The study, which included responses from close to 500 US-based travel marketers, finds that few travel brands have employed the most advanced tactics such as AI-driven prediction and dynamic use of data across channels, but that many plan to do so in the next year.
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“Peak personalization is a goal all travel marketers have in their sights, with many planning major advancements in the next year,” said Carolyn Corda, CMO at ADARA. “This research shows just how large a task it is to create a truly advanced marketing operation. The good news is that each step of the journey provides incremental benefits as richer data and new analytic capabilities are tested and scaled. The three pillars we detail in our research, namely, Data & Analytics, Activation & Improvement, and Pervasiveness, provide a framework that unleashes the highest possible value from marketing technology investments to deliver compelling personalization.”
Advanced data and AI-driven marketing is a major initiative for travel brands, and this research provides detailed insights into what is being used now, and where brands plan to invest in the near term. The research also gives travel marketers a roadmap for how to invest successfully across the key pillars of advanced marketing to deliver consistent, compelling customer experiences across channels.
ADARA and Skift found that, despite the industry focus on new advanced marketing capabilities, few marketers have implemented these upgrades, but many plan to do more in the future:
- Fewer than one in ten travel marketers surveyed (9%) use AI extensively for personalization.
- Less than one third (31%) of brands currently use derived data at an individual level, but this was the most popular type of data planned to be used next year.
- Only one third of travel marketers (33%) use dynamic segmentation, with 42% planning to do so next year.
- Less than half of travel marketers, 47%, have some level of multichannel orchestration currently in place, yet only 21% plan to prioritize mobile personalization, indicating that there is still a long way to go.
The research organizes advanced marketing into three pillars, Data & Analytics, Activation & Improvement, and Pervasiveness. For an advanced marketing program to succeed marketers must execute on a strategy that combines data and activation across channels. In this way, travel marketing processes adapt and improve over time, delivering more insights, and orchestrating the customer experience more seamlessly.