Little more than six months ago, the one topic that kept travel executives awake at night was Google increasingly siphoning off industry profits by moving deeper and deeper into the travelers’ user funnel.
It took a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic to turn the entire industry dynamic upside down. With travel coming to a complete standstill during spring 2020, travel companies cut marketing spending down to literally zero.
But travel will eventually come back – although possibly not in the same shape and size – and previous crises in travel have shown that players that most aggressively captured Google’s search traffic during the recovery phase ended up on the winning side of history.
This begs the question: With travel companies having the unique opportunity to hit the marketing reset button, will they swing back to their old investment habits once travelers hit the road or will they throw away the old search marketing playbook and try to rewrite their user acquisition strategy from scratch?
Add to the mix the current roar of battle drums between the travel industry and Google due to the search giant’s inflexible stance on outstanding invoices despite the pandemic-driven cash crunch – could this be the proverbial drop that spills the glass triggering a change in paradigm?
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