PALO ALTO, CA—It’s a basic tenet of hospitality: Know your customer. Taking notice of and then meeting a guest’s wants and needs is just one of the ways hoteliers can deliver on the brand promise, but this information serves as a vital marketing tool for positive outcomes—repeat visits, higher spend on-property and customer loyalty.
Meet Adara, a platform that aims to provide real-time insight into travel data for more informed and targeted marketing. Founded in 2009, the “travel data co-op” fuels three core business areas: advertising, measurement & analytics and traveler intelligence. The co-op is powered by search, booking and loyalty data from more than 175 airlines, hotels, OTAs, metasearch, GDS and car rental companies globally. Brands include American Airlines, United, Delta, Cathay Pacific, Marriott, Hertz and others. Every month, the company sees more than 500 million unique traveler profiles.
“Adara has developed a unique approach to managing data in the co-op. We collect data directly from all of our partner companies, directly from the source, while ensuring each data set has specific permission and usage rules,” said Scott Garner, president of data and analytics, Adara. “All data sources are tracked uniquely and maintained in their own secure ‘walled gardens.’ As a result, our platform is capable of integrating data from relevant partners to deliver relevant and tailored insights to each client.”
Garner further explained that nowadays much of the data available to marketers is unverified and the information cannot be trusted with the same level of integrity as comparative data where active and personal engagement is noted and associated activities are tracked.
“The non-transparent nature of many data sources also means marketers cannot confidently tie results back to defined marketing objectives and brand engagement measures. Instead, they are limited to oversimplified tangible measurements such as clicks or views,” said Garner. “Conversely, a digital data co-op provides a comparative data overview at an unprecedented scale by bringing together massive banks of aggregated associated, non-transparent data sources from different but related verticals. Pooling data in this way reveals cross-industry behaviors and trends that would otherwise be hidden within the silos of individual businesses, giving marketers who use it enough insight to map their campaigns back to true brand-specific marketing objectives.”
In terms of understanding travel patterns, trends and customer behavior for a brand’s benefit, Garner says there are three things hoteliers and marketers must know:
Focus on the right target. “One of the most efficient ways to allocate marketing budgets is to focus on those people with high travel intent. Adara has the most comprehensive set of structured search and booking data across the industry, which provides a high quality signal of travel intent,” he said. “That intent is captured the moment a traveler conducts an initial travel query whether at an airline or hotel with either a supplier directly or through intermediaries. This ensures that hotel marketers are targeting the most likely travelers they can, which creates a high level of efficiency from an ROI perspective.”
Track the journey. Hotel marketers should have a full-funnel strategy which targets travelers when they start thinking about taking a trip (upper funnel); when they have started their travel search (mid-funnel); and when they are getting close to making a final purchase (low-funnel). “If any of these phases are missed, it is likely the traveler will book at a different hotel or in a different channel,” Garner said.
Everyone is a customer. “Adara has found that even the most loyal hotel guest needs to be targeted regularly given that loyalty only goes so far,” he said. “Loyal hotel travelers still continue to search for better deals and other hotel options.”