Social Networks and Online Travel Marketing


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3rd Tourism Summer School @Olympia, Greece 2012, presentation about Online Tourism Marketing
Thanx to Nicholas Christakis for his research.

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Social Networks and Online Travel Marketing

  1. 1. How destination stakeholders can utilize online tools forincreasing their networks’ competitiveness & offer value to their customers? Themis Papadimopoulos, MBA Olympia 31/7/2012
  2. 2. Our 3 Goals No1 = REALISE (online) NETWORKS (& connect them with information & destinations) No2= change the way you approach online travel till today No3 = experience with real online case studies
  4. 4. social networks areonline communities ofpeople who shareinformation, commoninterests and activities. Only that? Lets see Nicholas Christakis theory
  5. 5. “Human populations are both highlycooperative & highly organized.Human interactions are not random butrather are structured in social networks.Importantly, ties in these networks often aredynamic, changing in response to thebehavior of one’s social partners”
  6. 6. Networks = (LIVE) organisms with a dynamic cooperationWe also find that, when networks aredynamicbut are updatedonly infrequently, cooperation again fails.
  7. 7. Cooperation is maintained at a high level through network rewiring.Subjects preferentially break links with defectorsand form new links with cooperators, creating anincentive to cooperate and leading to substantial changesin network structure.
  8. 8. Social networks display certain empirical regularities—in settings as diverse as villages, schools & workplaces:variation in the degree distribution (number of social ties),transitivity (the likelihood that two of a person’s friends are in turn friends),degree assortativity (the tendency of popular people to befriend other popular people),reciprocity (the increased likelihood of an outbound tie to be reciprocated with an inbound tie from the same person),& homophily (the tendency of similar people to form ties). Question? Was Olympia a network?
  9. 9. Olympia- 776 BC- 393 AD the first network?
  10. 10. So, are you OK (with networks)?
  11. 11. Does networking come natural?“Man is a political (social) animal”
  12. 12. Physical human tendencyfor building communities
  13. 13. What about online networks?
  14. 14. We create online communities
  15. 15. Information Age (2003)InformationTechnologyPop CultureSoft Power
  16. 16. 2012• Everything is connected• Communities are networks• Networks have to be approached as networks• Eg. Prof. Gummesson spoke about network marketing
  17. 17. So, don’t we live in the Network Age?
  18. 18. Every network cooperatesand information is the main “topic” of a network What are the tools of our networks? –
  19. 19. Troy  Mycenae 1100 BC
  20. 20.
  21. 21. social media….…is aptly expressed as: “a many-to-manymediated communications model in whichconsumers can interact with the medium, firmscan provide content to the medium and, in the mostradical departure from traditional marketingenvironments, consumers (people) can providecommercially oriented content to themedium” (Hoffman and Novak, 1996, pg. 1).
  22. 22. When discussion is about information then.. SEARCH is the answer
  23. 23. How people should behave?
  24. 24. How business have to behave?
  25. 25. Lets get connected to the travel industry
  26. 26. Destination as networks
  27. 27. Sources of information, use ofsocial networks and channel selection arepresented across the travel categories anddecision stages.It is clear that Internet informationsearch, travel booking and socialnetworking are pervasive factors. many have tried to map out the relations…
  28. 28. Travel is social according to a 80% of Americanforthcoming PhoCusWright (2010a),travellers enjoy travel discussionsregarding own experiences. From atravel marketing perspective, reviews andvideo/photos have a direct impact.
  29. 29. Social travellerA makesconsiderable use of social media (socialcontent and social networking) fordiscovering, reading, searching andsharing all travel and tourism relatedinformation. The social traveller isrecognized by increasingly sourcingcontent and input from social travel sites.
  30. 30. online social networkingMany definitions of online social networking fromvarious researchers and authors can beconcluded as “a platform that enablesusers to publicize personalinformation and to connect withothers with similar interests”(Kasavana, Nusair and Teodosic, 2010, p.65).
  31. 31. How online users behave in Travel? 1. Before their arrival 2. During their stay 3. After their departure
  32. 32. Before1. search behaviour before the decision of visiting a destination (e.g. visit intention, planning, online image of the destination, information that destination stakeholders produce, how much information influence the decision, sources of information, infomediary role and importance, purchase behaviour, information dissemination, communication, online purchasing, infostructure)• destination online services assessment (how easy and secure it is to find the right packaging and buy online, dynamic packaging, offers, security of transaction, correct pricing)
  33. 33. During2. Satisfaction (did the user receive online satisfaction before his booking/ arrival at the destination? websites quality, contact personnel response, LBS, website functionality, usability)• Congruence between image conception and perception (does the online image of the destination meet the expectations of the traveller during his stay at the destination based on his perception during the information search stage? (does he interact with the locals, do online offers influence him to consume more, what is he expecting from the locals)
  34. 34. AFTER3. And finally- is the consumer –USER- a co-creator of value for the destination or if he is not, what the destination stakeholders should do in order to become?
  35. 35. What is also obvious is that…You need to have an offline stimulous inorder to search online Meaning?
  36. 36. London Olympiad on google- 29/7
  37. 37. Ok with that…Lets now examine the user perspective!
  38. 38. Tourism experience at a destination The variables that are used in order to measure the tourism experience at a destination (Medlik & Middleton, 1973; Burkart & Medlik, 1981; Buhalis, 2000). are:• Tourist behaviour at the destination (travel patterns, tourist behaviour at the destination, revisit intentions)• Destination Services quality assessment (for Attractions, Accommodation, Catering, Transportation and Shopping)• Overall Satisfaction• Behavioural Intentions• Demographic Profile of the respondents
  39. 39. Online travel behaviour…Is really something BIG to deal withThat happens because the role of every stakeholder is so complicated, so it is very difficult to map the process, channels, users, etc Of course we can try!!!!! why?
  40. 40. Goals No1= REALISE (online) NETWORKS COMPLETED and had a short intro to online travel marketing. Lets get to that better and discoverdestinations and their online presence!!!
  42. 42. What are the common destination websites mistakes?PLANNING• No travel IMPLEMENTATION • No completed goals = philosophy.. • No real time Not so• No defined goals information good for• No coherent • No updates travel quality – • No participation- sites necessary user engagement content• No interconnectivity• Where is the customer?
  43. 43. Marketing = value for (our) customer destination marketing is how can we give more valueA definition of to our (potential) guest as a destination & make him DECIDE to comeSo online destination marketing is how can we give more value to our (potential) guest as a destination ONLINE & make him DECIDE to come (?)(& if is planned & long term= sustainable(?)But today no1. information source is online, so?Is online mkt= offline mkt??? NO  So let’s define them!!!
  44. 44. The travel environment offline  onlineA direct approach to travel
  45. 45. The Tourism phenomenon
  46. 46. Home Destination(?)
  47. 47. what a destination is Destinations are Theories that haveAll tourists get amalgams of recognized somewhere tourist travelers to do products, offering (customers) as something experience to the (Medlik & customers stakeholders are Middleton 1973) (Murphy et very few al.2000, p. 44). (except Buhalis 2000 και Kotler et al.1993).
  48. 48. DESTINATIONMARKETING Planned ACTIONS that attract travelers by creating experiences (?)
  49. 49. =
  50. 50. Destination attraction elementsactivities accommodation YOU Whatever destinationattractions decides…
  51. 51. Eg. destination BİTLİS NEMRUT CRATER LAKEactivities accommodation Whatever destinationattractions decides… YOU
  52. 52. BİTLİS NEMRUT CRATER LAKE Destination marketing accommodationactivitiesattractions Whatever destination decides…
  53. 53. Marketing???Where is our happy customer?
  54. 54. BİTLİS NEMRUT CRATER LAKE Destination marketing accommodationactivitiesattractions Whatever destination decides…
  55. 55. BİTLİS NEMRUT CRATER LAKE Destination marketing customer
  56. 56. Destination marketing no1 goal is customer satisfaction activities accommodation Marketing research = Strategic who is the planning Whatevercustomer destination attractions decides… Implementation Evaluation
  57. 57. So… OfflineDESTINATION MARKETING Offline ACTIONS that attract (before) and satisfy (after) the travelers
  58. 58. Offline ACTIONS that attract (before) &satisfy (after) the travelers& WANT TO visit AGAIN = REPEAT VISIT = THEMO$T tangible GOAL!!!
  59. 59. Offline mkt conclusions• Every destination has its own id, characteristics, procedure can not be same..• We have to decide that we want to do it right• We need a plan and targets.• And follow it- execute it correct.• The first thing we need is… KNOWLEDGE < RESEARCH(knowledge in strategy is always thesustainable competitive advantage, right?) LETS GO TO ONLINE destination marketing…• How do we know that travel websites complete their targets? Which are our targets?
  61. 61. is a bit more complicated…we have more & new parameters here!
  62. 62. The questions are many
  63. 63. Formulas are more…
  64. 64. Information is much more!!
  65. 65. Online Life cycles are enormous
  66. 66. Travelers are more than ever!!!
  67. 67. USER share Online awards!!
  68. 68. What does this mean?• What has changed?• Simply that the power NOW is the hands of the customer- user and NOT traditional destination stakeholders It is USER GENERATEDAND WHAT ALL THESE HAVE IN COMMON???
  69. 69. THE USER!! Who now is a prod-uSer!So what the destination should do for that?
  71. 71. Why is this change?
  72. 72. Technology is everywhere!!
  73. 73. Mobile devicesthat affect two things!
  74. 74. Time & money
  75. 75. in marketing PLANNING terms…it is not just about PROMOTION you have to involve it to PRODUCT PRICE DISTRIBUTION. = IT CHANGES EVERYTHING….
  76. 76. Technology & information revolution1. Time has changed everything  INSTANT2. Information is mobile and everywhere3. Systems integration  BOOKINGS, SEARCH4. Transactions also mobile  I WANT IT NOW5. Social media is like a telephone line today..6. Social media is not technology… its distribution= more than necessary!!! = personalization of services & constant enviroment CHANGE
  77. 77. So today the travelers are our new stakeholders !!
  78. 78. Sustainability = long term planningCompetitiveness = technology adoption (not only in communication) KNOW the network!!! KNOW the user/ customerKNOWING THE PRESENT IS LIKE KNOWING THE FUTURE
  79. 79. Ok with that?
  80. 80. ENOUGH with theoryAny SOCIAL practical advice, Mr.?
  81. 81. … First define the online GOAL!!!!1. Social media is social, you have to offer through them2. Be real & as instant as you can be3. Assist users as you would like some help4. You need TIME- 2-3 months to see results5. Be adoptive with planning, everything changes and needs update online
  82. 82. … First define the online GOAL!!!!1. Create unique photos, videos and adopt a timeline to upload2. Relate your content with destination USP’s3. Relate your content with your dates / events4. Make offers, ask for feedback, not customers5. Interact with the users as much as you can!
  83. 83. Social Prerequisites1. Define the …2. Be patient with results3. It’s a learning experience, just like bicycle4. Investing money doesn’t mean that you bring money, you have to learn WHERE to invest it5. You have to know that you need a PLAN first and follow up with the implementation6. It doesn’t need a lot, you need to be fully focused on the CUSTOMER = marketing!
  84. 84. …1. Define first your preferred outcome*2. Its like having a new telephone line3. You have to play and learn with YOUR product, try and fail, there is no other way (The more you play, the more you learn!) *Update your goals as you learn Lets see some goals and online efforts!!
  85. 85. Goals No2 = change the way you approach online travel till today COMPLETED (I hope) No3= experience real case studies
  86. 86. Why? in order you to be able toconnect -information with your goals
  87. 87. Online strategy fordestinations Case study: Ancient Olympia
  88. 88. 2 questions1. how internet is related with destinationsonline strategy? That is OK, we saw it before2. what a destination can do in the onlineenvironment?
  89. 89. We studied some other case studiesΑΒΓΓΔ
  90. 90. Online strategy destination matrix TOOLSonline strategy basic online Online companies online consumer Online DMOwebsite/ tools presence campaign online centric management GOALS promotion approach e-services strategyMobile ΜΚΤ presence   SEO-SEM  Email mkt Online sponsorships  Social media     Groups/ events  Display advertising GeoTagging/ Location  Smartphone apps  Content/ Blogging    
  91. 91. Destination marketing strategy ποιοι πρέπει πώς πρέπει δράσεις να προσεγγιστούν να προσεγγιστούν
  92. 92. Olympia strategy targets• Increase of duration of stay at the destination• Increase of individual visitors• Increase of average spending Olympia target markets French and Germans
  93. 93. Olympiatargetmarkets’Onlinebehaviour
  94. 94. The main goal of the Olympia online strategy The target of a digital strategy is Olympia to increase its awareness as a classical destination. This would bring increase of average stay and more visitors, especially during the global events that take place there (Olympic Flame Ceremony etc).
  95. 95. 1st stage: creation of a central website that offers information• A creation of a portal and a mobile version (for smartphones) that will bring user closer to Olympia experience: the essence of Olympian athlete and the Olympic winner of the past.• Next step are the event that will take place in the destination and connect potential customer with the accommodation in the destination.
  96. 96. 2nd stage: related activities creationContent and time should be proper for what isOlympia related with: Olympic Games and Olympicvalues. Olympic Flame Ceremony, Olympic Truce isan event that every 4 years attracts the global media.There should be activities related to education,health, food and Olympic Games lifestyle. Somemore themes could be peace, philosophy andsports.
  97. 97. 3rd stage: community building Ancient Olympia fans are around the world. There are thousands of people that admire its ancient values. The destination has to spot them online and engage them. This could be done with stories that are related with what Olympia represents: history, values, sports, culture, health, game, peace. The main target of the website is to be the reference point of the destination online. There should be information about the Ilia region, activities, transport, facebook plugin and page, videos etc.
  98. 98. Online strategy destination matrixonline strategy basic online Online companies online consumer Online DMOwebsite/ tools presence campaign online centric management promotion approach e-services strategyMobile ΜΚΤ presence   SEO-SEM  Email mkt Online sponsorships  Social media     Groups/ events  Display advertising GeoTagging/ Location  Smartphone apps  Content/ Blogging    
  99. 99. phase 1
  100. 100. Everybody wants a free FB pic!!! Even Richard Quest does!!
  101. 101. phase 2
  102. 102. March – May 2012Everybody is NOW on FB FB is fair Users give you power Pages have more
  103. 103. today
  104. 104. … the Internet combines many of the features of existing media with new capabilities of interactivity and addressability; thus, it transforms not only the way individuals conduct their business with each other, but also the very essence of what it means to be a human being in society (Barwise et al., 2006).
  105. 105. … conclusions?A. Today information and Networks are C. try to connect everywhere (& everything) onlineit is natural human your GOAL with the behaviour overall natural network behaviour B. destinations are complex networks indeed
  106. 106. Hope I didn’t confuse you……Much!!!! Thank you!!