Travel and leisure marketing: Americans are doing more online besides search for information.

Online viewing habits are shifting from searching for information to socializing.

    Your customers are not spending as much time searching for your business online as last year.

    If you’re the CMO of a travel or leisure brand trying to find your customers online, I have good news and bad news.

    First the good news:  they’re spending more time in leisure activities like gaming and social networking.  Now the bad news:  they’re harder to reach through traditional online media like search portals.

    According to several recent Nielson surveys, social networking and gaming now take up one-third of our time.

    Americans spend almost 25% of their time online on social networking sites and blogs, an increase of 43% from a year ago.

    The findings of the latest Nielson report:

  • We spend 10% of our time gaming, a 10% increase from 2009.
  • We spend 8% of our time with email, down 28% from a year ago.
  • We spend 4.4% at internet portals like google and yahoo, a 19% decline from 2009.

    Our online viewing habits are changing in other ways, too.

  • Of the most heavily used sectors, online viewing of videos and movies grew by 12 percent from 3.5 to 3.9 percent.
  • June 2010 was a major milestone for U.S. online video as the number of videos streamed passed the 10 billion mark.
  • The average American consumer streaming online video spent 3 hours 15 minutes doing so during the month.
  • Despite some predictions otherwise, email remains as the third heaviest activity online.
  • Although the major portals also experienced a double-digit decline in share, they remained as the fourth heaviest activity, accounting for 4.4 percent of U.S. time online.

If your travel and leisure marketing is targeted online, you have several options here:

  • Become a sponsor of online gaming sites.
  • Devote more of your marketing resources to developing a Facebook and Twitter strategy.
  • Create your own online gaming and social marketing opportunities, including custom games and discussion boards on your website.

You can check out a more complete summary of the report at the Nielson blog.

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