BrightOnTravel: Social and location signals will make travel marketing more personal

BrightOnTravel: Social and location signals will make travel marketing more personal

Consumers’ social identity and activity on email is going to overtake traditional web browser cookies as marketing campaigns exploit the wealth of data available to be more personal.

Ryan Kliszat, founder of mobile marketing specialist Verticly, told the second BrighOnTravel conference hosted by CWTdigital yesterday he was surprised not more travel firms use data.

He claimed personalising offers has been shown to increase sales by as much as three-fold, making it vitally important for a sector selling such a high-value product as a holiday.

“For me personalisation is something that should happen anywhere along the customer journey.

“We think the next big wave of the internet is going to be data and location, so you are going to see mobile offers much more.

“We are starting to see much more interest for travel companies to use social data not, just for sharing but actually to change the content of the adverts you see.

“Travel is one of the biggest purchases of the year, so I don’t know why people don’t use data more to drive sales, especially when you can increase sales by 300% by using personalisation.

A lot of tracking is done around cookies at the moment, but what you will see is social sign-in and email is going to become our identity.

“It will be a lot more accurate so you will see marketing will become a lot more relevant.”

An example outside of travel highlighted by Kliszat was work Verticly has done with Empire Cinemas where ticket promotions are sent to customers’ phones and tailored to films it knows they like.

He added this had seen a dramatic increase in the number of people going to the cinema.

Kliszat said today there is a plethora of data sources and said for travel there were four key areas to focus on:

1. Where someone’s been and where they want to go;
2. Who they are;
3. Who do they know;
4. Timing – before booking, during and after a holiday.

There is an requirement to incentivise customers to share their data, but Kliszat added it was important that the reward was meaningful and that the process was transparent.

“You need to give something to people in their hands, something physical in their phones they can take into a real place. Often a lot of rewards seem very abstract.

“Make clear what you’re doing with the data to prevent drop-off. Then use data to change content to give them something more relevant.

“Social media’s made it really easy to be envious of friends on holiday, and this way you can know where they’ve been.

“We serve content based on locations people have gone to, whether they’re short-haul or long-haul. We also look at frequency of check-in, families versus business travellers for example.

“We can look for exotic locations or major cities and hotel check-ins on the social graph.”

In addition Verticly segments people based on factors such as the brands they like, household income, the kind of media they consume, brand affinity, age and gender.

It is also weighting influence when someone shares based on amount of people they know amount of friends they have got.

However, Kliszat warned: “Next year Facebook will make it much harder to pull in their data through their API.

“You have to really let Facebook know how you are going to use that data because before they just gave you everything whereas in the future they’re going to be a lot more selective about it.

“As long as you are delivering value to the user it should be fine.”

Kliszat added: “I think this whole idea of ‘we are what we buy’ is going to become bigger and bigger.

“Whether we like it or not there is so much data available about who we are and what we buy it’s going to affect the kind of promotions that we get.”

He said the use of iBeacon’s for location-based offers was likely to grow and that this was something physical high street retailers could exploit to tie in their offline and online strategies.

“I know that travel’s often bought online but I would be very interested in working with people who have physical travel agent because I still think that’s very relevant,” he said.

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