February 22, 2017

Transitional Millennial Shopper Behavior

Check out AMP's newest data visualization on the Transitional Millennial - https://www.ampagency.com/shopping-behaviors-millennials/

 

February 15, 2017

Travel Brand Opportunities

Across the evolving travel landscape, hospitality, airline, and booking brands are looking at a variety of opportunities to better activate their brand voices, use technology for competitive advantages and make investment decisions based on travelers' unmet needs.

Our research had uncovered three significant areas of opportunity for travel brands:

1. Prioritize Social Strategy 

Social media represents the dominant force for inspiration in their new landscape. There is potential to create greater brand affinity and distinction by operating social channels differently.

2. Behave like a Simplifier 

The planning process is time-consuming and overwhelming, but travelers ultimately enjoy it. Booking engines have an opportunity to provide consumers with time-saving experiences and better management of multiple trip components. Niche providers are already effectively replacing data tables with simplified and conversational interfaces.

3. Balanced Tech and the Human Touch 

Even in a connected world, travelers have a strong desire to connect in person when they need help at their destinationHotelses, tourists attractions and excursions shouldn't be too quick to replace service personnel with digital kiosks, but should carefully consider the right moments for digital interactions.

To learn more, download our newest Whitepaper, ‘Targeting Moments of Need in the new Travel Landscape’ – here.

January 31, 2017

Balancing Tech + Human Touch

While some travelers feel that vacations are time to disconnect from technology, or take a “digital detox,” most people don’t actually unplug. When we asked travelers about their wish list for their hotel stay, the majority of people said “free WiFi.” In fact, millennials will choose a hotel based on “Instagram-worthy” de?cor, pointing to their desire to be connected to social networks while vacationing.

This need for connectivity also speaks to continued planning during a trip. Travelers frequently use navigation apps while traversing a new city, or apps like Yelp and OpenTable to figure out where to eat.

The dependency of technology has removed spontaneity from travel - open-ended exploration has been replaced by people moving through destinations based on their popularity and share-worthiness. But research and anecdotal stories show that spontaneity is good for us. There is still nothing that quite compares to the thrill of discovering a gem by happenstance.

However, travelers have conflicting feelings about spontaneity. We found that 47% of travelers said they

wish they were more spontaneous, while 30% said they wish they were more of a planner. Most will accept a nudge to be more impulsive – as 73% of individuals said they would be willing or very willing to receive text messages about unplanned excursions, dinners and other experiences while on vacation.

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So what kind of useful tips can brands provide travelers? Well, family-friendly activities to start. But surprisingly, travelers ranked food experiences as their second most memorable moments.

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When it comes to communicating with travelers at a destination, the best medium depends on context. Our research revealed that 84% of travelers are open to receiving text messages from hotels with check out time, WiFi usernames and passwords, menu specials, etc., while 67% are likely or very likely to use chat services or texting with airlines or hotels. For transactional conversations like these, a text, chat or emoji will suffice.

However, a whopping 76% of surveyed individuals believe that human interaction throughout travel- provided services is important or very important. While the majority of individuals (55%) have used a concierge when at their destination, the remaining 45% who did not felt they didn’t need one or that they could find the information they needed on the internet. Of those who have used a concierge, most prefer to have conversations in-person, not digitally. When we spoke to travelers, many of them reflected positively on the times they had one-on-one conversations with their Airbnb host and received local – not touristy – recommendations.

It’s important for travel brands to understand when they can interject during a trip, when to emphasize in- person conversations, and when a text will be more well- received.

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Key Takeaways: 

  • Travelers welcome useful suggestions fro brand that prompt them to be more spontaneous.
  • For transactional communication, digital will suffice. However, for personalized concierge servies, most travlers perfer in-person.

To learn more, download our newest Whitepaper, ‘Targeting Moments of Need in the new Travel Landscape’ – here.

January 25, 2017

A New Type of Travel Agency: AI Meets Human Expertise

Over the last two decades, OTAs and direct-supplier ticketing websites have revolutionized the industry and forced many brick-and-mortar travel agencies to reinvent themselves, find their niche, or close their doors altogether.

Many of the travel agencies that remain standing serve a wealthy clientele. When Travel + Leisure wrote about the importance of travel agents in May 2015, they cited trips like a 32-person, two week, six city trip across India as an example that highlights a travel agent’s indispensability.2 While one may appreciate the services provided to make this trip possible, it is not a relatable scenario to most travelers. Yet, according to IBIS World, the travel agency industry is growing once again and showing signs of a broad turn to experts to help plan travel.3

We see four trends that will increase demand for travel agents in the near future:

  1. OTAs that serve endless choices, not solutions
  2. The possibility for better, more personalized recommendations powered by big data and artificial intelligence (AI)
  3. A new generation of travelers who have come of age on mobile devices
  4. The ongoing premium placed on 'authenticity'

When it comes to booking, our study showed 79% of individuals want customization and ease. The majority (56%) of those surveyed have used a travel agent in the past, citing deals, time savings, and expert advice as the best reasons to use a travel agent. Of those who had not used an agent, 30% didn’t do so because they enjoyed the planning process and 25% found it to be too expensive. Another 21% said, “I trust myself more.”

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Importantly, frequent travelers value an agent’s expertise and ability to save time, whereas infrequent ones value an agent’s ability to save money and stress. While 85% of individuals are willing to have another party help plan their trip, agencies need to help consumers understand more clearly how they offer personalization that demonstrates desirable ROI.

Traditional travel agents should also be warned of new services like Lola, which fuse a chat interface, AI and human expertise to generate trips.

Lola offers a glimpse at the future of travel agencies – personal, immediate and delivered through a chat interface. The brand deliberately avoids the data tables that plague almost all other booking experiences. It is the only travel experience we know of that is built for an audience who has come of age conversing through mobile intermediaries.

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Key Takeaways:

  • A combination of AI and human expertise is about to disrupt the travel agency industry.
  • Travelers are receptive to planning assistance for an agent provided there is demonstrable ROI (time saved, money saved, expertise, or personalization).

To learn more, download our newest Whitepaper, ‘Targeting Moments of Need in the new Travel Landscape’ – here.

January 19, 2017

Talking Is The New Interface To Everything

why-talking.jpegChatbots are nothing new, but there have been some significant changes to make chatbots the hot new marketing platform like mobile messaging apps, artificial intelligence, and voice tech. Bot-enabled conversation will quickly become the new digital interface. Not the browser. Not smartphone apps. Bots. And voice will become the dominant input method.

 

Welcome to the conversation frontier.

January 19, 2017

Lousy Ads Are Ruining The Online Experience

why-lousyads.jpgThe advertising-supported model online is broken, and is threatening the whole online content experience with it. It’s no easy task to either make money online as a publisher or to advertise your product in a world where attention is so fleeting and divided. But the current system of ad-supported web content isn’t working for readers and viewers. It needs to be reset.

 

The alternative is elusive.

January 19, 2017

The Great Unbundling

why-unbundling.pngTo say that the Internet has changed the media business is so obvious. It turns out that the impact of the Internet — and the outlook for the future — differs considerably depending on what part of the media industry you look at. Most of the changes in the last three years were simply laying the groundwork for actual shifts in behavior. Once those shifts start to happen in earnest, there will be feedback loops in everything from advertising to content production to consumption that will accelerate the changes, resulting in a transformed media landscape that will impact all parts of society.

 

The end is nearer than you think.

January 19, 2017

Intel To Invest $100m In Retail Tech Anchored By IoT, Data-Led Platform

why-intel.jpgIntel is planning to invest over $100 million in the retail industry over the next five years and at the heart of that is the Intel Responsive Retail Platform (RRP), an IoT solution that will take retail to the next era of highly efficient and personalized shopping. Through RFID, video, radio and other sensors, it will enable easy, holistic integration, help to deliver a 360-degree viewpoint of retail from the store floor through the supply chain, and deliver real-time, actionable insights.

 

The haves (data) and the have not.

January 18, 2017

BLITZ Expands Leadership Team with New EVP of Client Services and Brand Leadership

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Tom Richards, with more than 20 years of industry experience, has joined the BLITZ team from M&C Saatchi. Richards will lead the BLITZ client services and delivery groups in addition to its integrated strategy relationships across all offices, including LA, New York and Boston. “Tom is a forward thinking, strategic and passionate thought leader who has worked with some of the world’s top brands in a wide range of categories,” notes Ivan Todorov, co-founder and CEO at BLITZ. “His experience and background will be instrumental in helping cement our commitment to brand-first leadership in an integrated, digitally-led marketing world.”

Welcome Tom!

January 18, 2017

Survey Finds US Teens Upped Daily Facebook Usage in 2016

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The November 2016 survey by UBS Evidence Lab found that 65% of teens said they used Facebook daily, up from 59% in November 2014. And despite concerns that teens are abandoning Facebook for other social networks, daily usage among teens remains higher for Facebook than for any other social network, including Snapchat and Instagram.

Facebook’s utility continues to drive usage.

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