“Where do you want to go?” This is the question that every travel review site and online travel agency (OTA) asks when you visit their site. If you’re a traveler who knows where you want to go, the user-directed search model works. However, if you’re a marketer of travel there are three fundamental problems with the current stable of online marketing options available to you. Commoditization The first problem is this approach ultimately leads to commoditization and lower profits. According to a recent PhoCusWright survey, a full 36% of users cite, “Looking for the lowest price” as the primary reason for using an OTA. Look up your favorite OTA; every one of them has some variation of “Cheap”, “Save” or “Best Price” attached to their brand. These sites can drive bookings from predisposed users shopping for a deal, but they offer limited options to tell your brand story and build value. This limited ability to build your value is by design. This makes your price point a key factor in the traveler’s decision making process. Customer Experience User experience is another issue. According to the same survey, direct booking enjoyed a 93% user satisfaction rating compared to a 51% satisfaction rating among those using OTA’s. Clearly, focusing on the direct channel will yield much higher profit margins and user satisfaction. As such, at DreamPlanGo we’re strong advocates of helping travel brands build direct relationships with their audience through content marketing tactics that serve to nurture those users along their journey to becoming a customer. Get the full story at Breaking Travel News