How data-driven personalisation can transform your business

UX Post Image
April 9, 2024

In the evolving landscape of customer expectations in travel, one truth remains crystal clear: passengers are increasingly drawn to personalisation. Our Head of Customer Marketing, Roisin Evans, discusses how a brand's ability to understand and retain their customers will be vital to success in an increasingly competitive travel market.

In the evolving landscape of customer expectations in travel, one truth remains crystal clear: passengers are increasingly drawn to personalisation. The complexities involved in collecting and managing data mean that for many brands, data-driven personalisation strategies are often overlooked. However, the resulting benefits that come from a brand’s ability to understand and ultimately retain their customers will be vital to success in an increasingly competitive travel market.

Customers have come to expect personalisation

A yearning to be recognised, understood and genuinely cared for by brands that they engage with is an enduring theme with customers. According to Forrester, a staggering 77% of customers express a willingness to choose, recommend or pay more for a brand that delivers a personalised service or experience.

Today’s customers expect more, and rightfully so; they look to brands to understand them as individuals. Countless surveys have delved into customer opinions, shedding light on the impact of personalisation. The findings are striking: 49% of customers have admitted to making unplanned purchases due to the allure of personalisation, while 40% have opted for more expensive choices.

As personalisation continues to shape the customer experience, businesses find themselves at a crucial crossroads. It has undeniably become one of the core engines of business growth, with companies investing heavily in technologies that tailor every touchpoint of a customer’s booking journey.

However, a pressing question arises: why are some brands struggling to achieve effective personalisation, and where do they start on this transformative journey?


Overcoming data challenges for effective personalisation

With data often siloed across channels or departments, brands face numerous obstacles in the management, compliance and collection of data. As the volume of data continues to surge, particularly first-party data, brands are now recognising and prioritising the need for advanced data management solutions.

The importance of AI and machine learning is set to grow significantly. These technologies have become integral to personalisation strategies, efficiently managing extensive data for daily decision-making. This not only ensures accurate data and time savings, but also has a profound impact on consumer spending and enhances customer retention.

In addition to overcoming data challenges, companies must actively address customer concerns regarding the usage and storage of personal information. Prioritising and showcasing robust security measures that align with compliance standards is an important step. This proactive approach to trust-building is essential for alleviating customer discomfort. Without customer confidence in sharing their data, the goal of effective personalisation becomes nearly impossible.


A seamless path to personalisation

Embarking on your personalisation journey is crucial and begins with a clear definition of what personalisation means for your brand. Basic personalisation tactics are no longer sufficient. Research from E-consultancy highlights that a mere 8% of customers engage with brands using their first names, and only 7% show interest in birthday-themed emails. To maximise commercial benefits, it is essential to truly understand your customers and their interactions with your brand across various touchpoints, both online and offline.

Connecting the dots across customer touchpoints

Centralising customer engagement, behaviour, transactions and loyalty into a unified view allows for precise data analysis. This approach not only reveals opportunities within your customer database but also empowers you to predict future customer behaviours based on existing knowledge.

Armed with this foresight, you can create and deliver targeted campaigns, offering an exceptional, personalised customer experience. The ripple effect of this extends beyond customer satisfaction to substantial commercial gains. The key lies in seamlessly connecting the dots across all customer touchpoints, ensuring a unified and personalised journey regardless of the channel.

The value of personalisation

The cost of acquiring customers has surged, with experts estimating it has increased by as much as 60% in the last 5 years. With people carefully planning their holidays, this rising cost places greater importance on customer loyalty. In this context, holding onto customers is key. Personalisation plays a pivotal role in building loyalty – it enhances a customer’s experience, leading to higher satisfaction. The ultimate goal is to cultivate a customer base that consistently returns, thereby establishing a robust lifetime value (LTV) that surpasses the initial acquisition cost.