Tuesday Buzz: New Flight-Finding Options

Expedia and Priceline getting long in the tooth? Check out new online travel options that might be worth your time. Also: Taylor Swift is better at marketing than you are, and it's OK to admit it.

Finding a cheap flight isn’t always easy, but there are definitely options out there. has a few of those, including a Pinterest-style booking platform and an app that uses historic data points to suggest whether you should buy those tickets now or wait a little while.

But the real talker of the bunch is Google Flight Search, a service that the search giant paid a cool $700 million for by purchasing ITA Software, the firm that supplies flight data to most of the other major online travel sites, back in 2010.

Right now the service provides a number of features that give it advantages over older players such as Kayak and Travelocity, including one that lets you search for locations on a map by price, rather than the other way around.

Ultimately, though, online travel booking is a fairly mature industry, and it requires a lot for a startup to create a winning mix.

“For an emerging travel-booking site to be successful, it needs an edge that established brands like Expedia, Orbitz, and Kayak don’t have,” explains writer Oscar Raymundo. “So the next generation of sites are finding their niche by borrowing search and display elements from already-popular web-based businesses.”

Taylor Swift, Marketing Pro

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a supernova running through the music world this week, and it’s in the form of Taylor Swift. The 24-year-old songstress is releasing her first straight pop album this week, and 1989 is likely to have the largest single week of sales for the entire year on the Billboard charts. (Makes the backlash against her optimistic take on the music industry seem less than justified, doesn’t it?)

Because Associations Now is clearly your number-one source for Taylor Swift-related news, here are some worthy marketing insights about the pop-country superstar:

Swift has been clever about brand partnerships with companies such as Coca-Cola and Target, according to Forbes, earning her extra attention before a big push.

Swift’s use of intimate events—so-called secret sessions with her Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter fans—proved a boon in making the already engaged even more engaged.

There’s another country star who’s pulled off many of the moves that Swift has in the past. But unlike Garth Brooks’ attempt to cross over to into pop, Swift’s transition appears to be working. Vox explains the connections between the artists and the public.

Other notable Links

If you’re working on the fly and need a slick photo editor, check out Polarr, a browser-based Adobe Lightroom competitor that allows users to export into all the cloud services they know and love.

“Don’t wring your hands over the problem of retaining quality employees. Many will leave no matter what you do.” Association Executive Management’s David M. Patt talks about a fact of life.

Slow down, you move too fast. You have to make the moment last. At least that’s what Event Manager Blog suggests for your next big occasion.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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