Obvious personalisation – Big Data to organise travel around the weather

Personalisation (you really can’t get away from the word these days) comes in many forms, but sometimes the most simple application of it can potentially provide the biggest rewards.

So whilst travel brands figure out how they can slice and dice the mountains of data which is now captured about a customer over time, it is actually an external factor that has a huge influence on travel purchasing decisions.

From a leisure travel perspective, what the weather is likely to be in a destination is hugely important.

This is obvious – but how many travel brands go beyond just providing an online chart that will indicate if the average temperature and precipitation are likely to be best for the beach or for visiting museums? And how many then tie that into their marketing and content strategy? Probably very few.

Step forward DigitalMeteo, a ten-year-old data science organisation from Spain which is run by meteorologists and has a Big Data-led idea for the travel industry.

The company argues that, firstly, travel brands are missing out on ensuring their travellers are armed with the right information about the weather in a destination, but more importantly, how metrological data can then be used to target new customers through marketing and web content.

Furthermore, matching the weather patterns with the data from user profiles so companies have an opportunity to then have a relationship with the customer that arguably hits at the heart of the personalisation conundrum: relevancy.

So how does it work?

Speaking during the FITURTech event in Madrid, Spain, this week, DigitalMeteo CEO Emilio Rey (himself a meteorologist) and business development manager Fabian Gonzalez say they have analysed decades of weather patterns to create a predictive tool that plugs into a travel brand’s back-end.

The platform then works in various ways:If the weather on a given day is cold and wet in the user’s location (checking the IP address), then content on a website will alter so that it features destinations and relevant images where the weather is more favourable.

Data can also be used to make alternative suggestions to a user when they enter dates and destinations for a trip, based on what the weather is likely to be.

Over time, with return customers, the system will be able to suggest destinations knowing that on a previous trip the user had a poor experience because of the weather.

The platform works both ways, as well – having the historic data of thousands of travellers has allowed the company to establish particular trends in trip behaviour.

For example, when it rains in Madrid, citizens are most likely to search for city breaks to Paris, Rome or elsewhere in Europe, but on warmer days they often search for beach destinations elsewhere in Spain.

Such efforts to understand and capitalise on weather patterns are probably even more important when it comes to a company’s digital marketing strategy.

DigitalMeteo says that being able to quickly react to a weather situation (a typically grey, miserable day in London, for example), using customer email marketing, allows a company to target users with both relevant and timely offers for a trip.

The platform has been tested in recent months with an unnamed, major online travel agency in Spain, Gonzalez says, with further results and details about the partnership to be announced in a few months.

Source: Obvious personalisation – Big Data to organise travel around the weather

Research reveals most-used search keywords for travel industry: bizreport

Analysis from digital marketing intelligence firm SimilarWeb has revealed the most popular search terms used by U.S. consumers searching for information to book their next vacation.

Between the months of January and November, 2015, the most popular online keyword search in the travel industry was ‘Expedia’. The term generated a whopping 32.7 million organic searches during the 11 months.

In fact, instead of generic travel terms, the names of leading airlines and online travel agents all featured in the top spots for organic online travel searches, accounting for 15.3% of all keyword searches. Behind ‘Expedia’ came ‘Kayak’, ‘American Airlines’, ‘TripAdvisor’, ‘South West’, ‘South West Airlines’, and ‘United Airlines’. In eighth place was ‘Airbnb’.

Non-branded, or generic, travel keywords played a much smaller role in generating website traffic for the travel industry.  ‘Flight tracker’ was the highest generic keyword accounting for 0.41% of all searches, followed by ‘hotels’ (0.31%), ‘flights’ (0.17%) and ‘restaurants near me’ (0.11%).

“In any industry, organic searches are a major barometer of brand recognition and trust,” says Pascal Cohen, SimilarWeb  Insights Manager. “In the travel industry this is particularly evident with many of the biggest online sites now front of mind whenever we book a trip.  In an industry where more than 40% of travel companies generate traffic from search, companies not getting searched for are unlikely to generate bookings. Understanding the right keywords driving traffic to sites can make a major impact on a company’s success in this competitive market.”

Travel and hospitality companies have made good progress in the journey to digital maturity – new report | Econsultancy

More than a third (35%) of travel and hospitality organizations classify themselves as ‘digital disruptors’, and a further 48% describe their organizations as ‘fast followers’, according to research published today by Econsultancy and Adobe.

Additionally, over two-fifths (43%) of companies in this sector say they have a ‘central, integrated function dedicated to digital transformation’.

A global survey of nearly 200 senior digital marketing and e-commerce executives working for companies in the travel and hospitality sector found that the rise of digital-only companies and the sharing economy are top of mind when it comes to competitive and environmental pressures, and are important factors in driving companies to optimize and sometimes redefine their proposition and services.

The Digital Trends in the Travel and Hospitality Sector report also found that companies in this sector have really grasped the importance of mobile and are more focused on this business imperative than their counterparts in other industries, placing mobile at the heart of the customer journey.

Two in five (41%) companies agree that they are ‘mobile-first’, and almost two-thirds (63%) say that they have budget specifically allocated to mobile experimentation over the next 12 months.

The research has also revealed that the vast majority (82%) of companies are attempting to build a 360-degree view of customers in order to communicate to them more effectively. Three-quarters of responding companies (75%) say they have a data analytics strategy, but a significant proportion of these say (44%) that this strategy isn’t multichannel.

According to Mohammad Gaber, Head of Industry Strategy & Marketing, Travel & Hospitality at Adobe:

“The results of this research point to a technology, cultural, people and process transformation that is occurring in this sector. With focused integrated transformation functions, increasingly mobile-first posture and formalized data analytics strategies, it’s clear that progress is being made.

“However, significant opportunities remain, including a greater omnichannel data view, enhanced collaboration across marketing / technology teams and, importantly, the delivery of multichannel personalization.

”Other key findings include:

  • ‘Customer experience’ is the area where companies are most likely to be focused in the context of developing their digital capabilities over the next 12 months.-) More than a third (38%) of responding organizations say they are committed to the use of digital at their physical locations while a further 26% say they have carried out pilots.
  • Although virtually all companies claim to be doing some kind of personalization, only 30% say they are carrying out multichannel personalization based on digital and offline data.
  • Just under two-thirds (64%) of organizations say that their own data (first-party) is very effective for helping them to drive return on investment from marketing activities.
  • Social media platforms are the technology area where companies are most likely to be prioritizing investment over the next 12 months.

To get this report:

Source: Travel and hospitality companies have made good progress in the journey to digital maturity – new report | Econsultancy

www.flyvia.com : get there for less

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The Travel Marketing Store has started a new project to assist destinations to more effectively market stopovers.  For leisure or even business travellers significant savings can be made by flying indirectly to a destination and if planned well can create an additional vacation or business opportunity.

flyvia.com brings together three leading affiliate marketing programmes with Dohop, the flight meta search engine, Booking.com and GetYourGuide for destination activities.

On one site and with partner links you can plan and book cost effective stop over trips.

Three travel brands innovating in crowdsourced marketing | Econsultancy

The first act of out-reaching to the crowd is 300-years-old (dates back to 1714), but the term ‘crowdsourcing’ was first coined in 2005 by two Wired Magazine editors Jeff Howe and Mark Robinson.

The whole idea of the internet is inherently based on the idea of crowdsourcing.  The internet is the place where the opinions of thousands are collected to help others in their decision-making.  And now social platforms have made it very simple to instantly reach out to many people and pick their brains.  The web is a silo of opinions, ideas and services curated by the mob.  People also tend to be more open in web-based projects.

Crowdsourcing has proven to be one of the most disruptive business models of the modern age.

In travel, the most notable examples are TripAdvisor and Airbnb, whose business models are built on user-generated resources.  The traditional travel sector has woken up to the value of crowdsourced marketing, too.  It’s not only the popular (and cost-effective) thing to do: it’s just plain good marketing.

Why? Because marketing at its core means bonding with your customer.

These three traditional British travel brands below use crowdsourcing to bring their products to market in new and exciting ways and drive innovation:

1) British Airways

In 2011, British Airways was the first British travel brand that turned to the public to co-create its aircraft menus, movies and livery.  Budding chefs, scriptwriters and artists were called upon to submit their ideas as part of the airline’s ‘Great Britons’ programme, initially launched in 2009 in anticipation of the Olympic Games.

These ideas were then taken forward and enhanced by category experts like renowned chef Heston Blumenthal, actor Richard E Grant and artist Tracey Emin.

The final outcome: a new on-board menu, in-flight movies and artwork for the exterior of the aircraft.

British Airways and Metro crowdsourced collaboration.

Following the success of this project, British Airways went on to pioneer the first ever live integrated crowd-sourced travel campaign in partnership with Metro in 2014.  This initiative gave consumers a unique opportunity to create and edit content using social media channels.  As part of this campaign English comedian Joe Wilkinson was tasked with a series of globe-trotting challenges.

Metro readers voted online for the places they would like to see him visit and the experiences they wanted him to have on his adventure.  The campaign featured a live feed of reader comments on Metro.co.uk, plus Wilkinson directly interacted with the audience using social channels.  This campaign strengthened customers’ relationships with the British Airways brand in an innovative way.

2) TUI Thomson

TUI Thomson’s “Name Our Plane” campaign saw the brand crowdsource a name for its first 787 aircraft on Twitter in 2012.

The success of this type of campaign has led Thomson to run a similar campaign this year, which focuses on both suggestions and user votes.  The selected winner’s name will be fitted on the new Dreamliner 787 and winner will be flown to a free long-haul destination on the brand new plane.

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Thomson crowdsourced the first wedding

TUI Thomson is also the first travel brand that crowdsourced a wedding decided by Facebook fans in 2015. The “Your Big Day” campaign invited people to vote for their favourite couple, the best wedding dress (which the bride then had to wear), the best hen or stag party idea and the best venue.  All expenses for the wedding and honeymoon were paid for by Thomson. The contest received 700 entrants and 10,000 votes.

3) Visit Britain

In 2014 VisitBritain worked with Genero to crowdsource a number of short films to feature on its international Sounds of GREAT Britain campaign.

Genero represents a global network of filmmakers, who were tasked with producing a number of short films reflecting the variety of sights, sounds and experiences on offer across Britain. T

he winning films were featured on VisitBritain’s Lovewall and were distributed across all global markets, with a bespoke end result for each language and region.

The films were created to give different perspectives of the locations and themes featured in VisitBritain’s ‘Sounds of GREAT Britain’ campaign.

The resulting multimedia content was original, sharable and a good example of evergreen content.Crowdsourcing allows brands to utilise the creative power of their greatest asset – their customers – in exciting new ways. The best projects drive interest, website traffic and all round good vibes to the brand in question.

Source: Three travel brands innovating in crowdsourced marketing | Econsultancy

Royal Caribbean launching new marketing campaign that shows off incredible and immersive vacations | Royal Caribbean Blog

Royal Caribbean has launched a new marketing campaign entitled, “Come Seek”, that aims to show a Royal Caribbean cruise is more than just a vacation on a floating hotel.

The new campaign which made its début on October 19, 2015 conveys that a Royal Caribbean vacation is not simply a cruise and those that take a cruise are not taking a conventional vacation.

Royal Caribbean’s multi-million dollar campaign wants to “roll out red carpet for next generation of cruisers” that are not just new to cruising, but also tech-savvy and relish an immersive and experiential kind of vacation.

Royal Caribbean are calling these people “Seekers” because, travel is not about vacations or being a tourist: travel is a way of life.  “Come Seek” has three main messages: This is not a cruise; You are not a tourist; This is not the Caribbean.  At the end, it ends with simply, “This is the Royal Caribbean”.

Through a variety of channels, Royal Caribbean aims to have “Come Seek” invoke imagery of mashing up surprising on-board experiences, such as North Star, the FlowRider and connecting on social media with Voom high speed internet.  In addition, Royal Caribbean wants to show the depth of places to explore in the Caribbean.  All of this works towards giving guests experiences and memories that they cannot wait to show off to their friends and family.

New television ads made their début on the October 19th in 15 and 30 second spots.  In addition, Royal Caribbean added 5 second ads in programs with heavy live viewership on US TV networks, such as The Voice and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, with a 30 second ad later on to expand upon the 5 second teaser.  People may also have seen 5 second ads will run across the web including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Going beyond traditional media:

Perhaps one of the most innovative parts of this new campaign are the brand new “live billboards” in the New York city area that will feature live look-ins to Royal Caribbean’s ships.  Two hundred and thirty geo-target units across New York City will show live broadcasts via Periscope in high traffic commuter areas, such as John F. Kennedy International Airport terminal, news stands and subways.

Using the Voom high speed internet, these live tune-ins from the ships to show off the experience as it’s happening in real time.  These live look-ins will occur throughout the month of November and be shown around peak commuting times.  Most, if not all, of the tune-ins will come from Anthem of the Seas sailings.

Royal Caribbean will also look to guests to suggest experience that Royal Caribbean should broadcast back on Periscope.  Going off the map Royal Caribbean is also trying something else new to show off the kind of amazing experiences waiting in the Caribbean with a new Tumblr page called, “Uncharted”.

Royal Caribbean crew members will become ambassadors and share content as they experience it on their cruises.These Uncharted experiences will also be on the website, advertising and social media.  If it proves successful, the program could eventually extend to guests and travel agents.

Getting noticed:  

The idea behind this kind of advertising is to get past the traditional produced and polished advertising people expect.

Royal Caribbean believes authentic experiences will be something guests really value and notice.Royal Caribbean is very cognizant that consumers are used to being advertised so much that a lot of gets tuned out or fast forwarded.  With live Periscopes and crew ambassador reviews, the hope is the public will take notice because this is not a traditional kind of ad.

Source: Royal Caribbean launching new marketing campaign that shows off incredible and immersive vacations | Royal Caribbean Blog

Brand Karma & TrustYou Partner to Bring Hotel & Tourism Brands the Best of Reputation Management & Virtual Reality –

Brand Karma and TrustYou have announced a strategic partnership, bringing together TrustYou’s powerful reputation management tools and Brand Karma’s digital innovation in virtual reality (VR).

The needs of the travel enterprise continue to evolve. Hotels now need to unify a complex mix of traveller feedback from reviews, social media, and guest survey data to delight the guest and stay competitive.  At the same time, new media platforms are rapidly changing travel distribution, with virtual reality revolutionizing hotel sales and marketing.

Source: Brand Karma & TrustYou Partner to Bring Hotel & Tourism Brands the Best of Reputation Management & Virtual Reality –

3 Marketing Lessons From The Top Travel Brand Videos On Social

Digital video is taking off as a marketing tool, and brands are using it in more and more creative ways on social media. For travel brands – which can benefit from showcasing the visual elements of the experiences they offer – it’s especially important to have a strong video strategy.

Source: 3 Marketing Lessons From The Top Travel Brand Videos On Social 08/31/2015

Digital video is taking off as a marketing tool, and brands are using it in more and more creative ways on social media. For travel brands — which can benefit from showcasing the visual elements of the experiences they offer — it’s especially important to have a strong video strategy.

We researched the videos travel brands posted to Facebook that received the most likes, comments, and shares so far in 2015. A few clear themes emerged over and over again, giving us some insight into what makes an engaging travel video. Here are the creative marketing lessons we learned from the most engaging videos.

Tap into experiences everyone values

In the beginning of the year, Singapore Airlines created a video around something everyone can relate to: New Year’s resolutions. The footage takes a look at different groups of people and their resolutions that relate to travel. (For example, one man wants to take his family on their first family vacation ever, one woman wanted to take a solo trip, and so on). Singapore Airlines paid for their trips and documented their experiences. Much of the footage was filmed using GoPro-type devices, which gives the video a more personal vibe.

The video works especially well because it’s about something that’s consistent with an airlines brand. New Year’s resolutions are a common experience for people and travel is often a part of them. Singapore Airlines was clear about their involvement in each group’s trip, which works well because people value transparency. The video received roughly 105,000 interactions and 218,000 views. (That’s nearly one interaction for every two views.) It’s the fourth most-engaging video from a travel brand so far this year.

Give your audience an inside scoop

In February, KLM released a video demonstrating how autopilot on planes works. It gives viewers an inside look into the cockpit and the procedure of flying from the pilot’s perspective — all the way from takeoff to landing. The video got shared on Facebook nearly 30,000 times and was viewed over 2.2 million times. It’s the eighth most-engaging travel video this year.

The reason this video works so well is that it taps into an area of people’s imagination. Fans love to get the inside scoop into what’s going on, and they appreciate feeling like they get to access something that had been inaccessible before. That’s one of the reasons why, for example, the McDonald’s video earlier this year showing how their fries are made got a lot of attention.

Overproduction isn’t always necessary

Not every video needs the planning and precision of a full-length feature film. Social is a great place to share real things that are happening. When overproduction happens, brands can often appear ingenuine and out of touch. Sometimes, the best videos can come out of filming real people experiencing real things.

In June, Virgin Atlantic uploaded a video of a surprise they gave passengers on a Detroit flight: Richard Branson and the Virgin Atlantic team arranged for the cast of Motown the Musical to perform in the aisles in celebration of the airline’s new Detroit service. The light-hearted video gives us a glimpse into the performance and the reactions of the passengers.

It’s clear this surprise was enjoyed by more than just the passengers on the flight; it received over 86,000 interactions and was viewed almost four million times. It ranks seventh on the list of top engaging travel videos on Facebook this year.

Perhaps the best feature of a strong video strategy is being dynamic. Travel brands can approach online video in many different ways. They have a huge opportunity to showcase visual content since it’s so closely tied to their industry. It’s important for travel brands to keep exploring to figure out which ideas are a hit and which are a miss, and they should continue to test out videos on social in new ways to continue connecting with their audiences. In order to succeed in the eyes of consumers, they must be willing to explore meaningful experiences and share openly with their audiences.

The Next Big Thing In Visual Storytelling? Destination Selfies.

Source: The Next Big Thing In Visual Storytelling? Destination Selfies. – Monday, 14th September 2015 at 4Hoteliers

By Frederic Gonzalo
Monday, 14th September 2015
Travel destinations are often among leaders using digital marketing and social media to convey their message and connect with travellers and potential clientele;

Instagram continues to makes strides within the travel marketing realm, as travellers and travel brands alike grow to appreciate and use the mobile application acquired by Facebook back in 2012.

In August, Instagram announced it will evolve and move away from its known square-photo format in order to allow panoramic shots as well. Not to mention ads now rolling out to mainstream access…

Destination Selfies, Japanese Style!

And then Tourism Australia comes along, with its Giga Selfie initiative. As you can see in the video below, this campaign aims the Japanese traveller market, tapping into an already hugely popular phenomenon – taking selfies – and bringing it to the next level through this new feature.

In selected destinations, such a Gold Coast over the past weekend, Japanese travellers (or anybody using the Japanese language mobile application) can snap pictures of themselves… and reveal lots more about the location where they are at!

A great way to show more and influence travellers’ circles of friends and colleagues back in Japan. Note that Japan is an important country to Tourism Australia with more than 320,000 travellers in the past year, representing $1.4 billion in visitor spend.

How long until we see a similar campaign here in North America or in another friendly country?

Think with Google debuts a travel dashboard to help US marketers – Tnooz

Google logo.jpegIn August Google’s marketing research arm, Think with Google, unveiled its Travel Dashboard — a free online tool that highlights recent and year-over-year trends based on Google data across the car rental, air, and hotel verticals in the United States.

The data has been designed to help marketers in planning their campaigns. It will be updated quarterly. For instance, the travel dashboard shows that between January and June 2015, airline direct brand queries rose 19% year-over-year for Delta and 52% year-over-year for Allegiant Air. That’s a sign that those airlines’ search marketing, AdWords, and branding campaigns may be working.

For hotels, search volume on mobile devices increased 49% during the first half of the year, relative to same period a year earlier. The gain for tours-and-activities was 47%, relative to the first half of 2014. More air queries were coming from mobile, too — up 32% year-over-year, as of March 2015, across all Google Data.

Drilling down for context One of the travel dashboard tools lets any user select from 25 major US markets to find out where people were traveling between July and September 2014, according to Google’s data. For instance, people in San Antonio were visiting Las Vegas 21% more during that quarter than they were in the same period a year prior — making Sin City the biggest gainer among destinations measured. The site reveals where travelers were coming from. Columbus, Ohio, (“Go Buckeyes!”) saw a 90% year-over-year increase in Chicagoans visiting.

The travel dashboard is looking at Google search data that shows where people in one location are searching for travel to another city. It’s not data from Google Flights or Google Hotels metasearch tools, says a company spokesperson.

GO DEEP: The Travel Dashboard by Think with Google

MORE: This Air France ad is the top travel brand video of 2015, so far, says Google – See more at: http://www.tnooz.com/article/think-with-google-debuts-a-travel-dashboard-to-help-us-marketers/#sthash.Y66ofknL.dpuf