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

The Top 29 Most Heavily Venture-Funded Startups In Travel – Skift

Skift logoYesterday, travel startups HotelTonight and GetYourGuide announced major funding rounds, and both of the travel startups are now well into double-digit millions on the amounts they’ve raised so far — HotelTonight may soon even touch $100 million mark.

That gave Skft an idea to compile a list of all the biggest venture-funded startups currently in travel and we came up with this list of 29 companies, with the lowest cutoff of around $20 million.  Some observations from Skift:

  • Airbnb and Uber, never really billed as travel startups per se, are the two biggest venture-backed startups that exist now across tech, not just the travel tech sector.
  • Chinese car rental, sharing, and booking companies have raised huge amounts to compete on scale.
  • Russian booking companies have raised large amounts to compete in an especially competitive market.
  • In general, room sharing and car sharing requires lot of investment to build, disrupt, and compete.Only two B2B startups are on this list. Surprisingly, both are aimed at the intersection of travel transactions and advertising/retargeting.
  • Hotel booking is where the big action is on the traditional online

via The Top 29 Most Heavily Venture-Funded Startups In Travel – Skift.

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