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travel & tourism

How Brands Can Use an Endorser’s Smile More Effectively

  • JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH

A study on endorsers’ smiles in service-brand marketing brings new relevance to the slogan, “Service with a smile.” But which type is more effective, broad or slight? Researchers analyzed these two different types of smiles and found that they resonated differently, depending on how consumers relate to other people and the brand. Service marketers can use the study’s methods to more easily develop and test their spokesperson’s smile.

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NYCU: Companies Adjust Predictive Models in Wake of Covid

FedEx and other firms are leaning more heavily on real-time, live data to gauge demand while paying less attention to measures obtained during the pandemic.  Companies reliant on complex algorithms to gauge customer demand, set prices or fine-tune supply chains are putting less weight on data generated during the coronavirus pandemic, as many consider it to be skewed. Companies in sectors such as travel, retail and logistics that saw wild swings in consumer behavior over the past year—from canceled vacations and business trips—to a surge in online shopping and home deliveries. As the economy opens, they are dealing with chaotic trend lines that complicate forecasting efforts. To adjust, many of these companies are leaning more heavily on real-time data to feed predictive software models, including live website activity or online and mobile searches, corporate data chiefs and industry analysts say. Sriram Krishnasamy, FedEx Corp.’s SVP of strategic programs and chief executive of the analytics unit at FedEx Dataworks, said traditional historic data became unreliable during the pandemic. This saw an abrupt increase in home-delivery orders from homebound shoppers and caused shipping delays. Real-time data sources offer a “bird’s eye view” of market changes as they unfold, Krishnasamy said. In a Forrester Research Inc. survey last fall, 64% of (roughly) 200 North American analytics and measurement professionals said their firms relied more heavily on real-time insights drawn from user behavior on their websites. That’s up from less than half in 2019. Beyond replacing older sources of data, about a quarter of companies surveyed are quickly retraining AI-powered predictive models because of data drift.  “As customer behavior changed almost overnight, the historical data used to train these models no longer reflected this new reality,” said Forrester’s Principal Analyst, Brandon Purcell. Source: Loten, A. (July 1, 2021). Companies Adjust Predictive Models in Wake of Covid FedEx and other firms are leaning more heavily on real-time live data to gauge demand. The Wall Street Journal.    

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NYCU: Most Americans Are Returning to Normal

With COVID cases at their lowest level since March 2020 and almost 180 million Americans at least partially vaccinated, a sense of normalcy is spreading throughout the United States, just in time for Independence Day. Happy 4th! As the chart shows, more and more Americans feel ready to return to certain activities that have been severely limited over the past year. According to Morning Consult’s “Return-to-Normal Tracking,” the share of U.S. adults that would feel comfortable to go on vacation, eat out, watch a movie or go to a mall is currently the highest it’s been in the past 12 months, with more than half of respondents now ready to do either of the aforementioned. Source: Richter, F. (2021, June 25). Americans Increasingly Ready for a Return to Normal. Statista.    

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NYCU: In Brief--Come Back to New York City

“Please Come Back” (To New York City) A $30 million promotional campaign, aimed at luring back all the visitors who vanished during the pandemic, is about to get underway. Source: McGeehan, P.  (2021, June 24). New York City Reluctant Tourists: Please Come Back. New York Times. (Note: Only subscribers of the New York Times can read the full article).

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NYCU: In Brief -- Streaming Services Pricing; Travel Trends

Streaming Services/Pricing Source: Oscar, M. (2021, June 14). Streaming Services/Pricing. HocuFocus.   First, the Good News  – Travel Rebound: Two million people went through US airports on June 11. The Transportation Security Administration announced Saturday that 2.03 million travelers were screened at airport checkpoints last Friday. It was the first time in 15 months that the number of security screenings surpassed two million in a single day. Source: Koenig, D. (2021, June 12). Travel rebound: 2 million people go through US airports. AP.   But there is also Sad News – The American Way magazine is ceasing publication. American's in-flight magazine started in early 1966. The publication eventually served as many as 16 million passengers. American joined Delta and Southwest, which stopped publishing their magazines during the pandemic and decided against bringing them back. American Airlines now offers 600 movies and television shows and recently added a new lifestyle channel that includes free language lessons from Rosetta Stone. Passengers can stream them to their smartphones, tablets, laptops and other electronic devices for free.   Source: Gilbertson, D. (2021, June 10). End of an era: American Airlines is retiring its in-flight magazine, joining Delta and Southwest. USA Today.  

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NYCU: The Ad Industry Comeback

The advertising industry, plagued last year by pandemic-driven budget cuts, is poised to return stronger than ever in 2021 and beyond, according to several new forecasts. The quick turnaround means that the ad market is recovering faster than it did following the 2008 recession.   "In 2021, the American advertising industry is poised to regain all that it lost in 2020 and more," wrote GroupM's Brian Wieser. Beyond the general economic recovery, analysts are also optimistic that in-person activities, like sporting events, live entertainment and travel, will return faster-than-expected, driving marketing opportunities. The summer Olympics is expected to drive $800m of incremental revenue this year, per Magna. Magna expects that the strongest ad spend growth rates will come from the travel, automotive, beverages and movies categories. The big picture: The pandemic has expedited the migration from analog media to digital, and the same effect can be seen in the advertising market. Digital advertising was resilient during the pandemic, thanks in large part to small businesses leaning into e-commerce, and favoring the likes of tech giants Google, Amazon, Facebook and others. Traditional publishers on the other hand, "barely stabilized digital ad sales," per Magna. Source: Fischer, S. (2021, April 13). Ad industry expected to make a major COVID comeback. Axios.  

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NYCU: The Pandemic’s Uneven Effect on Spending

Consumer spending quickly recovered from the initial shock, returning to growth as early as June, but spending on services is still more than 5 percent off pre-pandemic levels. The reasoning behind these numbers is straightforward: As the pandemic severely limited people’s option to spend on services such as restaurant visits, travel and other leisure activities, which were either restricted or advised against, they shifted their spending to physical goods, trying to adjust to life with the coronavirus.  And while it’s certainly positive to see overall spending levels recover relatively quickly, the sluggish recovery of consumer spending on services is cause for concern. In 2019, personal consumption expenditure on services accounted for 47 percent of the gross domestic product, making it by far the biggest contributor to the country’s economic output. Source: Richter, F. (2020, December 14). The Pandemic's Uneven Effect on Consumer Spending. Per Capita Expenditure, Consumer Spending: Statista.  U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis  

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NYCU: Flying During the “New Normal”

During “ARF at Advertising Week”, LATAM Airlines described how that hard-hit sector is preparing for the “new normal” after the pandemic through consumer research. André D’Abreu, Head of Marketing Intelligence at LATAM Airlines, shared how they continued to engage with their customers while they were not flying and conducted research into people's perception around flying and COVID-19, to better understand how to assuage their customers' concerns. One of the key insights from the research was that their customers care more about safety measures than price. They also preparing for the “new normal” with this research and gained insights that influenced LATAM's communication and CX plan. André noted that "people need to trust that what we are doing is relevant and doing more than what we need to do."   Source:  D’Abreu, A. (2020, October 6). “CX in COVID-19”, ARF at Advertising Week.”

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NYCU: Is It Safe Outside?

For US adults, a recent poll finds that “feeling safe” is improving among nine pastimes, but not one has even reached a 40% comfort level (“Going out to eat” is tops). “Traveling abroad” and “Going to a concert” ranked lowest. Source: Meyers, A. (2020, June 15). When Will Consumers Feel Safe Again? Morning Consult.