Navigating New Altitudes of Personalization in Travel Advertising

By Julia Bielecka-Dąbrowska, Head of Sales Development & Efficiency, RTB House

The travel and tourism sector is on course to add an all-time high of $11.1 trillion to the global economy, thanks in part to the Paris Olympics & Paralympics and UEFA Euro 2024 Germany.   These events not only elevate the profile of their host locations but also draw massive audiences, creating fertile ground for advertisers. In response, it’s a chance for them to embrace modern marketing technologies and solutions, especially given the industry’s state of flux.

Although this predicted travel boom broadens marketing opportunities, brands need to ensure they are reaching travellers with the right offers, at the right time, with tailored advertising experiences that address their individual needs and travel interests. Travel brands that fail to reach consumers with this level of personalisation and relevance will fall behind their competitors and, ultimately, miss out on the rise in consumer spending this year.

The year may be almost halfway through, but there’s still a wealth of possibilities for travel brands to get consumers spending with them around major events. The only thing standing in a brand’s way is the right strategy.

A personal touch

Consumer expectations have changed as marketing technology develops and personalisation has become a hugely important part of digital advertising, having a weighted impact on the success of a campaign. Consumers expect to receive finely-targeted ads that are relevant, timely, and feel personalised to engage them. In travel, the right data points can enable an advertiser to gain insights into a person’s most used airport, the types of destinations consumers are interested in, the types of accommodation they’re likely to choose, and more.

Personalised, bespoke campaigns resonate better with travellers than generic ads and, as a result, are more likely to capture their attention. It can enhance the customer experience, streamline the process for both travel-related companies and customers, and improve long-term loyalty. By personalising the travel experience, connections are forged with customers, leading to increased brand trust and recognition which, ultimately, will lead to the consumer being more likely to convert and also make future purchases. But, reaching consumers with these relevant ads requires marketers to be able to analyse and activate the pools of data available to them efficiently.

That’s where artificial intelligence (AI) can play a significant role, providing the same functionality as brands and consumers were previously used to, but using state-of-the-art technology.

Learning about consumer needs

AI – in particular, Deep Learning – holds the key to marketers being able to analyse vast datasets efficiently. It can help advertisers identify potential customers’ booking habits and interests based on patterns, filling the void left by the deprecation of third-party cookies. This predictive modelling makes it a great fit for contextual targeting such as tailoring offers, where algorithms are able to feed off advanced contextual cues and serve increasingly relevant campaigns from large unstructured datasets.

Deep Learning algorithms can take this first-party data and find patterns to enable better targeting of these offers to known customers. The more data available to travel brands – whether contextual or otherwise – the better that AI can not just serve relevant campaigns, but also accurately tailor the entire booking journey for travellers. For example, RTB House partnered with Flyin, an online travel agency in Saudi Arabia, utilising AI-powered personalisation. RTB House helped to re-engage in-market travellers by showing highly relevant and targeted offers at the right times, automatically formulating a tailor-made bidding model based on user behaviour and travel preferences. This ultimately led to an increase in flight booking and improved return on ad spend.

Being able to autonomously make decisions via Deep Learning technology creates an environment where travel brands are able to optimise their budget, achieving better results using less spend.

Going for gold

Though summer is fast approaching, and the summer of sport with it, it’s not too late for travel brands to put an effective strategy in place. This strategy needs to be built on the power of Deep Learning technology to efficiently deliver the best possible results for the business.

Consumers are set to spend incredible amounts of money in the remainder of the year, and any brand not reaching these people with personalised, relevant ads will struggle to keep up with the competition.

The more personalised an experience is, the more likely a brand is to convince consumers to convert and then continue making purchases in the future. If travel brands want to enjoy a high-flying, medal-winning summer, Deep Learning will deliver the success their businesses are striving for.

Tags: AI