When this week’s copy of Marketing landed on my desk, I had to stop myself squealing with excitement at the news that Expedia are implementing a ‘try before-you-buy’ scheme for holidays

OK, so I must point out that you don’t actually get to go on the holiday to try it out and so squealing would perhaps be a little to far, and probably quite disconcerting for my colleagues, but this really does demonstrate how digital marketing has revolutionised consumer buying experience.  Holidays is certainly one thing that you have never been able to sample before buying, not without paying for a trial trip over there anyway. 

Of course there are always the posed and stylised publicity shots in brochures, and sometimes you can do a virtual tour of the hotel but for (obvious) marketing purposes, the most flattering views/angles/staff will be selected for shots, and you don’t necessarily get a realistic view of your ‘idylic’ holiday destination (in fact you may turn up and your swimming pool is more like a pond, apartment walls are practically dripping with sweat and you strongly suspect that your sheets have not been washed since the last occupants left, quite possible before that…not that I speak from experience of course…).

Live streaming takes away the staged element of holiday sneak previews; you can see exactly what is happening in your desired destination, in real-time, making it far more difficult to hide the blemishes…

If the site crashes in two weeks when the facility launches, that will probably be me having a nose at hundreds of potential summer holiday destinations (both because I am uncharacteristically Unorganised when it comes to booking holidays and because I am nosy…).