Video, smart technology, and social media have changed the way people travel and see the world. Businesses are constantly researching trends and gaining insight into consumer behavior in order to find the optimum channels to reach them. Brian King, Marriott International’s Global Brand Officer for Marriott Endorsed Brands, revealed key findings today from a brand new ethnographic research study on what the next generation looks for in travel and the forms of advertising that best reach them. Speaking at IAB Mixx as a part of Advertising Week in New York, King shared an inside look into how Marriott brands design and create effective strategies to reach target guests.
Marriott International, in partnership with Tremor Video (NYSE: TRMR), MEC and SonicRim, created the study entitled Video Lives 2013, an annual study conducted by Tremor Video to better understand the role that video plays in the lives of consumers around the globe. King shared three key learnings:
Co-creation: Embrace your customers and employees as co-creators. Today’s consumers know what they want. What’s more, they want an active role in the decisions that affect their experiences. They want their voices to be heard and their preferences to be considered whenever and wherever they choose. Interaction with media and advertising is completely different today – it is multi-dimensional and brands must constantly adapt and push the limits on creativity to gain connection with their dynamic consumers. Co-creation begins at home. Today’s children do their own research and bring knowledge to their parents, who view the information through their lens of life experience and wisdom. It’s these types of co-creative relationships that suggest frameworks for designing more immersive, relevant advertising.
Authentic Experiences: Great advertising is experiential, not transactional. Travelers are looking for information not only from their family and friends, but also from brand experts – balancing professional opinions with personal advice. As a result, every marketer should be thinking about his/her brand from a 360-degree experiential point of view. Brands that do this are effective as they take into account how consumers experience the world every day. Furthermore, the study shows that advertisements need to be emotional, and perhaps most importantly, shareable.
Serendipitous Discovery: Design for Serendipitous Discovery. The study shows that consumers are okay with advertisers tracking them, as long as it improves their overall experience and delivers relevant and timely content. Consumers value intentional searches and serendipity as ways of discovering new information. Marketers need to use this learning to strike a balance between technology that knows what consumers are doing at all times with serendipitous discovery and freedom of choice. They also need to deliver an experience across all platforms and devices. Effective advertising expands the boundaries of people’s current understanding of what they need and what is possible.
“The great findings from this new study will be instrumental as we continue to develop our cross-platform marketing strategy,” said King. “Marriott Hotels’ recently launched Travel Brilliantly campaign is a perfect example of inviting our guests and influencers to participate in an authentic co-creation platform that allows for serendipitous discovery. We are redefining what marketing means in today’s world and using the results from this study to help us do so.”