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Flex your digital - "Don't lock it in"


DIGITAL STRATEGY: Practicing Digital Promoflex

Practicing Digital Promoflex marketing in your online Travel & Tourism offering – don’t lock it in

Published in Hotel Business Review. Adapted with permission.

by Ron Caughlin – BRAND>eD

WHEN ACCESSING AND CONVERTING potential travellers to your airline, attraction, tour or hotel, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns or Social Media Marketing. The most valuable tool you have in the battle for Google’s favour should be the ability to evolve – I like to call this “Digital Promoflex” in today’s marketing environment. We all know, just like chess, we need a plan in order to play a decent game.

This is exactly the same premise in digital and social media marketing. In order to determine what kind of channels to target your audience, we must have some general idea what our goals are and what we are trying to accomplish from a marketing perspective.

Consistently following a plan is crucial to success, yet at the same time maintaining flexibility and the ability to learn and adjust is critical in today’s fluid Travel & Tourism space. The plan is not the State of the Union, rather it’s like a living and breathing organism, that adapts and changes with environmental and market conditions.

I can remember a time when marketing plans were set in stone. Back in the day, we thought we were measuring our success and making changes to reflect market conditions. We actually had a term for this called – Promoflex. This meant we would watch how campaigns and global world events were affecting bookings and sales results, and then respond accordingly by changing campaign offers, reducing room prices and even shifting media channels six months into the plan. We thought this was a fast and flexible way to respond.

Actually, traditional media and national networks would only give you a 30-day period to make a change or cancel a campaign, which made it difficult to change the plan. In today’s digital landscape, the environment has vastly changed how we market and react. Your efforts therefore need, and can be, much more flexible. Digital media channels allow flexibility and give you the ability to make changes mid-course. This is what I like to call – Digital Promoflex

Of course, Digital Promoflex isn’t easy and can be a painful process at times. You may have a great idea that you thought would break sales records. Yet you may have to let go of something you had hoped would be successful, but in the end, was not. Monitoring and paying attention to your campaign will give you the ability to respond to your online marketing and re-consider the overall messaging, imagery, offering and channels you are using. Your plan isn’t finished until the campaign period is over and you have started to craft a new one all over again.

According to Jim Joseph, President of Cohen and Wolf, “Your plan needs to remain flexible.” He goes on to explain, “You can’t possibly predict what will occur over a 12-month period, so you can’t be certain that the plan you’ve written will be effective throughout the year. Look what can happen in one week, let alone a year!”

Jim states: “…be ready, willing, and able to respond to:”