Brands competing for the U.S. travel and tourism dollar can tap into a multifaceted new trove of consumer data to gain previously unobtainable detail and specificity as to the “where,” “when,” “why” and “how much” of American travelers’ comings and goings.
Here are some of the questions you can pose to travelers whose movements from city to city – and from place to place within a destination city — you can follow thanks to new levels of accuracy in smartphone location-tracking technology, combined with a proprietary mobile panel whose members are willing to be tracked along Path to Purchase and respond quickly to surveys that reach them in the right places at the right times.
– When travelers arrive in a city and check into a hotel, but then switch lodgings during the same trip, what’s happened to make them go to the trouble of moving around? Location tracking tells you when they’ve switched and where they’ve gone; survey them immediately while the “why” and its related emotions are fresh in mind.
– Why do leisure travelers who are vacationing in a city pick one of its big attractions over another? And if they experience more than one of a city’s competing attractions, which one did they enjoy more – and why? Field surveys to location-validated tourists who have been to one or more leading attractions during their stay.
– What kinds of incentives will persuade convention-goers to venture beyond an event’s immediate environs to sample restaurants and other attractions elsewhere in the host city? Identify those who venture more deeply into a city through location tracking, and see what they have to say; compare them to those who stay close to the confab.
Answers to questions such as these are obtainable now, thanks to a unique pairing of Big Data and traditional survey methodology. Often portrayed as antagonists, Big Data and survey research have been brought together as complementary partners to deliver insights that neither could provide without the other.
On the Big Data front, smartphones’ location tracking traces pathways taken in real time by members of a proprietary panel of more than 1.3 million active U.S. members.
On the traditional, survey-based research front, effectiveness still depends on the panel’s diversity, representativeness and engagement, as it has since long before “Big Data” became a buzzword.
– Consumers must be willing to opt in to have their locations tracked.
– If properly engaged, they’ll respond readily when they receive surveys at times and places that are relevant to a client’s research.
– An engaging experience is indispensable to building and maintaining a panel whose demographic and ethnographic depth and diversity can support careful segmentation and sophisticated projects.
Unlike traditional online surveys and “mobile-web” surveys housed on the internet, response rates and engagement won’t erode when the panel congregates around a trusted survey app. With panel consistency and growth assured, a great research app can be continually refined and developed to give insights professionals decisive new capabilities.
The pairing of timely Big Data location data with traditional consumer insights methodology opens new research doorways into the $836.6 billion or more Americans spend annually on domestic travel for business or pleasure, as estimated by the U.S. Travel Assn. If you’re working to increase your brand’s or client’s share of that pie, we have lots to talk about. Just get in touch by clicking here.