65% of the travel businesses already have a devoted data analysis team, and an increasing number of firms are planning to increase their data analytics budget soon. Data is no more just a buzzword in the travel industry. It brings endless opportunities to the rising data-driven travel industry.
Digital transformation and technological evolution have given easy access to huge information; people leave trails of travel data, online purchases are made, preferred vacation locations are searched, itineraries are saved in digital calendars, and much more.
Constant data enrichment and validation through technology-enabled solutions and expert intervention are needed. A US-based hospitality data aggregator was able to update and validate 17 million records to get a high-performing database and enhance revenue after outsourcing data enrichment.
Data enrichment boosts the initiatives of the travel business. However, collecting and connecting that data remains a challenge, especially with travel business information sources getting varied like blogs, social media posts, websites, etc.
How data enrichment helps boost travel initiative
The tourism business makes up about 10% of world GDP as per the World Tourism Organization, indicating huge growth potential for the industry. Plus, there is an incredible wealth of information available, which, if used effectively, players can reap great benefits. However, data needs constant enrichment and validation to draw actionable insights.
Some of the benefits of data enrichment include:
Target the right customer
Customer demographic data, interests, preferences, social media interactions, net search, etc. help the travel industry to sell the right products to the right customer at the right price and time. The data help the industry predict and anticipate demand and target accordingly.
Say, for example, young people, office goers, newlyweds, or even teenagers, are more likely to travel than old folks. Adventure-loving people may look for an adventure vacation. Data filtering based on relationship status, age, income bracket, social media activity, hobbies, interests, etc. could give insights into your audience.
Optimize booking process
Data helps the hospitality industry to anticipate demand and optimize availability and pricing, to achieve the best possible financial results. Internal data like past occupancy rates, room revenue, and current bookings can be combined with external data like local events, flights, and school holidays to predict and anticipate demand. This enables hotels and airlines to better manage prices and room rates, increasing them at times of high demand, to maximize revenues and grow profitably.
It also helps generate customized offers which have higher chances of conversion. The strategy was used effectively by United Airlines whose travel industry revenue increased by over 15% through tactful use of customer data. They followed the collect, detect, act protocol to analyze over 150 variables in each customer profile.
Reputation management is about monitoring and influencing how your hotel is perceived online. Credibility plays a vital role in the growth and success of the tourism industry. Online reviews play an important role in building brand credibility. Travelers often check reviews before booking into any hotel.
Customers leave feedback and review both positive and negative on different platforms like social media, websites, blogs, etc. A good selection of positive reviews helps build credibility and enhance business growth. Reviews and feedback can also be used to identify the strengths and weak points which can be further used for training staff and improving services.
With vast and varied global customers, trends, etc. the marketing can never go right if not customized. Information about customers, their choices, what they are looking for, etc. helps tourism companies to adopt a more strategic approach to their marketing efforts. Today a traveler is loyal to his dreams and wants to travel as per his interests. A traveler looks for experiences customized to his needs.
So, marketing can no more be generic. It needs to cater to the personal requirements of each customer. With data, it gets simpler for businesses to identify trends and opportunities to make a profit. Promotional content tailored as per the interests and needs of the customer gets results. Data enables marketing messages to be more relevant and targeted.
Enhanced customer experience
Every touchpoint with the customer helps collect data on customer experience. Every customer interaction can provide valuable data, which can be used to improve the overall customer experience. This data can include everything from social media conversations and online reviews to service usage.
The data helps the industry make more informed data-driven decisions about their services and thereby improve the overall customer experience and satisfy customers better. Apart from enhancing experience, customer data also helps to identify the new services they should introduce, remove services no longer needed, or even services that need improvement.
Data can be used to compile and analyze information about competitors, to gain a clearer understanding of what other hotels or businesses are offering customers. Again, this data can be acquired from a variety of sources. There is no shortage of places where customers go to share their opinions on hotels and travel companies, especially online. Finding gaps in the rivals and offering services where they fail can lead to greater demand and high revenue.
Data enrichment eliminates duplicates
There are multiple touchpoints the customer has with your business, which often leads to duplicate entries. Duplicate records are a serious concern for a company that uses multiple platforms to manage data. It happens when an exact copy is created at different places in the same database. Suppose a customer has changed his address, and he booked with you from both the locations, then automatically your database will have duplicate entries.
This could lead to wrong deliveries. Duplicate data costs a company significantly. It results in revenue loss, customer loss, and a damaged reputation. It even hits your marketing budget when you end up sending your marketing catalog to the wrong addresses or the same person multiple times. Data enrichment tools help in getting rid of duplicate data, enhancing data quality, saving costs, and eventually improving revenue.
Data enrichment saves costs, fosters meaningful customer relationships, boosts successful targeted marketing, improves sales, builds credibility, improves customer experience, and much more. But this is not a one-time process. It is an ongoing process as data keeps changing. Income levels, preferences, addresses, etc. change. It is important to have the right data enrichment strategy in place. Manual processes are getting replaced by technology-enabled solutions that are faster and more reliable. Outsourcing data enrichment to experts is an option.