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The Importance of Finding the Unknown Traveler

The Importance of Finding the Unknown Traveler

Identifying Unknown Travelers

Why is using data to identify unknown travelers so important?

In a highly-saturated market like travel, consumers are hungry for the best deal and digital advertising helps to connect the right travelers with the right deals. The million dollar question, however, is who should you be spending your advertising dollars to reach? We’ve profiled two types of ideal consumers and highlighted key strategies to consider when planning an advertising campaign.

Consumer Type 1: Unknown Travelers  

We tend to classify unknown travelers into two distinct groups:

The first is made up of any consumers who have expressed interest in traveling online. This can include people searching travel booking sites, airline sites, hotels, a destination marketing organization’s (DMO’s) website and more, as they wistfully or intently plan for a future vacation. Pinpointing those who have expressed interest through their online behavior can be a valuable indicator of intent, and invites the opportunity to introduce your offering to them across a wide variety of digital channels.

The second includes people who have voted with their wallets and actually taken a trip and visited a destination. The greatest challenge here is that independent organizations (let’s say a hotel) are not freely sharing their customer data with their competitors or even with the destination locations with which they reside. But most travelers in modern day carry around a little device that often pings the location of that device (opt-in of course) as they move about.  

A blend of these two types of unknown travelers is an ideal intersection of the type of travelers  that travel brands want to focus their advertising dollars toward. Not every brand has access to the first-party data needed to create these audiences and the lack of travel brand loyalty makes them fair game for a variety of brands. 

Consumer Type 2: Known Travelers

Known Travelers are precisely what they sound like. They include those travelers known by an organization, through membership loyalty programs like those with hotels or through ticket purchases like those with airlines. This audience has explicitly engaged with a brand, they’ve shown a sense of affordability and are likely candidates for future travel to similar destinations, attractions, etc. 

Reaching The Ideal Travelers

As a brand, your website can be a trove of helpful information, even if you have limited calls to action where you may capture some direct information from a website visitor willing to engage with you. Semcasting’s ADX Site Visitor Tag provides the ability to identify site visitors and turn them into targetable household-level digital audiences. Furthermore, these site visitors can be profiled and data can even be appended to them. This allows companies to get a more holistic picture of who is displaying interest in their offering, setting the stage for more relevant advertising.

For brands that are fortunate enough to have robust first-party data, creating a lookalike model of potential households interested in travel can be a great way to expand your prospecting pool. Semcasting has the ability to do this through predictive modeling by taking existing customers and identifying their most common attributes and then scoring that across all U.S. households. A model can then be applied to any geography nationwide and tailored to fit into advertising budgets.

A third option is to build an audience based on third-party data— utilizing powerful identifiers that go beyond the depreciating third-party cookie. With AudienceDesigner by Semcasting (ADS), you can build an audience using valuable deterministic data segments such as discretionary income, inflation sensitivity index, family composition, travel interests and various other lifestyle data segments. 

When building strategies for prospecting future travelers, the best course of action for an advertiser is to look at their own customers and really figure out what makes them unique. Find what sets them apart from the vast amount of travel “intenders” out there. Once you know why your customers are your customers, the ability to combine the concept of unknown travelers sets with your known customer elements will set you apart from the competition. You’ll be able to reach a highly-relevant hidden group of individuals positioning your destination for increased conversions as the 2024 travel season kicks off.

Set yourself apart from your competitors today and leverage Semcasting’s unique targeting and modeling abilities. Visit our website to learn more about our solutions.
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