First-Party Data is the key to Effectively Engaging the Booming Travel Audience

4 April 2023

The travel and tourism sector’s recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is outpacing most industries. The industry is expected to post an annual average growth rate of 5.8% from 2022 to 2032 versus a 2.7% increase in global gross domestic product (GDP). Furthermore, it is predicted that 80% of leisure travelers will take at least one international trip in 2023, with many planning to spend more on travel than in previous years.

For travel brands the opportunity to reach prime audiences that have been proven to engage well with online advertising has never been greater. However, changes to privacy legislations and browser policies mean that in markets such as the US, the UK, and Australia more than 50% of consumers cannot be reached using traditional mobile and web targeting strategies.

The first-party data advantage

Travel brands are in an advantageous position as they hold a wealth of first-party consumer data, collected from direct interactions with their digital properties. This data can be used to target audiences with a high level of precision in a way that is compliant with privacy legislations and future-proofed against further browser policy changes.

One of the major benefits of first-party data is that it enables advertisers to learn about consumers’ preferences, behaviors, and interests. These insights can be easily transformed into more targeted campaigns that are tailored to the needs and desires of individual audience segments. Additionally, collecting first-party data provides advertisers with valuable real-time information that can be used to refine these strategies and optimize campaigns.

The personal touch

This year, with competition for travel audiences’ attention at an all-time high, personalization is critical if brands are to capitalize on consumers’ pent-up demand for travel. Furthermore, research from Salesforce has de-bunked the myth that consumers don’t like personalized ads with over half of consumers reporting that they expect personalized offers and promotions.

By using data collected directly from their audience, advertisers can create content and messaging that truly resonates with their target audience. Creating this heightened relevancy results in better engagement rates and higher return-on-investment (ROI).

Personalization starts with building relationships with consumers by using insights from your first-party data. Once you can understand the needs and preferences of your audience, you can tailor messaging to precisely reflect what consumers are thinking and feeling. This makes your brand stand out and increases awareness and consideration. Further down the purchase funnel, personalized offers and promotions help to increase sales, customer satisfaction and loyalty.

2023 and beyond

With the travel and tourism sector at the beginning of a predicted 10-year boom, advertisers that get their first-party data strategy right now are set to reap long-term rewards. Meanwhile, those that don’t take control of their first-party data and use it to their advantage will be caught playing catch up.

By adopting a reliable targeting solution based on first-party data and incorporating personalization, brands can overcome the challenges associated with privacy regulations and tighter browser policies and accurately reach target audiences, at scale.

When combined with a personalized approach, this data-driven, precision approach drives significantly higher sales and ROI compared to more generic approaches to targeting and messaging. With the stakes higher than ever before, now is the time for travel brands to unlock the potential of first-party data.