Get ready, the tourists are coming!

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In Maine, we all know that Memorial Day triggers the beginning of summer tourist season. I love to see families pouring into the region — spending dollars and enjoying all we have to offer.

Last year, tourism expenditures equaled more than $6 billion and supported more than 105,000 jobs here in Maine. And signs are present that this year is going to be just as robust!

Make sure you are poised to capture some of that business. Below are a few tips from the experts at Expedia about how to get the attention of tourism-related travelers this summer!

Attention is the new currency

Where are tourists spending their time? Most likely, on their phones. There’s no denying the mobile phone has changed the way people interact with the world. They’re no longer on the bus chatting to their neighbor or at the gym watching TV. They’re on their phone watching YouTube, streaming content or TV shows, playing games, reading the news or talking to their friends on social media.

Mobile is no longer an additional platform for extending your marketing message; it’s now business as usual. EMarketer predicts that this year, American adults will spend an average of three hours and 23 minutes per day on mobile media. Make sure your brand is present where your audience’s attention is captivated.

Think bigger than the product

What does your brand stand for? Millennials (adults under the age of 35) are not just buying a product, they want to buy into a lifestyle and they are seeking authenticity from brands. A recent study from Expedia and the Center for Generational Kinetics found that people are shifting away from a society of stuff, and instead prioritizing experiences — especially travel experiences.

Your marketing approach needs to take that lifestyle mentality into consideration, and your strategy should be adapted for changing consumer behavior.

Real-time knowledge equals real-time adjustments

How do you know if your campaign is working and how can you adjust to ensure you meet your goals? It’s not enough to learn post-campaign that your efforts just didn’t hit the mark. Real-time data and real-time optimization are here to stay, and should be an integral aspect of your strategic marketing plan.

Put your business where your customers are

Integrations are still big business, especially for key marketing moments like sporting events and live concert performances, but we’re well beyond the days of agreeing to a partnership or sponsorship and letting the other guy do the rest. Josh Belkin, vice president, global brand for Hotels.com, suggests relying on multiple touch points to ensure your integration makes an impact.

“From custom content, influencer outreach and TV to social media, radio and digital audio, the options are endless,” he said. “In 2018, you need to strengthen your campaign visibility in as many ways as possible.”

Add need-to-know specifics to your advertising

According to a recent Multi-National Travel Trends Study, 78% of travelers said informative content from destinations or travel brands can influence their decision-making process, and 46% said ads with informative content can be influential. Cut through the clutter by simplifying your message and making sure the audience is aware of the true benefits of what you’re offering.

Brand differentiation: stand out from the crowd

How can you stand out from the crowd, beyond what you’re selling? This is what Bruce Horner, head of media and alliances for the Travelocity brand, said about the importance of identifying how your brand can influence customers: “Differentiation is not just about the product, it’s about creating a meaningful brand identity that connects and engages with consumers.”  Be sure to put your brand’s personality into all your marketing.