What We Learned at the TravelTech Show AI & Personalization Panel

We were very excited to have our CIO, Ed Silver, join a panel at TravelTech Show this week, "Are we finally entering the age of AI-based Personalization in travel?"

Personalization has been a buzzword in the tech and marketing worlds for a few years now. As the co-panelist, Max Zhdanov from Data Art, pointed out "personalization" was named the word of the year by the Association of National Advertisers in 2019. It's closely tied to conversations around data, and how to marry the two to drive more customer engagement and value. While privacy concerns loom large, studies regularly show that customers are more likely to share their data in order to receive personalized offers, and in turn more likely to purchase those offers. 

Here are the key insights we gleaned from the panel about how AI can help drive personalization in travel:

  1. It's quality over quantity when it comes to data. More data is better than less, but personalization is still possible even with data only from your current or most recent transaction. AI can look for patterns and make recommendations on what someone like you is likely to do.
  2. AI is a critical investment to assist travel recovery. AI-driven personalization and relevant offers have higher conversions. And it allows you to target your spend to maximize lifetime customer value. So while bolstering the top line, it automates functions and efficiency, improving the bottom line at the same time. 
  3. Enhanced intent monitoring can help you avoid the trap of relying on historical travel data. As we all know, travel patterns have changed dramatically over the last 18 months. While AI relies on deep data sets, it also learns and adapts in the moment. It can look for context and intent signals and more quickly respond to changes.
  4. Getting started with AI doesn't necessarily require heavy investment. Many platforms have native AI tools that will allow you to test and learn before bringing in additional resources. Data preparation is also a key first step to make sure you're maximizing any investments you do make.

At iSeatz we see the power of AI-based personalization every day. As Ed pointed out in the panel, loyalty members are the first travelers that will return and they have a greater lifetime value. Our research has shown that the most engaged members of a loyalty program have a 5X higher 10-year average customer value, are 35X more likely to have a travel rewards credit card, book 8X more frequently (with 50% fewer cancellations), and spend 10X more on core products. AI allows you to identify the patterns that drive the behavior of these power users, allowing you to replicate this same engagement with even more of your customer base.

To learn more about how iSeatz uses AI-based personalization and Machine Learning in travel technology, reach out to marketing@iseatz.com.

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