|Just who can I rely on for travel information?|
One of the most vexing challenges for the marketers of travel services is that of addressing a fundamental dilemma in contemporary marketing practice: it has become more difficult to influence prospective customers as it has become easier to reach them, says Peter Yesawich, head of the Ypartnership. Personal recommendations have the most credibility while social media have the least, a new analysis reports.
“The question of source credibility is therefore one of great interest to marketers of travel services, particularly as it relates to the degree of influence consumers ascribe to the kaleidoscope of information now available on destinations and/or specific travel service suppliers,” Yesawich says. “And given the explosive growth in the number of sources from which consumers can now sample commentary, it’s important to understand they ascribe far greater confidence to the information they receive from some sources than others.”
This “Credibility Continuum,” as measured in the Ypartnership/Harrison Group 2010 Portrait Of American Travelers, stretches from the personal testimonials of friends and family members (the most credible) to the content found on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (the least credible).