Sayani Dutt, New Business Manager at Google, kicked off the first sessions of the day to a highly-caffeinated group with her presentation, Becoming the Brand of Choice for The High-Value Traveler Through YouTube.
In the age of options, how do you stand out in the travel market? Dutt presented YouTube advertising as a great means of becoming the “brand of choice” for High-Value Travelers (HVTs): those who take a ski vacation and seek out luxury lodging. I was impressed with the stats Google was able to gather about this unique audience. Only 8% of HVTs have loyalty to one brand. To me, this means they are a fairly up-for-grabs audience, especially given that they book an average of nine hotel stays a year.
So, why YouTube? The platform is where 49% of people go to look for travel inspiration. Additionally, 73% of HVTs seek out some form of inspiration prior to booking. Dutt shared a personal example of looking for family-friendly vacations, researching on YouTube, and deciding on a cruise company she was previously unfamiliar with. A benefit of YouTube as a touch point for brand-discovery is the ability to use sight, sound, and action to drive engagement. According to Dutt, YouTube has driven 2.2X more engagement with 30-second videos than social media. The audience is there; they are actively looking for deals and ideas and have the financial means to book your high-end travel experience. Be there when they come searching with a well-developed brand message, utilize YouTube’s array of targeting solutions, and build your re-targeting list off video engagements.
David Costlow opened his presentation, “Closing The Deal: Are You Doing What’s Needed to Get Consumers To Buy?”, with a few memorable stories and lessons that are relevant to everyone working to make a sale.
First off, you need to make it easy for your customers to give you their credit card. He recently called a local pizza store to place an order for takeout – he was told to hang up and order through an app. This pizza place had a customer on the phone, ready to hand over their credit card info, and they tried to send them to a more difficult place to make the order! He would have had to hang up, open the app store, download the new app, create a profile and then place his order. Meet your customers where they are! Don’t make it difficult for them to make the sale! Think about your sales process and if you’ve created roadblocks for your customers that make it difficult for them to purchase.
A few years ago, his local whitewater rafting competitor started offering their wetsuits for free. The wetsuits were one of the more profitable pieces of his business, so he was unable to stop charging for the use of them. When potential customers started calling and asking if their wetsuits were free, he would train the staff to say “Oh clean wetsuits? We have the cleanest wetsuits! You see, we charge $8 for a wetsuit and most of that goes right into the cleaning fee. So yes, we have clean wetsuits!” This made people question what was being sacrificed by the other company that allowed them to offer their wetsuits without a charge. That made it much easier for his sales reps to close the deal then and there. His takeaway here was that when you’re faced with difficult questions, find your own positive twist!
His session encouraged positivity, empowerment and rethinking your current sales journey. Do what you can to take charge and close the deal!
I had an awesome time at the Booyah Summit this year! It was so interesting to hear the different perspectives from both clients and vendors on multiple verticals we face in the industry. It allowed me the chance to see what was important across different sides of the business while also giving us all the opportunity to come together for solutions in a joint environment.
Though there were many that stuck with me, one of the sessions that particularly captured me was by Pete Woods and Sarah Pearson of SkiBig3, Diane Bures of Banff and Lake Louise Tourism and Ada Javier of Travel Alberta. They all discussed how even though it would be incredibly easy to be competitive as they all work in the Canadian Tourism realm – that it was more efficient and effective to come together as they all shared a common initiative. Additionally, when looking at their budgets for advertising on an individual level- they found themselves limited in building a campaign that would have the reach they needed for success. By combining forces, they are all able to create campaigns that are unique, captivating, and much grander than before. They mention that a lot of trust comes with having to share their objectives, goals, and budgets on a regular basis but by having open communication and the awareness that they share the same goals at the end of the day, they’ve been able to drive revenue growth on all fronts in substantial ways.
In our industry, we can sometimes get stuck thinking that we need to out-best our counterparts in similar categories, but this group spoke about how creating a collaborative environment was far more rewarding not only in their growth of the business and the revenue that they were seeing but by building long-lasting partnerships, as well. It was inspiring and reminded us of the message that teamwork is what makes the dream work.