The merchant-customer relationship has long relied on an exchange of information between the two parties. The village shopkeeper needed to understand the preferences of a family shopping at their store to recommend new products they might like; the shopper, through their purchase behavior or explicit feedback, needed to let the shopkeeper know if the recommendations were on target or not. Shoppers got better recommendations and had more positive engagements with the shopkeepers understood who they were, their context, and preferences. Shopkeepers who knew their customers earned these customers’ trust and their repeat business.

These fundamentals remain even as commerce has shifted online and where having 1:1 engagements becomes harder at scale. Today’s travelers crave personalized offers and experiences when they travel. But in order to deliver truly personalized communications and engagements, travel marketers need access to real and insightful customer intelligence data.

Unfortunately, when it comes to sharing personal information many consumers are at odds with the brands they interact with most. Consider the opposing dynamics at play. According Boxever’s recent survey

Two-thirds of travelers don’t want brands tracking their location and
Over half of travelers don’t want to share their personal information


Nearly two-thirds of travelers want offers targeted to where they are and what they’re doing and
Over half of travelers want offers tailored to their needs and interests.

These opposing findings rang true for leisure & business travelers alike.

As a result of this mismatch, travelers feel like the travel brand doesn’t know who they are. The respondents in our survey said offers and communications they receive from travel brands:

  • Don’t correspond with where they are and what they are doing (62%)
  • Aren’t tailored to their needs and interests (43%)
  • Make them feel like the brand doesn’t know them (29%)
  • Don’t distinguish between their work, personal and family needs (20%)

We covered how these mismatches impact the effectiveness of travel brands’ communications with their customers in our previous post. In our next post, we’ll offer five steps that can help travel brands deliver more contextual, more relevant offers and communications that add value to the traveler experience.

Read the full survey findings in Boxever’s report, Grounded by Untargeted Marketing: Travelers Frustrated with Airline, Travel, and Hospitality Communications. Short on time? View the infographic.

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