More than half (51%) of hotels and travel companies find that getting accurate customer data to be a challenge, a new study shows.
The rapid growth in marketing technology solutions and the merging of marketing and IT skills appears to be a further challenge for four in ten (44%) businesses as they struggle to get the right mix of marketing and IT.
A similar proportion of hotels and travel companies are also struggling to identify customers at the right times, according to the survey from Travel Technology Europe.
Almost a third (31%) are also struggling with privacy and compliance challenges around personalisation with the General Data Protection Regulation deadline of May 25 fast approaching.
More than a quarter (27%) of respondents also said they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with how they track the impact of their content marketing with a further 34% saying they were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
A total of 135 travel buyers took part in the Travel Technology Europe annual survey in December – 66% working in the UK, 20% in continental Europe and 14% from outside Europe.
Inspiretec head of sales and marketing Richard Baker, a speaker at Travel Technology Europe, said: “At its best personalisation drives loyalty and keeps customers coming back for more, at its worst personalisation is intrusive and damaging to the bottom line.
“To get it right personalisation requires a careful blend of IT and marketing skills to make sure that the data is accurate but that the human touch is still there.
“At Travel Technology Europe I’ll be revealing the findings of an Inspiretec study that highlights best practices to help companies reach their goal of delivering personalised customer experiences.”
Fellow speaker Paul Stephen, CEO of Sagittarius, said: “There is a nervousness amongst many travel and hotel companies when it comes to GDPR and personalisation. But the two are not mutually exclusive.
“If companies can successfully implement GDPR then naturally this will lead to more accurate data, which in turn will help companies personalise and target their marketing more effectively.”
Event director David Chapple added: “A lot of time and energy goes into creating great content for digital marketing but many travel companies are unsure of how best to measure the value they are getting from it.
“Content marketing doesn’t always lead to direct sales so it requires its own tracking techniques and tools. We will be hearing from the experts at Travel Technology about how you move from a ‘spray and pray’ approach to having discernible metrics that demonstrate that your content strategy is working.”