November 10, 2021 Quigley ECD Sariah Dorbin joins a panel of industry leaders at Advertising Week to discuss the future of travel marketing
Quigley was excited to take part in Advertising Week New York this year, held as a hybrid, in-person and virtual event. As always, the conference brought together some of the brightest talent from across the marketing industry. Quigley ECD Sariah Dorbin joined Laurinda Rainey of Chase, Luc Bondar of United Airlines and moderator Katie Kempner for a panel discussion on how to best position travel brands for growth as the world begins to open up. Here are some key takeaways from the session:
Focus on the “Why”
Before 2020, the travel planning process was typically short and transactional. Customers were mostly drawn to specific destinations and would look for the best value in getting there. Now, with so much uncertainty surrounding the return to travel, the “where” has become less important than the “why.” People are returning to travel with a new sense of thoughtfulness. Reconnecting with people we care about and truly connecting with other cultures have become more important than simply checking places off the bucket list. Creative content should reflect this new attitude toward travel.
Think beyond the rational
The most important word to keep in mind when thinking about content is “inspiration.” While rational benefits, like earning miles and getting travel perks, are still important, it’s also critical to give people a meaningful reason to travel by reflecting the larger emotional benefits. For example: Quigley recently partnered with The Points Guy to create travel comeback stories for the United Rewards Cards—a video series that illustrated the power of travel to bring people together and strengthen relationships.
Maintaining loyalty requires change
The pandemic forced many brands to become more nimble so that they could remain relevant to their customers. The travel industry was no exception. When travel and dining out stopped, and consumer habits changed, the United Rewards Cards added more miles accelerators for purchases like food delivery services, grocery and online shopping. The brand also gave customers new ways to use their miles beyond booking flights, like redeeming for chef-led, virtual cooking lessons. Travel brands must continue to find ways to meet their customers where they are, as their needs continue to evolve.
Stand up for customer values
Today’s consumers need to feel good about the brands they’re choosing. Showing a shared commitment to customer values can be as important as promoting products or prices. Instead of shying away from a controversial subject, United took a definitive stand with their vaccination policy. Along with generating positive PR, this move resonated strongly with their customer base and brought new people to the brand who were aligned with their values.