Using Mobile Phone Data for Post-Pandemic Travel Campaigns

The travel industry has been hit harder than most recently. The pandemic has ripped through the sector. While still coming to terms with that, and as if that wasn’t enough to overcome, travel marketers are now also faced with another daunting challenge. The death of the cookie.

More than most sectors, travel marketers are heavily reliant on third-party cookies. We’ve all had a hotel or holiday ad target us online. It’s one of the most aggressive sectors in digital marketing. Retargeting is pretty much standard, so there’s going to be a sizmik change.

With Google announcing the death of the cookie on Chrome imminently and Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox already doing so, things are accelerating at pace. It’s not just cookies. Apple has recently made it much less efficient to use personal anonymised identifiers on mobile devices. 

Why do travel marketers rely so heavily on third-party cookies

The post-cookie world and lack of mobile identifiers will impact all digital marketers, it’s not sector specific. Travel marketers are expected to feel it more than most as only a small percentage are repeat customers. 

To drive traffic and conversions, travel marketers rely on third party cookies to know as much about the customer as they can to pitch relevant deals. Without them, many travel marketers will be targeting in the dark.

Photo by Nick Fewings

What should travel marketers do?

While that may sound worrying, if you believe your customers want improved data privacy and transparency, you need to adapt. We can help. Of course we can, that’s why we’re writing this.

Get your first party data in order

In a post-cookie world, email capture will become even more important along with other  first-party information. With this “first-party data” we can help you find out who is visiting the travel sites and apps that you’re looking to target. 

With our data partner Skyrise Intelligence we have access to the data of 20 million mobile phone users. This allows us to build an accurate rich data audience from anonymised phone data.

Understand your audience

Using Skyrise Intelligence we’re able to provide travel marketers with rich data insight into customer demography and wider digital behaviour. Through analysis of unique aspects taken from the mobile phone data we can understand demographics, mobility and travel, along with wider digital behaviour to see which apps and websites the audience is using.

Understand your competitors

As we are able to access mobile phone data, we are able to analyse app usage. Given that travel apps are becoming essential for travel for contactless and friction free check-in, this presents opportunities for travel marketers. Specifically we can analyse and target users who have competitor apps installed on their phones.

To further enhance audience segmentation we can also access weblog data. This allows a highly addressable audience to be developed. This is especially true when looking for an in-market audience, who may have been browsing competitor and comparison sites for holidays. 

Roaming data intelligence

Using aggregated, anonymised roaming data we are able to look back 18 months, at people coming into the UK and leaving to go to other countries. This naturally gives us a wealth of data for travel marketers.  

We can see all movement between airports, tracked by day or hour. We can analyse postcode clusters and catchment areas for every destination from every airport. This allows us to build an audience based on specific holiday destinations and frequency of travel. 

For airline and travel marketers this is incredibly insightful data. The video below from our data partner Skyrise Intelligence gives more detail on this.

With a complete view of the audience digital behaviour, we build out cross-channel strategies that are truly led by data, bespoke to the needs of the specific travel client brief.

Using the unique insight from mobile phone data, we’re able to identify an audience who previously went to Europe, and given current circumstance are now likely to book a Staycation.

Can this be applied to Luxury Travel

Yes. Using the same methodology we’re able to identify travel audiences of people who have previously been to luxury destinations such as Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles and the Carribean. 

We can combine this with analysis of spending power, to identify high-net-worth individuals in the top decile. Further audience dissection looking into travel outside of school holidays, and those users who make multiple trips, gives us an even more insightful targeted audience ready to activate against luxury travel campaigns.

How can I access mobile phone data for a travel campaign?

You can only access the data through an approved data partner. Our sister company, Skyrise Intelligence is one such partner, which allows us to power programmatic campaigns with the most insightful travel data available in the market.