2023 Travel Marketing Trends
12 Dec 2022

What should the hospitality industry expect for the travel sector in 2023? Thanksgiving numbers may show the demand for flights increasing, but does this bump signify a long-term uptick in travel spending? Provoke Insights, a full-service market research firm, investigated what is happening in the market and how this will impact brands in the hospitality industry.

Inflation’s Impacts on Travel 

Thanksgiving travel numbers reached the highest levels since the pandemic’s start. With airport attendance measuring in the millions, airlines may jump to conclusions and prepare for a busy winter moving forward. However, with the skies more open than they have been in years and fewer regulations for travel being enforced, Families may have rushed to spend Thanksgiving with loved ones with whom they have not been able to spend time.

However, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms that inflation has drastically impacted airline prices, with prices rising 42.9% in just one year. As inflation impacts discretionary spending, will this prevent people from vacationing? 

Consumers’ Reaction to the Economy 

Provoke Insights’ research has found that almost three-quarters of Americans (70%) report being more budget conscious. Since Spring 2022, the following changes have occurred: 

  • Only a fifth of consumers expects to travel in the next three months, down 12%.
  • 16% of consumers booked a hotel in the last month, a five percent decline.
  • 15% purchased airline tickets, a decline of five percent.

What Most Influences Purchases of Airline Tickets and Booking Hotels

Price (76%) and availability (41%) are the largest motivators to purchasing airline tickets—only a quarter care about quality. As a result, deals and specials would move the needle when it comes to purchases of these tickets. Promoting specials such as free baggage check and free wifi or emphasizing lower-tier seating prices, such as “basic economy,” could draw Americans on the fence about vacationing. In addition, showing that your airline has convenient times to travel may also be helpful to consumers. 

While price is also a concern when selecting a hotel, over half (53%) consider quality a primary deciding factor. An emphasis on the facility amenities and room features can pique the interest of consumers, while package deals or multi-night discounts could alleviate cost concerns.

Age Impacts Travel 

Age plays a factor in the types of vacations consumers have in mind. Marketing and advertising initiatives must tailor communication (e.g., messaging and imagery) to best fit each audience’s needs. 

Regarding domestic travel, Baby Boomers and Gen X are more likely to create itineraries within the States. It is important to note that these travelers have a higher household income and are optimistic about the future. 

Travel brands can appeal to these audiences by promoting weekend getaways and luxury experiences. As these travelers are likely to have more expendable income, companies can market higher-end packages with less concern about affordability. From media buys and imagery to messaging should focus on what appeals to this age group. 

On the other hand, international travel is more popular among younger Americans, especially Gen Z, has the highest propensity to get their passports out. These travelers are likely college or post-college-age who are ready to escape and explore the world after two years of isolation and virtual classes. 

Travel brands should promote exotic “backpacking” friendly experiences for this audience. All-inclusive deals or organized group trips will simplify planning for these young adventurers and add an aspect of much-anticipated social interaction. As they are younger, affordability may play a larger role in their travel destination.

Methodology

Provoke Insights conducted a 15-minute survey in the fall of 2022 among 1,500 Americans between the ages of 21 and 65. A random stratified sample methodology was used to ensure a high degree of representation of the U.S. population (household income, age, gender, geography, ethnicity, and children in the household). Statistical differences between subgroups were tested at a 95% confidence level. The margin of error is +/-2.5%.

2023 Trends in Market Research
07 Dec 2022

Check out predictions for this coming year from Provoke Insights, a full-service market research firm! Our conclusions for 2023 come from industry articles, blogs, government data, and our own observations. As inflation remains present and interest rates continue to rise, companies will need to re-focus their priorities in the next few quarters. 

One Research Project Needs to Answer Many Needs

Current economic strains have company earnings below expected projections. Research budgets may not be as robust as they have been in previous years. Research companies will need to think outside the box for creative solutions to make research go further. It will be imperative to tackle two objectives simultaneously and find cost-effective solutions to finding the appropriate sample. 

Tech Budgets are Slowing

The technology sector in the last few years has been on fire, especially during the pandemic’s peak. The rapid industry growth resulted in a need for several market research projects. However, that is not the case anymore. The intense need for technology has decreased as more people return in-store, in-office, going out, and traveling. As a result, this sector’s demand for research is not as strong as it has been previously.

New Sectors Take Center Stage

The United States’ commitment to rebuilding infrastructure and reducing the climate crisis has resulted in money funneling into construction and sustainability categories. Both areas will need research help to support the growth areas as expansion occurs. In addition, consumer-facing brands have the opportunity to focus on sustainability goals that may have taken a back seat during the pandemic. Brands will need research to understand the best approach to successfully implement these new initiatives.

The Need for Strategic Insights, Despite Automation

Automation has been a hot topic in the research field for the last few years. It’s been most commonly integrated into more and more market research tools to deliver the data and in helping to interpret the results. As this technology matures, we will see automation becoming more specialized.

However, as more research processes become automated, the need for data to tell a story and provide strategic direction is ever so important. You will need more than just robots to help with the research.

Researchers with strategic experience will be in high demand as they can uncover insight into the data through which AI sifts. Often researchers only create graphs and regurgitate the data. The need for storytellers to provide actionable results that answer business objectives is crucial.

Sampling Experts Needed

The days of “setting and forgetting” a survey in-field are over. Online survey tools allow for wider reach and quick turnarounds. Unfortunately, this opens up opportunities for bots to infiltrate, even if the survey software offers safeguards. Although many marketers may want to bring their research in-house as budgets are cut, many won’t have the bandwidth to implement the necessary quality checks while the survey is live. Research companies carefully comb through every respondent that comes in to ensure they qualify, answer questions thoughtfully, and do not rush through. These extra eyes on your survey will ensure you get accurate insights and actionable results. 

Long-term Usage & the CBD Skincare Sector
06 Dec 2022

Provoke Insights’ Carly Fink and Matt Silverman featured in Happi Magazine, the industry’s leader in personal care, household, and industrial and institutional cleaning market.

The article discusses the market opportunity for CBD-infused skincare products, including:

  • Reasons for purchasing
  • Barriers for buying
  • Long-term buying behavior
  • Product category expansion opportunities
  • Key ways to better market and advertise 

The piece utilizes survey data from Provoke Insights’ Winter 2023 Trends report. The research reached out to 1,500 Americans. Highlights include:

  • CBD purchasers seek sustainably-sourced items, making transparency in ingredients key for appealing to buyers.
  • Over a fifth of consumers that have yet to try CBD skincare products are planning to buy them in the future. 
  • CBD buyers prefer buying at local retailers. Those who have not yet bought the product tend to prefer larger retailers. Expanding to larger retailers can assist brands in reaching these new audiences, as current buyers prefer buying from small businesses.
  • Repeat purchases are low among those who have trialed CBD skincare products. Among previous buyers, only a quarter would buy these items again. Though cost is the largest barrier to repurchasing, many no longer see a need for the products.

To further grow the industry, CBD skincare brands must address consumers’ perception that these products are ailment-based solutions. By educating buyers on the multiple using CBD in their skincare regimen, brands can transform these products into a regular household need.

The Economy, Marketing, and the Restaurant Industry
05 Dec 2022

How does today’s economy impact the hospitality’s food and drink category? Has it impacted the dining experience? Have patrons changed their frequency of eating? Provoke Insights investigated concerns facing dining establishments in its fifth wave of the consumer trends research. 

Economic Impacts on the Restaurant Industry

Prices of services and products are rising across the board, and American consumers are noticing. When it comes to restaurants in particular, over 80% say they have noticed an uptick in the cost of menu items.

Consumers’ wallets (and appetites) are hit hard as inflation is impacting everything from supermarket runs to going out to restaurants. As a result, Americans are cutting down on the amount that they eat out. This is especially true at full-service establishments, where half of Americans are dining less frequently.

When patrons do eat out, almost three-quarters are making budgeting changes to their ordering. Over half are selecting cheaper items (53%), while others are cutting out dessert (42%), appetizers (39%), or drinks (31%).

To combat these concerns, restaurants must take an active approach to attract diners:

  • Fast food and fast casual restaurants can offer discounts and promotions to ease the concerns of budget-conscious consumers.
  • Fine dining establishments can consider unique offerings and experiences to attract diners, such as live music events, wine tastings, or new technologies.

Menu Availability Impacts on the Restaurant Industry

Inflation is not the only concern for those dining and food and drink establishments. Menu item availability and limited staff are other issues that are impacting dining experience.

Less than thirty percent of consumers are satisfied with menu item availability at restaurants. Many others have experienced being told their selection is sold out for the evening. To avoid these situations, restaurants can create more limited menus or prix-fixe offerings that utilize ingredients that are more assured to be kept in stock. This may mean fewer exotic offerings, but it will prevent customers from feeling frustrated that they can not order their first-choice selection. 

Methodology

Provoke Insights conducted a 15-minute survey in the fall of 2022 among 1,500 Americans between the ages of 21 and 65. A random stratified sample methodology was used to ensure a high degree of representation of the U.S. population (household income, age, gender, geography, ethnicity, and children in the household). Statistical differences between subgroups were tested at a 95% confidence level. The margin of error is +/-2.5%.

Skin Care Actives Drive the Market
01 Dec 2022

Provoke insights trends research featured in an article from Happi Magazine.

Tom Branna, the editor of Happi Magazine, delves into new trends and shifts in consumer behavior when purchasing skincare products; this includes the introduction of unusual ingredients incorporated into products from coffee to snail mucin.

 The article includes information from Provoke Insight’s Spring 2022 trends research. Highlights include:

  • Dryness and anti-aging are the top skin care concerns among American consumers. 
  • Over half of consumers (53%) look for specific ingredients when purchasing skin care products. This is especially true among those looking for sustainably sourced Items.
  • Moisturizers and cleansers are the leading skincare products. Cleansers are especially popular among younger consumers.

Dermatologist Dr. Hope Mitchell notes how various trends have led to increases in the usage of skincare products. As more consumers are spending more time on web-conferring calls, they are more concerned about how their faces look up close on a screen. 

Additionally, Dr. Mitchell mentions that consumers are now more interested in the ingredients in their skin regimen. With more time on their hands due to working from home, Americans are researching ingredients more often than they did in the past.

The article expands on this information and provides brands with strategies to stay on top of consumers’ interests in the category.