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Positioning in the traveller’s mind

Di Emilio De Risi, 24 marzo 2016

I am not under the influence of a book by Dick or Orwell, but a piece of news I found interesting in this period was the television advertising investment made by two large hotel companies such as Marriott and Hilton. The goal was to increase direct booking through the corporate website.
I have never particularly cared for those who turn everything into a positioning war. Until a few years ago, many web fundamentalists used to denigrate television advertising investments.
The main never-ending discussion was about the actual measurability of Internet traffic as opposed to television traffic based on Auditel estimates. In short, you had to take sides with either the offline or the online party.
But, in the world of the web, time is measured in dog years, each being equivalent to seven. Things have been changing fast, and several online players have reached out to growing audiences by investing in television advertising campaigns. Why? Simply because TV campaigns do work, when they are well devised and managed.
In our country, Trivago was among the first to utilise television advertising. And they did it well. Trivago achieved a good positioning in the people’s mind, including the untechnological.
Then the message changed from “the best hotel for the best price” to “we know everything about hotels”, a very interesting repositioning. And the German company has been joined over time by other large businesses on the web scene.
In this context, we now find out that two giants of the hotel industry are investing in television. Very well! I hope that some portions of their budgets will move to Italy, and that others will follow suit.
In fact, an educational approach is what we need, and it can benefit from such powerful media as television. It should register in people’s minds, in travellers’ minds, that booking through a company’s website is just as effective as using an online travel agency. Then, of course, if this educational approach leads some people to the hotel websites and they find that direct booking is a tortuous, slow and not at all reassuring process… well, then we will start again from square one.

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