Understanding the usage of information communication technology for marketing and distribution strategyatTrip Advisor
Task: Choose an on-line hospitality/travel/tourism product supplier to conduct investigative research to understand their marketing and distribution strategy. You also require providing an improvise strategy to stay competitive in the global market. Describe the product mix of your chosen brand. Explain how the brand takes advantage of available technologies and platforms (i.e., Third party Distribution, SEM, SEO etc). Analyse and explain their market distribution strategies. Make a recommendation as to how the travel product supplier of your investigation can improve their distribution strategy
The Internet has brought a lot of changes in the tourism industry over the last decade. It has helped various brands to come online and showcase their products to their customers. Brands have been able to market themselves much better than they used to before due to the rise of the internet. The Internet serves as a vehicle for the worldwide circulation and low-cost delivery of tourism-related audiovisual content (Sangkaewand Zhu, 2022). It also enables the customer by providing tailor-made goods that are customized to their specific requirements, connecting the barrier between the customer and the destination/supply in a dynamic and participatory manner. One such brand is “Trip Advisor”, it is one of the most popular tourism websites on the internet as of now and there are multiple products and benefits which the company provides to its consumers. This report mentions all the product mix in the market that Trip Advisor has and also the online advantage it has over its competitors. The Market Distribution Strategies are also mentioned including a few recommendations for future growth.
TripAdvisor is indeed a popular tourism portal that provides knowledge, opinions, and booking choices for tourism destinations, hotels, and vacations. TripAdvisor's offerings are travel-related merchandise with broad exposure and regional accessibility. The major services in its product portfolio of the marketing mix are restaurant guidance specifics, hotel accommodations, flight and transport online booking, vacation rental amenities, perfect places to take a trip, and guidance for new travelers, which also provides thorough recommendations and guidance on where to reside, which places to go out and eat, what are the fun activities to take part in and what are the best ways to travel and enjoy the vacation to the fullest (Orea-Giner et al., 2022). The website is chock-full of reviews and comments regarding resorts, eateries, destinations to visit, and things to avoid. The website is jam-packed with photos, videos, and professional writings on renowned and undiscovered locations, among other things. TripAdvisor makes use of user/visitor-generated information.
Including all these the website also provides business products for Hotels and Restaurants. Hotels and restaurants can easily choose which reviews to show first to the customers and which would help them to attract more people to them. Restaurants can put on their special menu and those reviews on the page to attract more customers. Instant booking — for hotels is also another product that the brand provides to businesses. They charge around 12 – 15% of the booking charge which has happened through TripAdvisor. There is no upfront cost or membership, therefore the consumer only has to pay for reservations that they receive from the hotels.
TripAdvisor premium — for restaurants is a service that is provided to all the restaurants for that travel place. The product's major emphasis is on enabling restaurant owners to personalize the initial image that customers receive once they come on the page. This is especially crucial on smartphones and in eateries, where judgments are taken relatively fast than in accommodations (Filieri et al., 2020). Also, there is a review hub that provides all the opinions that are being posted by different people about the restaurant’s ambiance, food, and hospitality they are providing. This helps in making good decisions and helps the restaurants also to keep a good hospitality service.
TripAdvisor makes it obvious that, although their solutions are designed to provide businesses more flexibility over the presentation of their offerings, they would not enable anyone to alter consumer comments or offer a misleading picture to their consumers. If a business has paid for a promoted placement, TripAdvisor consumers would be aware of that as well. One would therefore not be allowed to delete comments merely because someone disagrees with them - the guidelines apply to everyone - and one must need to follow the same process as regular clients if they believe a reviewer is blackmailing or treating the institution inappropriately.
TripAdvisor acts as a virtual travel agent that anyone can access from anywhere in the world. It is like a personalized guide that is free of cost for the consumers. They can get all the details in one place without contacting hundreds of people. The brand has made sure that they use good technologies which would help them grow and attract more people to its website. TripAdvisor uses social media sites to market themselves lot (Reyes-Menendez, Sauraand Martinez-Navalon 2019). They make videos and photo collages of all the pictures and videos which are uploaded by the people in their portal. This helps the company to attract more consumers as they gain a sense of trust through all these posts that the brand makes online.
One more strong point about TripAdvisor is they use a lot of SEOS. SEO is nothing but search engine optimization. Whenever someone searches for something related to travel or booking TripAdvisor would be one of the top three related searches for them. TripAdvisor mainly depends on Google for traffic, and because of its outstanding SEO approach, TripAdvisor appears - front and center - on nearly every travel-related search. This is not by chance. TripAdvisor's staff has made a variety of incredibly successful decisions which have enabled the travel site to maintain its industry-leading reputation (Nilashi et al., 2018). The brand has focused on correct keywords and proper search research which has helped them to gain so. They have focused on the main highlights of what a person who is looking for a travel plan needs. TripAdvisor does not target only travelers who are looking for vacations but also people who are out on business trips and other work-related plans which gives them an upper hand over their competitors in the online space.
Firstly, Trip Advisor's commitment to SEO has established a positive feedback loop where its favorable query rank assists the firm in achieving a greater share of prospective and recurring consumers. Furthermore, after being accepted into Trip Advisor's active group, fresh customers frequently feel compelled to contribute to the community which enabled them to arrange such a lovely journey in the very first place. TripAdvisor will strive to consolidate its position at the top of travel queries with much more elevated and new material that resonates with the mechanisms of key search engines, attracting additional content-generating visitors.
Market Distribution Strategies
There are various distribution channels through which TripAdvisor has built such a strong online presence and has been leading the online travel space. Social Media is one of the 1st things which TripAdvisor used to make people aware of them. For example, Facebook – People post all their travel images on Facebook and used to show the world how much they enjoy them. TripAdvisor used to use all these images and videos of the posts that the user use to make and present them a video for free (Valdivia et al., 2019). The user decides to share that with everyone or keep it to themselves but still maximum of people used to share that which made their brand name more popular and known among people. Many of these people did not even use TripAdvisor for the travel still they shared those videos so indirectly people felt may be TripAdvisor may have helped them to book this travel or they might be using TripAdvisor for travel.
Tripadvisor's finest business model has been to provide a free service for consumers to use the website and input information that the firm values. As a result, numerous travel-related businesses want to put their material on their website. As a consequence, numerous businesses that must market anything online have discovered that Tripadvisor provides a smooth landing since it already has a huge audience following that these businesses are seeking.
The brand’s targeted customers are all traveling fanatics who utilize any os gadget to obtain online assistance for travel services (Laksono et al., 2018). As a result, they created application platforms that seem to be interoperable with all primary operating systems, including Windows computers, Android OS, watchOS, and iOS. The firm has webpages in China, Canada, Thailand, Turkey, Russia, Singapore, Portugal, Serbia, Mexico, Spain, Poland, Indonesia, The Netherlands, Japan, Greece, Ireland, the United States, and the United Kingdom, among other locations. This helps them to be diversified and have a greater audience base.
There are certain things that TripAdvisor can do in the future to make their distribution more prominent and gain more customers on their website. Having personalized local content based on regions is something they can do. The brand should post on social media platforms about local things, not just popular stuff in an area but local fun things which would not cost travellers much and would also give them a beautiful experience (Jezierski, 2020). They should also make videos and blogs of local things in an area and tell travellers to experience them for free. The brand can start doing it from the travellers who are already booking travel and they include these local fun elements in their travel plan without any costs. This would not only help the brand to market them but also promote local cuisines and culture among travellers.
It can be concluded that TripAdvisor has used the internet in the right way to gain an advantage within the tourism market. They always value their customers first have been doing so every day. They are providing services not only to the consumers but also to accommodations and eateries. They have solved the bridge between travellers and accommodations and eateries. TripAdvisor provides a whole travel plan without even having a physical travel agency. They have been doing it online since the 2000s and over the last decade, they have been number one in the online travel space.
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Jezierski, A. (2020). Managing reputation on TripAdvisor–a case study of Cracow’s hotel market. StudiaPeriegetica, 29, 9-27. Accessed from:https://bibliotekanauki.pl/articles/1391083.pdf
Laksono, R. A., Sungkono, K. R., Sarno, R., andWahyuni, C. S. (2019, July). Sentiment analysis of restaurant customer reviews on TripAdvisor using Naïve Bayes. In 2019 12th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology and System (ICTS) (pp. 49-54). IEEE. Accessed from:https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rachmawan-Adi-Laksono/publication/336152347_Sentiment_Analysis_of_Restaurant_Customer_Reviews_on_TripAdvisor_using_Naive_Bayes/links/5df2b01aa6fdcc28371d1c96/Sentiment-Analysis-of-Restaurant-Customer-Reviews-on-TripAdvisor-using-Naive-Bayes.pdf
Nilashi, M., Ibrahim, O., Yadegaridehkordi, E., Samad, S., Akbari, E., and Alizadeh, A. (2018). Travelers decision making using online review in social network sites: A case on TripAdvisor. Journal of computational science, 28, 168-179. Accessed from:https://www.academia.edu/download/58725508/Traveler_decision_making.pdf
Orea-Giner, A., Fuentes-Moraleda, L., Villacé-Molinero, T., Munoz-Mazón, A., and Calero-Sanz, J. (2022). Does the implementation of robots in hotels influence the overall TripAdvisor rating? A text mining analysis from the industry 5.0 approach. Tourism Management, 93, 104586. Accessed from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261517722000991
Reyes-Menendez, A., Saura, J. R., and Martinez-Navalon, J. G. 2019. The impact of e-WOM on hotels management reputation: exploring tripadvisor review credibility with the ELM model. IEEE Access, 7, 68868-68877. Accessed from:https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/iel7/6287639/6514899/08723076.pdf
Sangkaew, N., and Zhu, H. 2022. Understanding tourists’ experiences at local markets in Phuket: An analysis of TripAdvisor reviews. Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality and Tourism, 23(1), 89-114. Accessed from:https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Nichapat-Sangkaew/publication/347109533_Understanding_Tourists'_Experiences_at_Local_Markets_in_Phuket_An_Analysis_of_TripAdvisor_Reviews/links/6047782aa6fdcc9c78220b32/Understanding-Tourists-Experiences-at-Local-Markets-in-Phuket-An-Analysis-of-TripAdvisor-Reviews.pdf
Valdivia, A., Hrabova, E., Chaturvedi, I., Luzón, M. V., Troiano, L., Cambria, E., and Herrera, F. 2019. Inconsistencies on TripAdvisor reviews: A unified index between users and Sentiment Analysis Methods. Neurocomputing, 353, 3-16. Accessed from:https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WZ6rE1DWmE4vTxjb9-bNIPAh3HuoPu7w/view