Employing a growing paradigm known as “programmatic advertising,” suppliers are bidding against each other for the opportunity to follow their customers across the Internet, and the results could forever change how travel is marketed and sold directly to consumers. That’s because as they follow their customers around the Web and social media services, suppliers are mixing and matching data about those customers’ browsing, searching and spending habits with their own company data to present consumers with highly individualized, real-time ads that personalize everything from product features to price and value add-ons. For example, a traveler might begin a search for a ticket on an airline’s website, then either buy it or leave without completing the purchase, moving on to another site. By being able to follow the customer to the next and subsequent sites, the airline can continue targeting that individual with an ad offering a seat upgrade if they bought the ticket or a slightly discounted fare if they did not.This type of marketing is made possible by combining existing models of online advertising and adding in two new elements to create a potent data stew. First, suppliers are joining two data sets: the company’s own data from loyalty programs and customers’ purchase histories with contextual data derived from tracking their Web browsing in real time, a mix familiar to users of Google. To that data blend, they are adding two elements to create programmatic advertising.