Lately I’ve been reading a lot about how corporate travel shoppers are becoming increasingly similar to leisure travelers. I do agree that both groups are looking for engaging experiences online, but the attributes that drive purchase intent can vary greatly.
Patrick Mayock makes an excellent point while discussing their similarities in his article, Next gen blurs lines of corporate, leisure. Business travelers are starting to look for experiences online that are comparable to what we traditionally would expect from a leisure traveler. They are looking for more engaging experiences, but are finding themselves faced with hotel listings, textual and visual experiences that lack the relevant information they’re seeking.
Although hoteliers would be well advised to start providing consumers of corporate travel with the same engaging experiences that leisure travelers are demanding they should ensure they focus their content in a relevant manner specific to each group.
As a marketer, I believe that needs-based segmentation should be the cornerstone of every marketer’s strategy and it would be great if hotel marketers could provide shoppers with relevant content based on what needs segment they comprise… but it would be a good start to devise different and relevant content focused on leisure versus corporate travel.
Although travel needs and the specific information they are seeking online may differ, both travel shopping segments (business and leisure) want immersive, visually-rich presentations. Nick Vournakis, senior VP and GM for Carlson Wagonlit Travel Canada, is on target when he says that “Hoteliers and travel managers need to embrace the leisure experience and put it in a context that’s congruent with managed travel.”
One way for hotels to do this is by creating customized multi-media experiences for different audiences and then ensuring that relevant sites and platforms have the appropriate story.
For example, on corporate booking channels, such as Concur, hotels should customize their story by including media and text to reflect a business-focus. Targeted visuals and text descriptions should showcase business amenities – such as business centers, meeting rooms, conference centers and guest rooms – to provide a more customized, engaging and relevant experience for travelers on these corporate channels.
By using targeted videos that highlight all of the amenities that a business traveler would need, as well as incorporating more photos and virtual tours of your business features, meeting rooms and conference center, you easily show the shopper why staying at your hotel would make their trip successful. High definition photos, videos and 360° tours tell your hotel’s story in a way that words and still images cannot.
The goal is to focus your content to the needs of the travelers you are targeting and deliver it in the way that online travel shoppers have come to expect. Successfully executing this often requires enlisting the help of a company that has the network and display technology to deliver the right content to the right segment in a way that is informative, relevant and engaging.
You can learn more about how to target business travelers by downloading this 3-Step Guide to Increasing Bookings on Corporate Channels.