Travel's Big Data: It's time to take off the blinders / Jami Timmons
September 16, 2013 4:58pm
No one can deny the obvious. Travel and its big data have migrated online.
Whether it's a weekend jaunt to the nearest big city or a complex escape to an exotic locale, most trips today are planned on the Internet. Most travel marketers, however, aren't keeping up with the evolution of big data and the importance of online search in predictive analytics. Here are a few reasons why.
1. Siloing of data
All brands, even individual properties, typically aggregate their own data without dynamically comparing or integrating with other real-time market data. Too often, they rely on legacy data-gathering institutions that deal in historic booking statistics. This yields a limited view - one defined by a flat view of travel rather than by the complex, dynamic transactions behind the statistics.
Consider marrying the data from your website, PMS or digital marketing campaigns with other predictive sources. Bring your data out of its silo see how it stands up to other market indicators and forecasts.
2. A focus on the past
Data in isolation provides little analytic value except for understanding what has happened in the past. Looking in the rear-view mirror helps you learn from past mistakes, but is limited in helping you capture business right now. Focusing on the now will enable you to impact travel decisions as they're happening.
Look ahead using current, active metrics and competitive data that can capture live bookings from in-market travelers.
3. A lack of perspective
Thanks to Google analytics, hospitality marketers typically know who's searching for them. That's the easy part. But most are wearing blinders when it comes to travel in their overall market and who's searching for their competitors online - not through Google searches, but through intent-driven searches on travel websites, looking specifically for a destination or property.
Take a global perspective with search-based travel intent data that provides competitive, predictive information and fills the gap in business intelligence. Remember, a key to growing your market share is to capture share from your competitors.
4. No personality
Travel is personal, and travel marketing should be, too. Business intelligence needs to look beyond the numbers to the people behind them - illuminating the intent and the behavior that drives travel decisions. Different people shop for travel differently.
By understanding people and their motives, marketers have a much better chance of identifying opportunity, winning business and building a loyal - and lasting - customer relationship.
Take your marketing personally. Know the personas of your best customers, from their lifestyle and demographics to online behavior and search-to-book windows. Translating that knowledge into marketing intelligence will increase your campaign effectiveness and overall ROI.
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Tags: big data,
Contact: Katrina Pruitt-Andrews
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