We spent a month earlier this year travelling around the US and Canada with just a minivan, an iPhone and a laptop.
The Americans are different than the Brits, but they are ahead of us in terms of digital and social media marketing. If you want to know what is going to happen next, it is the best place to research the latest innovations and techniques, to attract new customers and retain them.
So we put our money where our mouth is and went to research it for you.
Researching hotel and restaurant marketing
A major part of the trip was looking into hotel and restaurant marketing, as well as places to see and things to do.
As you know we have specialised in marketing for restaurants, hotels and other venues for a few years now, so the challenge was to see how far we could travel using just the internet and smartphone apps. The answer is an awfully long way.
In total we covered 5,000 miles, 9 US States, 2 Canadian Provinces and dozens of hotels, motels, restaurants, venues and amazing places, but other than flights and a car, nothing was pre-booked.
Nothing booked in advance
No hotels booked, no restaurants researched, no recommendations from other people, not even a complete route. We simply used the iPhone and laptop, websites and smartphone apps to make those decisions as we went.
This is very important for hotels and restaurants, because you provide the places that people use for this kind of trip and millions of people are doing it.
The future of travelling may well be hacking together trips like this. Why? Because you can. It is also easier, cheaper and more flexible than booking a package holiday. The tools are already here to do this and many of them are free to use.
You can eat at all the best restaurants, stay at the best hotels and motels, all based on reputation and recommendation, rather than who pays the tour operator the highest commission.
In order to attract customers like this, restaurants and hotels need to be on the right sites and in the right places.
So how do you make sure you are top of the list, or even on it?
Our research was about testing how we can do this for our restaurant and hotel clients.
This isn't just travellers
It isn't just about targeting travellers. Many of your own customers locally are also using these same tools, to share information about where to go and what to do.
On that basis, you need to be addressing this NOW, if you want to GROW your business.
What do we do next?
We put together a blog about the trip and what we learned, but more importantly, we will be using what we learned to give our clients in the restaurant and hotel sector a huge advantage in their business.
The world has changed and we know how to make sure that your business is at the front of the listings when it comes to digital, social and direct marketing.
Our role is to make sure that you are top of the list.
To find out more about the secrets we learned and how they can work for your business, you can call our team on 01772 978 199 or send us a message above.
If you want to see an outline of the trip round the US and Canada, we also have a website for it at www.hackatrip.com as you can see we visited hundreds of venues along the way, so enjoy the read and feel free to take some tips and give us feedback.