The mUmBRELLA Travel Conference, Top 4 Take-Outs

The inaugural mUmBRELLA travel marketing summit was jammed packed yesterday with media owners, marketers, and agencies all sharing their collective wisdom on the travel category.

But as you find with conferences, while there was a lot of talk, what were the major takeout’s?


1. Instagram, Instagram!


It was the word on every panellist’s lips.

Since the launch of the Instagram advertising product, Instagram is now being seen by marketers as a proper business solution. Sophie Blachford, Head of Brand Development at Instagram, spoke of the need for brands to have a clear and consistent point of view. For travel clients, the point of view needs to transport the viewer.

What was evident in the chat was that Instagram heralds the return to the older media principals of print, but through the big impactful image focused digital platform. What wasn’t discussed in length though is that while travel is the perfect fit for Instagram, it’s not always easy to convey the POV. In particular, harder for travel service providers (Helloworld, Flight Centre).

Destination sells, but the creative used in this non-clickable environment needs to have the balance between aspiration and the key brand point of view. Instagram talks about brands that do this well not needing the caption or logo to tell the brand story, it’s all done in the image.

Watch travel brands continue to explore this new space creatively.


2. Native or Editorial


Consensus throughout the day was that if any category should be nailing content, it should be travel.

From Media Watch to John Oliver, there has been a lot of discussion (and slandering) of native advertising and more traditional advertorial.

One of the panellists in this discussion summarised it pretty well saying marketers need to understand the fundamentals between the two. One is creating your own content and hosting yourself (playing by your own rules), the other is renting space (playing by their rules).

Examples of great worked ranged from Tourism Australia’s Making Tracks to more recent examples such as AirBnB’s Pineapple magazine.

The conclusion being that brands need to be creating their own content that offers value and is what people want to read, this should be much easier to do than any other category.

Native should simply be a part of a brands content puzzle. And as long as it’s good, people won’t care what type it is.


3. The Power of The Influencer


Influencer trips and blogger involvement aren’t new to travel. Families have been ingrained in travel advertising for a long while.

Where marketers however can get stuck is in the process of using influencers, approaching them with a premade strategy and planning to just leverage their reach.

The panel including The Remarkables and Lorraine Elliott, spoke of the need to engage influencers earlier and to leverage off their individual style.

All panellists stressed this point that the value of the influencer is lost if you approach them with it all thought up.


4. Act on Fact


And finally, act on fact. A common theme throughout the day.

Kim Portrate spoke of the data driven business of advertising meaning brands need to be acting on the facts. Olivia Wirth also spoke of the need to understand the social media response, not try and change it.

The Accor example of location based social media monitoring, interacting with guests while they are on the property was a great real life example of this principal.

A great day, filled with lots of information to soak in. Bring on next year’s!

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