3 Travel Brands Using 1st Party Identity Data to Build Personalized Experiences

Making customers feel special and at ease is perhaps more important – and more expected – for travel brands than any other industry. Vacationing consumers are paying top dollar to escape from the ordinary. From the booking process, to the in-flight experience to the trip itself, it’s the hospitality industry’s job to make travelers feel like they are the center of the universe, no matter where they’re going.

Just imagine: when you go to book your next trip, your favorite travel service automatically highlights the vacation packages that are inline with your budget and interests. When the stewardess approaches you, she doesn’t ask if you’re thirsty – she asks if you’d like to order your usual vodka martini. And when you arrive at your hotel, there is a fluffy robe monogrammed with your initial waiting for you.

Now ask yourself: how in the world are brands to provide travelers with this level of luxury without having a clear, individualistic view of who their customers are and what they like? Here are 3 examples of brands using first-party identity data to provide customers with highly personalized and truly unforgettable travel experiences.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

KLM’s Meet and Seat program puts customer identity and social engagement at the core of passengers’ flying experience. Flyers can login to the app using their Facebook or LinkedIn accounts, and see the social profiles of other participating passengers, as well as their seat assignments. Meet and Seat users can then choose a seat next to a passenger based on shared or interesting social profile details.

By providing flyers with a customized in-air experience and connecting passengers based on individual social preferences, KLM is effectively revolutionizing the flying experience while building an engaged community of loyal flyers.

MGM Resorts

Mega hotel chain MGM knows that creating a meaningful travel experience starts before customers have even booked their trips. When consumers login socially to MGM’s M life loyalty program, MGM leverages permission-based access to their social profile details to create custom audience segments on Facebook and Twitter, serving highly relevant social ads based on consumers’ expressed interests, locations and more.

MGM keeps track of the purchase behavior of its more than 30 million M life subscribers to award them points for every dollar they spend. These points are redeemable for tailored rewards based on customers’ dining and hotel preferences. Using customer data to reach the right consumers with the right offers at the right times has led to 300% revenue growth over the last three years.

Virgin America

In 2012, Virgin announced plans to enhance its RED in-flight entertainment system to deliver a highly personalized and engaging experience. The new RED screen greets passengers by name and with their current trip details once they sit down, and enables them to communicate directly with customer service representatives to ask questions about their luggage, connecting flights and more. Guests are offered personalized entertainment and dining recommendations based on their flying history, and can order and pay for these items on-screen. Flyers can also chat with and send drinks to other passengers on-board.

While these three examples showcase the significance and success of building identity-centric customer experiences for travel brands, connecting with consumers on a personal level is key across every industry. For more insights around how your business can access and leverage first-party identity data, download our white paper, Making Sense of Consumer Data.

By Tobias Meyer-Grunow