Getting to know customers through their behavior when planning and booking travel has become a priority for marketers. Technology companies have proliferated aiming to help marketers know the customer better – what sites they look at, where they have traveled before, what their travel preferences are.
These technology companies have gotten more sophisticated at what they do — and when a couple of them team up to combine their forces and abilities, they raise the stakes on what they claim they can deliver. That is what happened recently when Adara, a data-sharing cooperative of 200 travel companies, partnered with LiveRamp, which specializes in identity resolution — being able to recognize the same customer across multiple digital channels. Their combined promise: to improve the relevancy of marketing and, ultimately, allow consumers to better connect with the brands and products they love.
Bernard Yu, senior vice president, strategic initiatives at Adara, says that the partnership enables the companies to refine their omni-channel marketing. He explained that, until recently, it was possible to identify a consumer at the browser and device level, but more difficult to know they are being reached on a PC or phone or even email — you never knew it was the same person. He said LiveRamp enables marketers to “stitch together” a customer across not only devices but email, “addressable TV” (which allows marketers to show different ads to different viewers) and other platforms.
What this capability does is not identify a person as Joe Jones but does find a “unique ID that allows marketers to target with great specificity.” Yu said clients on the advertising and marketing side have been clamoring for this kind of capability, which helps them leverage Adara’s data.
On the ground it works like this. A customer researches a vacation — browsing airline sites, Kayak, Expedia, etc., as well as offline platforms. All those transactions are seen by Adara — and, with the LiveRamp capabilities, that data can be used to leverage ads. Example: Marriott wants to reach people thinking of traveling to the Caribbean. A Marriott ad can be displayed even as that ”Caribbean vacation” search is going on.
And this kind of power is available to smaller companies as well as large Adara clients like United and JetBlue. No matter the client size, Adara can: provide a digital advertising leverage platform which creatives can use when targeting consumers; offer measurement tools so marketers can understand how media is working for them; and deliver analytics so marketers can leverage data to understand their customers.
In the end, says Yu, rather than being focused on filling seats or rooms, marketers should concentrate on getting the right customer in the right room/seat/car at the right time. A partnership like Adara and LiveRamp, he says, promises better insights in targeting at the customer level, insuring revenue maximization and yield.
While the promise of digital was always the ability to target customers more efficiently and with better measurement than traditional media, the explosion of devices and channels has made this messy. If Adara and LiveRamp — and their counterparts — can deliver on their claims, that early promise will be more fully realized.