Taking a personalisation holiday

Customer Experience

Many of us have been or are plan­ning to go on hol­i­day over the Sum­mer. As I was plan­ning my most recent hol­i­day, I got to think­ing about how per­son­al­i­sa­tion plays a big part in the hol­i­day process; both as a con­sumer who wants a unique hol­i­day expe­ri­ence, and as the brand that want to cre­ate a rel­e­vant expe­ri­ence for the con­sumer through­out the process of plan­ning, book­ing and tak­ing their trip.

Peo­ple want a con­sis­tent, per­son­alised expe­ri­ence through­out their hol­i­day: as they plan their trip, while they trav­el, dur­ing their stay, and even when they get back after­wards. As mar­keters, we need to real­ize that our cus­tomers want this same lev­el of per­son­alised expe­ri­ence while they are inter­act­ing with us, whether they are online, on a mobile device, or in per­son. A bad expe­ri­ence can dri­ve them away to anoth­er des­ti­na­tion.

Now, let’s talk trav­el plans. You aren’t sure exact­ly where you’d like to go, but you want to stay by the beach, prefer­ably in a warm cli­mate, and you’re on a bud­get. Plug this infor­ma­tion into a search engine and you will start receiv­ing deals to beach des­ti­na­tions around the world. From there, you can nar­row your search based on cost, avail­abil­i­ty, and ameni­ties. In the back­ground, while you are enter­ing all of this infor­ma­tion, the site you are using should be using per­son­al­i­sa­tion to under­stand your vis­it and gath­er­ing these details to bet­ter suit your needs. Ulti­mate­ly, if they do it right, they will offer the type of hol­i­day you want, so you’ll stay on their site and book your hol­i­day with them.

After book­ing trav­el and secur­ing a hotel reser­va­tion, you’ve just giv­en the site a tremen­dous amount of infor­ma­tion from which they can deliv­er you new offers and deals for future trips. The site now knows your gen­der, age, who you’re trav­el­ing with, and more. Not only can they pro­vide you with future deals, they can con­tin­ue to mar­ket to you for your upcom­ing hol­i­day by serv­ing rel­e­vant ads from adver­tis­ing part­ners on items such as car hire or things you may need at the beach. It is pos­si­ble for a sim­ple online search for hol­i­day plans to lead to a great cus­tomer expe­ri­ence.

All of this inter­ac­tion between you (as the cus­tomer) and the site has gen­er­at­ed data that will enhance your future online expe­ri­ences. It also pro­vides val­i­da­tion to the com­pa­ny for its per­son­al­i­sa­tion pro­grams because this infor­ma­tion is track­able down to the sales lev­el. Smart mar­keters are using this data to deliv­er rich, engag­ing expe­ri­ences to con­sumers across chan­nels and devices.

Inno­v­a­tive brands are extend­ing the dig­i­tal expe­ri­ence from the obvi­ous plan­ning and book­ing process into the real-world, by using apps to bridge the gap between the web and the consumer’s stay. These apps are sim­pli­fy­ing life for trav­el­ers by tak­ing tedious tasks and mak­ing them eas­i­er. You can now check-in remote­ly to near­ly every step of your trip (flight, hotel, car ser­vice) and reserve space at those pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions with a few touch­es on your smart phone (no more queu­ing up)!

How­ev­er, the end of the hol­i­day isn’t the end of the rela­tion­ship between the con­sumer and the brand – we’re shar­ing pho­tographs and sta­tus updates on social media, and when we get back from the trip we’re writ­ing reviews of our expe­ri­ences on social shar­ing sites, such as Tri­pAd­vi­sor or Yelp. Once we reach this point, we have tru­ly become an advo­cate for the brand.

So, let’s look at how per­son­al­i­sa­tion helped to enhance the hol­i­day plan­ning expe­ri­ence:

  • A good per­son­alised web expe­ri­ence is smooth, non-intru­sive and rel­e­vant to the cus­tomer.
  • The infor­ma­tion and con­tent deliv­ered to them should meet their needs and encour­age them to inter­act with your brand, deep­en­ing engage­ment.
  • Cus­tomer inter­ac­tions gen­er­ate data that can be used to enhance their expe­ri­ence in future sit­u­a­tions and val­i­date the impact of your pro­grams.

As mar­keters, these are things you can (and should) be doing today to deliv­er rel­e­vant, engag­ing expe­ri­ences to con­sumers across chan­nels and devices. How­ev­er, if you are new to per­son­al­i­sa­tion, don’t fear. Here are a few options for dip­ping your feet into the per­son­al­i­sa­tion pool (if you’ll excuse the pun).

  • Web or email opti­mi­sa­tion offer big uplifts in engage­ment and rev­enue, often with­out mas­sive invest­ment
  • Test and opti­mise your web pages
  • Seg­ment your audi­ence and per­son­al­ize land­ing pages based on their pro­files

Adobe offers a com­plete solu­tion to help you reach the anony­mous to the known cus­tomer. For more infor­ma­tion on our per­son­al­i­sa­tion options, please vis­it:  http://www.adobe.com/uk/solutions/digital-marketing.html. And if you’d like to read about Adobe’s research into the trav­el indus­try, please check out the Adobe Dig­i­tal Index reports on CMO.com.

Customer Experience
Jamie Brighton

Posted on 08-21-2014

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