With the July 4th holiday behind us this year, you might think it is too late to capture summer travel dollars. Results of our recent Insights travel study reveal otherwise, giving brands and advertisers insights into consumer behavior and purchase sentiment. Consider this: More than 7-in-10 (71.9%) of all respondents are planning to travel this summer, but nearly one-half (46.4%) have yet to make a purchase related to their vacation(s)! That means from hotels to theme parks to rental cars to airfare and beyond, there are a lot of purchases to still be made. Research is still being done by consumers and in order to capitalize on this opportunity, advertisers must pay attention to the following trends and findings to strategically target their ad spend.

Mobile Matters

When it comes to research and purchasing travel, the device matters and you need to consider this for strategic ad placement. Laptops are still the major device used to plan a vacation, with 42.9% of respondents saying their research is primarily conducted on these devices. Mobile device usage for research continues to rise as smartphones and tablets are named the primary device by one-third (33.3%), surpassing desktops (19%). Additionally, when actually making a purchase for a summer trip, laptops (39.3%) are most often cited as the primary device; mobile devices (28.6%) are just short of that. Desktops are used as the primary device for purchasing by a mere 14.3% of respondents.

Video Leaves an Impression

As mobile trends upwards with consumers, so does video with more than four-out-of-five (84.9%) respondents watching online video about travel destinations. More than one-half (57.4%) watch on their smartphones and more than three-fourths (78.7%) on a desktop/laptop. The medium plays a big role in summer travel decision-making and it is essential to use these learnings to tailor ad location and content creation strategies. The most popular videos feature a specific destination (55.4%), followed by videos highlighting a specific hotel, resort or campground (37.5%); a review of a specific destination (33.9%); highlight activities at a travel destination (30.4%).

The Influencer Factor

Online recommendations posted by friends and family via social media are a big factor when it comes to summer travel purchases, with one-half (49.1%) saying social opinions influence their buying behaviors. The weight that consumers put on social recommendations and influencer reviews should be noted if you are considering an digital influencer advertising campaign. The incorporation of these positive social voices into your brand story can add power to travel campaigns.

Staycations Open the Door for Other Verticals

An interesting finding for advertisers not in the travel sector is continued prevalence of the staycation – with one-third (33.9%) of respondents opting not to travel. These respondents cite DIY and home improvement projects (57.1%) as their reason for staycationing. Second to that, is the desire to participate in local sites and activities (28.6%). These findings reveal opportunities for local events, attractions and festivals to geo-target consumers staying local. Additionally, brands and products in the home and garden or DYIs verticals can reach consumers working on a house project during their staycation.

This summer travel study is just one in a series that we are conducting at RhythmOne. Our aim is to always uncover thought-provoking consumer data to guide our brand and agency partners in more effectively reaching their audience. Up next we will have updates to our Influencer Benchmark Study and a study on mobile video in-stream advertising. Stay tuned