Leveraging AI to reach travelers

Leveraging AI to reach travelers

With leisure travel returning to pre-pandemic levels, travel and hospitality companies are looking for ways to reach travelers through personalized summer campaigns using AI-powered programmatic advertising. Tech, marketing and digital strategy expert Terry Kane, managing director ME and Africa of Trade Desk, tells us more.

The right message at the right time
Powered by AI, programmatic advertising is a data-driven way of buying and selling advertising spaces across all devices, markets and channels in real time. It can be used across multiple touchpoints, including display, video, digital audio, connected TV and even digital out-of-home, which means travel and hospitality organizations can reach their target audience whenever and wherever they are online. Programmatic advertising can also help them measure the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns by providing real-time data on impressions, clicks, conversions and, therefore, real business outcomes. The AI-based technology allows travel, tourism and hospitality marketers to create personalized ads that reach potential guests based on a variety of factors. For example, their interests, location or even external factors, like the weather. By connecting with customers who are more likely to be interested in their offerings, travel companies can increase the chances of conversion. Dynamic creative optimization (DCO) is one aspect of programmatic advertising that creates individual advertisements based on data available in real-time technology, meaning that an advertiser is able to send the right message at the right time and actually send the most relevant message to the right audience.

2023 summer travel trends and insights
According to a study by American Express, a staggering 85 percent of travelers plan to take two or more leisure trips in 2023. The top trends this summer are experiential and sustainable travel. Around 74 percent of global travelers, especially Gen Z and millennials, care more about creating a travel experience that meets their expectations than about the cost. Eighty-one percent of travelers worldwide state that sustainable travel is important, with 69 percent planning to travel sustainably this summer and 64 percent willing to consider less popular destinations to reduce environmental impact.
These traveler preferences can be instrumental in building marketing strategies for travel offerings. For example, if an eco-resort or property offers a unique experiential travel experience, these are the right consumers to reach. Through programmatic advertising, marketers can create ads that speak to specific traveler interests that resonate with them. This in turn helps increase engagement and drive bookings.

Leveraging the power of AI 
With the support of AI, marketers can accelerate their campaign performance and maximize advertising budgets across channels, audiences and inventory with real-time recommendations. As opposed to directly booked fixed campaigns, AI can identify the highest-value audience segments and reach the right consumers with precision. For example, The Trade Desk sees over 1 trillion ad opportunities per day – that’s roughly 13 million every second. To make sense of all that data, AI helps to surface the right ad opportunities, to reach the right consumers at the right time.

Case study: Marriott
Marriott has been very successful in using programmatic advertising such as The Trade Desk platform. By using DCO technology, Marriott was able to boost bookings attributed to its campaign by nearly three times, resulting in a 55 percent reduction in campaign cost.

With the demand for travel on the rise and the need to stand out in an increasingly competitive landscape, travel organizations have a great opportunity to reach target audiences that are right for their brands and offerings by building a media strategy that capitalizes on consumer interests and travel plans.

Terry Kane,
managing director ME and Africa
Trade Desk

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