How Travel Brands Can Turn Customer Data Into More Direct Bookings



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“The Power of Performance Marketing in 2024” provides actionable insights for travel brands looking to build more effective customer data strategies that leverage AI, helping them earn more direct bookings and grow revenue.

This sponsored content was created in collaboration with a Skift partner.

As more and more of the traveler’s journey takes place via digital channels, first-party customer data has become invaluable currency for travel brands seeking to increase their revenues through direct bookings. By collecting and using information that travelers voluntarily share via brand websites, social media channels, mobile apps, and more, travel brands can gain a clearer picture of who their customers are and how they can more effectively reach them.

Once brands have a solid strategy for collecting first-party data, they also need tools that pair it with customer information from other sources and interactions (e.g., online research or engagement with digital advertising). Doing so enables them to build cohesive, complete customer identity profiles that strengthen their ability to create more personalized marketing, which can more effectively drive traffic into owned channels vs. third-party booking sites.

“After nearly a decade, traditional retargeting tactics are changing rapidly, and identity solutions are becoming a must-have element to connecting and building long-term relationships,” said Tim Glomb, vice president of digital, content, and AI, Wunderkind.

A new marketing guide from Wunderkind, “The Power of Performance Marketing in 2024,” helps travel and hospitality brands sort through this nuanced and complex landscape. The guide provides actionable insights for successful first-party data and identity solutions strategies, which ultimately will lead to more direct bookings and better long-term customer relationships.

What’s Inside

Rethinking marketing technology investments. Marketers are realizing after years of software-as-a-service (SaaS) supremacy that this model isn’t working anymore.

“Access to a tool doesn’t make a marketer an expert in using it. And it certainly doesn’t guarantee a lift in revenue,” said Wunderkind’s Glomb. “Data and experience make the difference when tech solutions are enlisted to drive revenue.”

Navigating the continued shift towards first-party data. The quest for first-party data has become a new gold rush, especially in 2024 given the deprecation of cookies and a surge in political ad spending in major markets like the U.S. and UK, which will drive up the cost of paid media channels.

“Third-party cookie deprecation will actually make marketers rethink their channels and really evaluate how we do things,” said Prithvi Raj Tikku, director of email and retention, CSC Generation. “I think it will allow marketers to be more strategic and focus a lot more on their own channels, which I think is never a bad thing.”

Harnessing anonymous data to piece together customer identities. At their heart, identity solutions are about turning anonymous data into known contacts.

“The universe of the people we were reaching has expanded significantly because we are now able to get to that anonymous site visitor,” said Rahul Chand, vice president of marketing, AAA Northeast. “Previously, we were trying to figure out, ‘how do we identify this traffic but not rely on a cookie-based solution,’ because that wouldn’t work for us long term.”

Leveraging the rise of AI in performance marketing. In 2024, there will be exponential growth in the impact of AI on day-to-day marketing operations in travel.

“Travel and tourism brands need partners with a solid vision and strategic investments in AI, as well as access to the vital data that will differentiate your business from your competitors,” said Wunderkind’s Glomb. “Beware of the email service provider or customer data platform that simply slaps an AI feature on top of a legacy platform and promises different results. Marketers must recognize what is a commodity, like AI-generated copy or imagery features, versus a truly disruptive AI advantage.”

Download “The Power of Performance Marketing in 2024” to learn more.

This content was created collaboratively by Wunderkind and Skift’s branded content studio, SkiftX.



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