and easily consumed. It provides the most relevant content at the right time and the right place.
It is based on the new reality that among leisure travellers who are smart phone users, 69% search for travel ideas during spare moments, like when they’re standing in line or waiting for the subway, says Google Micromoments
Understanding this, Airbnb took the argument to the next step by creating the excellent Hosted Walks.
When a traveller or a user searches for things to do on Google, they will be prompted by an ad, asking them if “they wish to see New York like a local”. When they click on the ad, Google Maps is brought up and it is auto populated with the user’s location.
It then maps out the route to the users desired location, via local gems along the way – a hidden alley way, a old Polish coffee shop, a plaque to a loyal pet, a restored statue that makes a great photo op, and so on.
The information is relayed via speech bubbles and narrated by real Airbnb hosts.
As Airbnb’s global head of advertising and content, Peter Giorgi, says: “Mobile gives us the opportunity to tailor our message to the point that it’s so insightful, so useful and so relevant at the moment of consumer intent…..Hosted Walks provides travellers something special that they would not have had otherwise.”
Giorgi correctly argues that due to mobile technology, 21st century advertising can offer tourists a local, tailored service like they’ve never had before.
The result: the disruptor, Airbnb, is becoming mainstream (and rich) because they turned freely available market research about micromoments and mobile into a practical mobile tool for tourists who want to go local – a global trend.
Airbnb and Hosted Walks are successful, in part, because they are based on trends, insights and the latest research about travellers -- not hunches.
We can all learn from their example.
Action Micromoments like Airbnb
So, how can you start turning insights into action like Airbnb?
One of the easiest and cheapest (free, in fact) tactics is to get as much product into Google Maps. Your local businesses, not just hotels and tour companies need to claim their Google My Business pages and populate them with awesome content that makes people want to go and stop there. Think about local boutiques, bars, ‘hole in the wall’ coffee shops and sandwich bars. This is such an accessible starting point for absolutely everyone.
Ensure your content speaks to your Google micromoments with visually appealing video and images. Make it easy to book. Tourists will abandon you no matter how loyal they have been in the past if you don’t make it easy to find information about your business or destination in a micromoment.
Think snackable content.
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Bronwyn White is a principal with MyTravelResearch.com, a market research and marketing firm specializing in the travel, tourism and aviation industries. Its specialty is providing insights that are actionable.
Contact: Bronwyn White
Contact: for media: Ken Scott
(+44)  7949 077959
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