THERE are two camps in travel and tourism: those who spend and don’t measure, hoping it will go well and those who have the metrics in place, but don’t do anything with it due to a lack of time or know how. Very few take the final step to action this.
As a result, there is a lot of precious budget wastage, says Bronwyn White, Tourism Futurist and co-founder of MyTravelResearch.com.
“Look at the bins at the exit of travel trade and travel consumer shows. They are overflowing with discarded brochures. It’s completely wasteful and makes me mad. That budget could’ve been allocated elsewhere – such as on a hard working and finely tuned website,” she says.
Her position is that in the digital age where it is easy to connect with interested travellers, one must question the ROI of every dollar and hour spent on a campaign.
Measuring ROI on your website
White says your website is your “shop front and your face,” so make it work for your business. To do so, you need to determine exactly what you are measuring and align this to your business goals. Typically this means measuring revenue, visitation and costs.
Google Analytics makes it easy and free to measure and track your website stats. It allows you to link them to specific goals and measure success.
First, White recommends that you establish a website tracking cycle that allows you to:
1. Determine your overall strategy with both long and short term goals
2. Establish a baseline by recording your data and statistics (take into account seasonal fluctuations and exceptional occurrences)
3. Proceed with tactical execution
4. Collect data over a period of time
5. Compare baseline data to the new data
6. Refine and adjust your campaign
This way tourism marketers will be able to measure goals such as sales, leads, revenue, blog post hits, and audience development.
The beauty of online backed by Google Analytics is that it allows you to measure criteria such as online purchases, filled out contact forms, sign-ups to newsletters, PDF downloads, number of visitors to the site, traffic by keyword, search engine or mobile, and geographic location, among many other useful measurements.
White says that by following the above guidelines you can go on to tweak and refine your campaign goals. “This is the digital age, so you can rinse and repeat for measurable ROI business success driven by your website,” she says.
Next week the MyTravelResearch.com co-founder will look in depth at measuring ROI in social media.
Marketers can read White’s full blog on website and social media ROI here.
ROI will also be addressed in full when MyTravelResearch.com releases its upcoming Tourism Marketing Plan Blueprint with its ‘done for you’ easy to use templates.