Digital Marketing Perspective: How online travel agencies cope with COVID-19 BUSINESS Halal Tourism The impact of COVID-19
by Azer Suleymanov
Digital Marketing and Advertising Manager at HalalTravels.com
The impact of COVID-19 on online travel agencies has been unprecedented. Many big companies and startups are now out of the business.
The world of online travel is constantly trying to understand what the means of coping with the crisis are and what businesses can do to better manage economic and health crisis. There is a huge level of uncertainty about the future, but travel agencies should be better prepared for the post-COVID-19 era in terms of awareness, engagement, sales, and customer loyalty.
It is a common practice in the online travel business to cut marketing budget during the times of crisis. The consequences of such actions are often destructive and cannot be reversed. It is worth mentioning that cutting marketing investment disrupts access to the market meaning that the potentially existing demand will be missed. It is fundamental to remind ourselves that marketing is now more important than ever. We have seen many online travel agencies following the “cut your by Azer Suleymanov Digital Marketing and Advertising Manager at HalalTravels.com marketing budget to save” strategy, which is not the core philosophy at HalalTravels.com during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is evident that the return on investment for sales-oriented campaigns launched by online travel agencies is not the same as it was in the prepandemic times. So why businesses should be optimistic about investing in marketing even more during these hard times and how that is even doable? Investing in marketing even more or at least wisely maintaining or slightly cutting the previous spending levels may potentially guarantee a headstart in the digital domain when the global economy fully recovers. It is important to note that companies should not perceive the term “investment” in terms of campaign spend only. It is more about working on improving the performance of website search engines, advancing marketing technology and automation.
More resources should also be dedicated to data analysis which is a cornerstone of online travel agencies along with information technologies. Moreover, we should also start seriously considering app-based amenities which are going to be in demand during and after the Covid-19 crisis. It is a wise choice to continue spending on bottom funnel campaigns such as raising awareness and interest and deploying significant resources to user engagement activities.
Researchers have found that brands can speed up their recovery post-recession by building brand value and awareness during the recession. We see many companies turning to content marketing to drive engagement through organic and direct traffic. The current conditions of the market predict that sales campaigns will probably be reduced or will be considering a fraction of the limited demand for services offered by OTA's. This is a great opportunity to improve processes and start instilling and further developing the “digital” culture within travel agencies so to be better prepared for the future because tomorrow is going to be different from the pre-COVID-19 era.
The management of HalalTravels.com along with its highly professional marketing team is currently investing in the company’s core technology, data analysis and marketing infrastructure to better serve its customers in the post-COVID-19 era.
We truly believe that this approach will bring benefits to our customers all over the world.