Holidaymakers and travellers alike are leaving huge data trails in their wake. Whenever a destination is researched, a trip booked, a place visited or comments and reviews left online, insightful travel data is being created.
Travel companies have cottoned on to this and are now utilising big data to their advantage.
The challenge lies in deciphering this unstructured data to determine relevant insights that have the potential to boost revenue. Like a goldmine, the raw materials for these insights already exist, and travel companies now need to drill down in order to extract and apply them.
Times have changed
Big data analysis lends itself particularly well to the travel sector. Smartphones are ubiquitous amongst millennials, who are now the largest generation in history and constantly connected. This combination makes for incredible volumes of data production and the data insights that can be gleaned from one aspect (such as geo-tagging) alone are vast.
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It should come as no surprise that fewer people are heading into a high street travel agent in person to discuss their travel options. The global online travel industry was responsible for a staggering $498 billion of revenue in 2015. The percentage of adults who purchased travel arrangements and accommodation online was almost 40% in 2014. The rise of online travel websites and platforms has brought convenience to consumers, as well as greater choice and the ability to make quick and easy comparisons. By extension, this has granted more power to consumers but also results in more effort being required on their part. And without the human element within the buying cycle (eg. a travel agent who can make suggestions based on your likes, interests and requirements) the dilemma that online travel companies now face is how to establish a customer’s perfect holiday and to suggest it to them before they’ve even opened Google.
The holy grail of personalisation
True personalisation to the consumer’s wants and needs brings with it greater customer loyalty. In the current comparison-driven market, building brand loyalty has become a greater focus than ever before. 46% of travellers stick to using just two or three different websites when making a purchase online. And whilst 34% agree that online travel companies have nailed down the basics of search and shopping, more than half (53%) think that they can do more to improve.
With the aid of the right tools, big data can allow travel companies to be proactive rather than reactive to their customer’s wants and needs, and the personalisation of travel offers and services is becoming a hallmark of good customer service. Tailoring how you market your business’s goods or services to particular interests and needs is the key to obtaining the best conversion rates and ROI and – while traditional data sources can segment audiences by factors such as age and gender – in an ever connected world, this data quickly becomes outdated.
Using advanced text analytics, our flagship software solution PROFILE establishes a person’s likes and interests with astonishing accuracy. Utilising this technology opens up a wealth of marketing possibilities, and – in a busy marketplace – this can provide online travel companies with a much needed edge over the competition. The same technology also enables you to establish a customer’s personality traits, allowing you to make more informed decisions about how you promote or advertise your carefully tailored offer.
PROFILE uses the scientifically-backed Big Five method of scoring an individual’s personality. For instance, an individual who scores highly in conscientiousness is much more likely to respond better to comparative adverts which show how one deal compares to another. Perhaps they score highly in agreeableness, in which case the emphasis of your campaign should focus on the enjoyment and feelings that the consumer is likely to experience. Unique insights including these can empower your marketing campaigns by enabling you to identify cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, boost customer loyalty, and in turn uplift revenue.