Customization and Personalization in Travel Marketing

Customization and Personalization in Travel Marketing Published October 2015 Analyst: Robert Cole


FREE for Open Access, Innovation Subscribers
Research Type:

The future of travel marketing operates at the crossroads of technology and human behavior. For decades, travel marketing was dominated by mass broadcasting of product features – convenient schedules, on-time performance, pleasant staff or comfy beds. However, travel experiences involve much more than the airplane or hotel room. Behavioral sciences recognize that once physiological needs for sustenance and security are satisfied, social needs for relationships, self-esteem and personal accomplishment take priority.

As focus shifts from the external environment (the product) to internal fulfilment (the traveler), the result is the customization and personalization of the travel experience lifecycle – which is validated through extensive multivariate behavioral testing.

Travel technologies have helped facilitate this change. The ubiquity of advanced technologies and communications now enables unparalleled traveler self-sufficiency when researching, booking and experiencing travel. Real-time communications and mobile platforms provide an unprecedented level of contextual relevance, while social sharing arguably communicates as much about the individual doing the sharing as the content being shared.

Consumer advertising, once dominated by a logical assessment of value – offering faster/cheaper/better solutions to travel problems – is shifting toward satisfying the more innate desires of individuals. Lifestyle hotels combine residential amenities with social networking opportunities. Frequent traveler programs offer auctions for unique experiences to sustain traveler patronage and interest.

The challenge for the travel industry is to prioritize personalization initiatives to take advantage of existing and emerging technologies that capitalize on advanced analytics and big data, which other industries are embracing. The travel suppliers and destinations remain significantly behind the online travel agencies (OTAs) in deploying and experimenting with these technologies. 

  • Introduction
  • From Broadcast to Conversations
  • Identifying Individuals
  • Incomprehensibly Huge Data
  • Travel Can Get Tricky
  • The Inversion of Traditional Marketing Processes
  • Creating Personas
  • Profitable & Important, but Not Simple
  • Essential Individual Engagement Processes
  • The Future: New Signals, New Interfaces
  • Do Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Company Want to Become Travel Agents?
  • The End Game: True Customer Centricity
FREE for Open Access, Innovation Subscribers