Written by Matthew Lubeck, Vice President EMEA, Amperity
A consumer survey by McKinsey notes that a customer’s perception of a travel company can be degraded if even one pain point in the customer journey is not satisfactorily resolved. Meanwhile according to Deloitte, 39 per cent of guests are likely to spend more on personalised experiences. Furthermore, 41 percent of guests say they tell friends and family about their great experience, which has the potential to increase revenue, brand loyalty and generate powerful, word-of-mouth marketing for a company.
Yet, despite the value of getting personalisation right, many European travel and hospitality brands continue to struggle when understanding their customer data:
- Messy Booking Data: The abundance of data collected by online travel agencies (OTAs), hotels, airlines and car rental services to name a few, poses a significant challenge. Connecting the dots and identifying the ownership of this data is a daunting task. As a result, personalisation often falls by the wayside, hindering the ability to understand and cater to individual preferences.
- Fractured Identities: Customers share inconsistent and diverse identifiers (like emails, phone numbers, zip codes and usernames) as they interact with brands from different channels, touchpoints and devices. The more a customer interacts, the more fragmented that identity becomes.
Systems that aren’t equipped with the right intelligence will fail to identify the fact that Business Traveler Joe and Vacation Joe are the same person with different loyalty accounts. Without an accurate, single view of the customer, brands run into downstream problems like poor personalisation and inaccurate insights.
- Siloed Data: Personalisation must be a holistic experience throughout the entire customer journey from online booking to customer service. However, the siloed nature of data and the lack of trust in its accuracy make it challenging to provide seamless personalisation at each touchpoint. Bridging these gaps requires a comprehensive understanding of the customer journey and the ability to infuse employee data, feedback and surveys into the personalisation process.
- Legacy Tools: Data Management Platforms (DMPs) are declining in effectiveness and efficacy. But the DMPs’ diminishing usefulness is not so much a problem with the technology itself; rather, it’s a reflection of the changing landscape where DMPs operate.
An urgent need for data intelligence
In today’s fast-paced digital landscape where customer loyalty is up for grabs, travel and hospitality brands don’t have the luxury of time to deal with legacy issues. They need fast, powerful and flexible Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) that can transform their end-to-end data management process in three major ways:
- Fast and powerful identity resolution
- Real-time access to 360-degree customer profiles
- Data intelligence and campaign orchestration
In this ecosystem, identity resolution becomes a crucial step in using customer data:
- Complete data collection: Powerful identity platforms have the ability to ingest customer data in their raw, native formats; regardless of where they come from. This eliminates the problem of data silos and the unnecessary need for reformatting and conversion, allowing brands to preserve the richness of their data right from the source.
- Flexible probabilistic identity resolution: Probabilistic identity resolution harnesses AI-powered algorithms to establish identity matches by making intelligent judgments and drawing probable links between seemingly unrelated data sets and identifiers just like a human would.
Unlike traditional rules-based or deterministic approaches (i.e. based on exact matches) that tend to be rigid and limiting, probabilistic platforms allow brands to resolve identities at a much larger scale with the flexibility to update and adapt each time new data enters the system.
- Massive computing power: Petabytes of data come through identity systems each day. Platforms must be built on a robust infrastructure, so brands can have the freedom to scale up or down, according to their business needs.
Solving data complexities for true personalisation in travel and hospitality
With data integration complete, travel and hospitality brands will want to have real-time access to the most up-to-date customer profiles. CDPs do that by providing them with an ‘always-on’ Customer 360, where users can easily retrieve the information they need.
Good Customer 360’s also break departmental silos. They should come with the ability to power disparate use cases for every team and department in the organisation – from marketing to IT to analytics to customer service to compliance and finance.
With a CDP, travel and hospitality brands can seamlessly connect online and offline data sources to create a unified customer profile. This enables them to provide vastly better guest experiences through highly personalised campaigns and interactions. Brands have a clear view of their high-value customers with the goal of delivering one-to-one or one-to-few experiences based on what they know about guest preferences.
By embracing the power of personalisation, brands can transcend the limitations of today’s challenges and create a future where every traveller feels understood, valued and inspired by their experiences.
The journey begins with a commitment to data-driven strategies and an unwavering dedication to delivering remarkable moments that leave an indelible mark on the hearts of travellers. After all, getting better at using guest experience data isn’t just to selfishly boost a brand’s bottom line — it’s a genuine endeavour to elevate the entire guest experience.
About the author
Matthew Lubeck, Vice President EMEA, Amperity
Matthew is the vice president of EMEA where he is responsible for the commercial expansion of Amperity, a leading customer data platform trusted by brands like Reckitt, Under Armour and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. Lubeck joined Amperity in 2017 to help launch the company and has served in a number of key roles building sales, customer success, and marketing functions. Matthew established Amperity’s LGBTQ employee resource group (ERG) and is a trusted advisor and customer-centricity change agent to the C-suite across leading consumer brands.
Prior to Amperity, Lubeck spent 10 years with global beauty conglomerates Estee Lauder Group and L’Oréal as Group Head of Customer Data Strategy and Analytics, leading 30 brands across luxury, mass and salon professional divisions to better use data & unlock incredible beauty experiences, establishing L’Oreal as an industry leader. He resides in London with his husband and four-year-old daughter.
Amperity delivers the data confidence brands need to unlock growth by truly knowing their customers. With Amperity, brands can build a first-party data foundation to fuel customer acquisition and retention, personalise experiences that build loyalty, and manage privacy compliance. Using patented AI and ML methods, Amperity stitches together all customer interactions to build a unified view that seamlessly connects to marketing and technology tools. More than 400 brands worldwide rely on Amperity to turn data into business value, including Alaska Airlines, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Endeavour Drinks, Planet Fitness, Seattle Sounders FC, Under Armour and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. For more information, visit amperity.com or follow us on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.