Airbnb uses marketing as an education tool | WARC | The Feed
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Airbnb uses marketing as an education tool
Hotels Brand management
Airbnb, the online platform for vacation rentals, is using marketing as a tool to “educate people” about new features and opportunities rather than as a means for “buying customers”.
Why it matters
Competition in the travel industry is intensifying as the COVID-19 recovery gains pace, with peer-to-peer operators like Airbnb and Vrbo competing with established hotel chains. Innovation can help these digital-first players stand out, but it requires marketing support in order to boost familiarity and comfort levels among consumers.
- Airbnb adopts what it describes as a “full-funnel approach to marketing” that blends PR, brand building and performance marketing.
- Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s chief executive, said on an earnings call with investors that the brand was “not really focused on buying customers” with its communications.
- “We’re focused primarily in investing in our brand and educating the world about what makes Airbnb unique. So we think of marketing primarily as education,” he continued.
- For the brand, innovation is seen as the core driver of growth, and “advertising is really a form of supplemental education” about the new services and solutions it provides.
- In support of Airbnb’s model, Chesky reported that 90% of its traffic comes from direct or unpaid sources.
- He also suggested that the brand – like Google’s search engine – has effectively become a common term for an activity, rather than a simple brand name.
- “Airbnb is a noun or verb used all over the world, and it was really not advertising, but PR and word-of-mouth that built our brand,” he said.
- Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic over a million articles have been written about Airbnb.
- “Fifty-five percent of articles that used to have the word travel in it also have the word Airbnb in it,” he added.
Sourced from AlphaStreet
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