Four Ways Customer Intelligence Benefits Travel Marketers

May 2, 2019

The digital era has transformed marketers’ ability to understand and engage with their customers. With first-party data of each customer’s online behavior, products of interest, demographic and location data and more, the potential for marketers to extract meaningful customer insights is at an all-time high.

For some industries, adapting to the digital era has not been without its setbacks. For travel and hospitality marketers in particular, the customer journey is long and complex. In the past, travel agents would better understand their customers by walking them through a travel itinerary or brochure; today, online travel agents (OTAs) and metasearch sites are complicated and overwhelming. Moreover, since travelers usually conduct research into their trips and begin making plans months in advance, travel and hospitality brands are challenged to map an accurate path to purchase and accurately understand each customer’s needs.

With Customer Intelligence, travel marketers can identify and understand their customers in real time, empowering them to engage their customers with personalized interactions that build upon each customer’s existing relationship with the brand. Below are some of the ways travel and hospitality brands can implement Customer Intelligence to maximize their marketing strategy.

  1. Understand where each customer is in their journey. It’s common for avid travelers to be constantly thinking about their next destination, but there’s a big difference in a customer’s propensity to convert depending on which stage of the customer journey they’re in. For example, someone who is sitting at their office casually looking at faraway beach resorts may not be as likely to convert as when they’ve decided on Tulum and are comparing hotels. Customer Intelligence enables travel marketers to understand where each person is in their customer journey, and deliver personalized offers at key moments of consideration.
  2. Understand where they want to go—and help them get there. Travelers will usually conduct extensive research plenty of time ahead of their intended trip. This can include different destinations, hotels, flights, booking agencies, activities, and more. With Customer Intelligence, travel marketers can understand what exactly each customer is researching, and deliver targeted ads that offer promotions on those items of interest—whether it’s a deluxe suite, a historical tour, or an island-hopping package.
  3. Optimize your budget to compete with OTAs. Customer Intelligence gives travel and hospitality marketers the insights necessary for an effective and cost-efficient metasearch strategy. With Customer Intelligence, marketers can identify each customer’s destination and property of interest, online behavior, and level of engagement, and create custom audience segments for more precise targeting and improved bid optimization. Travel marketers that work with Customer Intelligence on their bidding strategy see higher effective CPMs, higher click-through rates, and higher ROI.
  4. Own the customer relationship. Travel and hospitality marketers are often challenged to own the customer relationship as a result of the customer utilizing an OTA. With Customer Intelligence, marketers can understand each customer’s unique journey—which includes attributing every conversion to a specific channel or interaction. These insights empower marketers to understand each customer’s relationship with the brand. This means that travel marketers can recognize return customers as loyal guests, and reward that loyalty accordingly, so the customer feels valued and engaged with the brand from booking to checkout.

As the travel and hospitality industry continues to adapt to the digital era, marketers need to embrace technology that maximizes the range of customer touchpoints and insights now available to them. The IgnitionOne Customer Intelligence Platform helps travel and hospitality marketers deliver a seamless and efficient omnichannel strategy that builds lasting customer relationships, from daydream to destination and beyond.

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