Hotels face hurdles when targeting customers for multichannel marketing campaigns.
For instance, they must collect first-party data in the form of hashed emails, first-party cookie IDs, and historical booking data, according to How Hotels are Using First-Party Data to Drive Revenue & Build Strong Relationships, a paper by Sojern.
But that is easier said than done.
The report defines hashed emails as “anonymized email addresses that are encrypted into a unique character code that can be tracked across the web, including any platforms, browsers, or devices.”
Hashed emails can be gathered via a website login or a bookings on the site. They are the central feature of “data protection by design,” a function that allows brands to avoid sharing a person’s identifiable information.
Advertisers can “share these IDs with a partner to match their consumers’ website activity to their hashed emails. Once the ID is associated with the hashed email, users can be identified without logging in or completing a purchase again,” the study states.
Hashed emails are considered “’pseudonymous’ personal data, which alone do not identify a specific individual. Using hashed emails enables you to avoid sharing information that directly identifies an individual (such as name or phone number), making them a central feature of “data protection by design” under GDPR and other privacy laws,” the study adds.
Another challenge is the rapidly approaching deadline for establishing first-party data programs before third-party cookies are phased out. The answer is first-party cookies — those that cannot be linked directly with customer activity.
Along with hashed emails, these facilitate personalization, which is “more than just getting a traveler’s name correct on an email or advertisement. It’s digging deeper into where these users are in their lives and their buyer journeys."
The study says that three-fourths of hotel marketers using first-party data say it is helping them build stronger relationships.