Personalisation is a marketing trend that's here to stay. 58% of consumers say that personalisation is very important when making a purchase, with 52% claiming they'd be likely to swap brands if they could get more personalised content elsewhere.
Using your customer data and understanding their behaviour to tailor experiences is key if you want to be the travel brand that wins their trust and ultimately earns their bookings. Here are three ways of exploiting the personalisation trend in order to wow customers, earn trust and drive bookings.
Travel brand KLM used its 50th anniversary to release an interactive version of its digital brand magazine, iFly 50. The stunning imagery and slick, interactive user experience creates a piece of content worth engaging with. At the end of the experience, users are asked to pick their favourite five destinations and enter their email address for the chance to win a trip of a lifetime.
This is a clever way of collecting data from engaged users with a view to personalising their experience further down the line, possibly with follow-up emails or digital marketing that features their favourite five destinations. Generating a piece of stunning content like this to delight users and collect the data necessary for personalisation, is a shining example of how great travel PR can make customer experiences better overall.
Virgin Hotels doesn't shy away from hiding its desire to personalise behind competitions or content. It is upfront with guests, giving them access to a personal preference centre called The Know. Here, guests can tell Virgin Hotels who they're travelling with, what they like to do or eat, their favourite bands, sleeping habits – even what they'd like to see stocked in a fantasy fridge.
Virgin Hotels then uses this data to optimise customer experiences, creating little touches that personalise their guests' stay and make for a wonderful experience. Knowing that a brand wants to listen to and make you happy in this way, on such a personal and bespoke level, is an amazing experience for customers – and an experience which they will carry forward to future travel brand interactions and expect more of.
If you're a travel brand with a website, you have the capability to personalise at your fingertips. Cookies and marketing automation software are a stellar combination for understanding how your customers engage with your website and what their interests are. This is turn can be used as powerful data to ensure that marketing comms are relevant to the customer in question.
You can see what's been searched, whether certain products or destinations have been visited multiple times, whether a user came close to the end of the booking process but then left. This rich data, available on an individual level, allows for follow-up email or digital media campaigns that are more likely to resonate with users on an individual level and so drive bookings.
These three examples scrape the surface of the potential that personalisation has for delighting travel customers and growing business. Gone are the days of treating people as a homogeneous group, with no interest in or ability to understand their individual preferences or needs.
Travel is a very personal business; we all have our favourite destinations, preferred means of transport, activities that we do or don't enjoy – and these personal preferences all come from very individual experiences and motivations. Travel business must start treating customers as individuals if they want to flourish, and personalisation is key to success in this area.