In a roundtable discussion last month, travel intelligence platform ADARA and PerformanceIN brought together travel marketing specialists from leading agencies, affiliate networks and hotel chains. The resulting conversation led the way for a series of Q&As and features- all of which you can download for free in our Travel Performance Marketing digital supplement.
In this extract we discussed the complexity of analysing the travel consumer's path to purchase across multiple devices.
What challenges do you face in measuring conversions across devices?
Louisa Lawson (DigitasLBi): Working across multiple different agencies, selecting a tracking solution, actual implementation of tracking client side then integrating varying channel tags, building an output report and then allowing enough time to gather data to then be analysed.
Peter Kelly (ADARA): Mobile will drive digital travel sales in 2015 so brands must get their heads around cross-channel analytics in real-time, as consumers increasingly flip between tablet, smartphone and PC. It’s vital to understand not only where a purchase is made (the literal conversion) but also customer interaction across additional channels that drove them to make the purchasing decision. Without the ability to track customers across platforms, it’s difficult to measure the success of any activity or campaign.
Alain Portmann (House of Kaizen): Identifying a unique ID across devices and between individuals. Even the use of email as the single identifier poses challenges.
How can we better understand and target users across multiple devices? Have we managed to crack this yet?
AP: Not really: “Multiple device” is as challenging as “multiple channel” in that it requires a solution that integrates creative, media, messaging and technology.
Michael Long (Hotels.com): This is a challenge for everybody in the industry and an area we are investing in. We can measure the success of key metrics such as conversion, average spend, time on site etc. by device and put together what we think users are doing but there are still improvements and developments to do.
LL: This is made much easier if a user is logged in to a site and the site can identify the user based on device. This has only been cracked by a small handful of sites.
James Maley (Hilton Worldwide): Our digital amenities, enabled via the HHonors app, are accessible through a wide variety of digital devices and operating systems. Through being on the channels that our guests prefer most, we’re able to form a deeper connection with them and better personalise their stay experience with us.
PK: The biggest shift as well as challenge for cross device is moving away from a reliance on cookies to another form of unique ID that allows the ability to identify and target the correct user. Without this, cross device ad targeting will undoubtedly continue to be a challenge and fragmented approach.
Is there a sense that marketers have the data at their disposal but cannot or do not use it effectively?
AP: The data is available but not openly shared. Google and Facebook are already taking steps to ensure their multi-channel data is guarded from their user bases.
LL: Yes, the data is available but it’s about how brands organise and use that data to their advantage to better understand customer journeys and optimise these accordingly.
PK: Marketers have access to a wide range of first-party data but many are struggling to analyse and interpret the information they have. At the moment only 18% of marketers have a full overview of their customer and with the amount of data expected to increase 4300% by 2020, it’s important that companies start to get on top of their data assets. Furthermore, quality insight into customers cannot be seen through one data point alone. Data specialists such as ADARA can therefore help travel companies combine first and third party data to provide a comprehensive and rich overview of their customers.
ML: Not always. I think the data available is used in as much capacity as possible.
For further insight into marketing one of the industry's largest sectors download the complimentary supplement, available here.
You can find out more about contributing to any of our upcoming roundtables here.