Friday, 22 June 2018

Free Friday Video! Supercharge Your Engagement Strategy with Facebook

This week Facebook gives us a case study showing us how to supercharge your engagement strategy. Bring your story to life by utilizing digital tools and delivering relevant content by Will Farnan, Client Partner - Travel Suppliers at Facebook.


All videos from EyeforTravel's events are available at through our content hub, EyeforTravel On Demand. You can also find a selection of videos from our events and webinars through our YouTube page

Sign up to our newsletter to get our free Friday videos direct to your inbox, along with all the great white papersarticles and reports we make throughout the year. 


Tuesday, 19 June 2018

EyeforTravel North America 2018 Summit Launch – Agenda & Speakers Revealed


Wyndham Hotel Group, Amazon, United Airlines, Skyscanner, Google, Booking.com, Marriott, Accor Hotels, Twitter, Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, Winding Tree and more are just a handful of experts confirmed to speak at the upcoming EyeforTravel North America 2018 Summit, taking place at the Mandalay Bay Las Vegas on October 18 -19.

400+ heads of marketing, distribution, revenue management, data analytics, mobile innovation, and travel tech experts from some of the biggest brands will meet with one goal: to identify the strategies, partnerships, innovations and business models that will make their companies thrive in the future, and to discuss business critical trends affecting the online travel world today.

Navigating the crowded field of distribution, the potential of artificial intelligence and emerging technologies, delivering a superior customer experience(CX), catapulting profits through industry partnerships and innovative ways to diversify revenue portfolios are just some of the topics  being covered at this 20th Annual US flagship show. Click here to receive your copy of the brochure and to view the full agenda

The internet’s control over the travel consumer, mobile innovation and the potential of emerging technologies such as AI is forcing travel brands to evolve the way they work, deliver frictionless CX, leverage data-driven insight and create new business models and industry partnerships says EyeforTravel Project Lead, Renu Kannu. 

She adds: The industry is demanding higher profits, increased loyalty and tools to personalize to deliver that exceptional CX throughout the booking cycle – all of which are real concerns that can be solved by joining a hotbed of senior-level travel execs in Vegas this October.

The Unrivalled Speaker Line-up for 2018 includes:
·         Michael Almeraris, AR/VR Head of Developer Partnerships, Google
·         Michael Marino, SVP & Chief Experience Officer, Caesars Corporation
·         Ravi Simhambhatla, VP – Commercial Technology & Corporate Systems, United Airlines
·         Adam Hayashi, VP – Revenue Management & Business Intelligence, Accor Hotels
·         Mamie Peers, VP – Digital Marketing, Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
·         Sean Brevick, VP – Marketing and Digital Services, Marriott
·         Connor Smith, VP – Brand, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
·         Christina Heggie, Principal, Jet Blue Technology Ventures
·         Robecta Ma, VP – Marketing, Cathay Pacific Airways
·         Eduardo Erazo, Data Scientist, Amazon
·         Gil Harel, Head of Partnerships Hotels & Content, Skyscanner
·         Erin Gilmore, Head of Travel & Mobile App Partnerships, Twitter
·         Pedro Renaud Anderson, Founder, Winding Tree
·         Michael Childers, Chief Consultant, Content & Media Strategy, Lufthansa Systems
                                              View the full speaker line up here

Here’s what some of the 2017 attendees had to say:

·        eftusa delivered tenet challenging and thought stimulating presentations followed by the opportunity to network informally with industry peers and thought leaders. This type of event re-energizes and resets one enthusiasm for the travel industry (Chief Technology Officer, Hostelworld)
·        Eye for Travel brought great insight into the potential future developments, technologies and strategies that we may see emerging in the next 5-10 years (CEO, RoomKey)
·       Tremendous value from many of the sessions, with actionable inspiration to take back to work with me (Brand Marketing Manager, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas)
·       This conference drove home the necessity of personalizing and contextualizing data in customer interactions (Chief Consultant - Content & Media Strategy, Lufthansa Systems)
·      Very happy with the event. I felt like the standard of attendees were top-notch and very knowledgeable! I also appreciated being sent the attendee list (mobile app) in advance so I could set up meetings in advance during the networking breaks (CEO & Co-Founder, Globespinning)
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to join some of travel’s most inspiring and innovative brands coming together to learn, network and pioneer change in the industry. Learn more about the summit and get the latest event updates here!
Companies confirmed to attend this year include: Expedia, Air Canada Vacations, Allegiant Air, Choice Hotels, MGM Resorts, Magnuson Hotels, Las Vegas Sands, Hopper, and a whole lot more.
Take a sneak peek at the 3-minute wrap up video from last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7T00Jd8omwY&t=40s
Contact the team directly at – renu(at)eyefortravel(dot)com. EyeforTravel is a community where the world's top online travel brands – from hotels to airlines, online travel agents, cruise, car hire firms and more – come to meet to drive forward growth and innovation in the industry. We aim to provide you with industry focused news, events, reports, updates and information. EyeforTravel Limited is a registered company. The Company Registration number is 06286442. It is also registered in England & Wales. Registered office is 7-9 Fashion Street, London E1 6PX, United Kingdom.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Free Video Friday! Fireside Chat: The State of Travel with Booking Holdings

As part of a new regular feature on EyeforTravel, we are posting some of the videos from our events every Friday, so you can see what the leaders in travel are thinking about and what the key areas of focus are. To start us off we are looking at EyeforTravel's San Francisco Summit 2018 and a fireside chat with Todd Henrich, SVP - Corporate Development at Booking Holdings. In the interview he reveals how the company sees loyalty, where it is focusing and what will drive growth.



All videos from EyeforTravel's events are available at through our content hub, EyeforTravel On Demand. You can also find a selection of videos from our events and webinars through our YouTube page

Sign up to our newsletter to get our free Friday videos direct to your inbox, along with all the great white papers, articles and reports we make throughout the year. 

Thursday, 14 June 2018

NEW FREE REPORT: EyeforTravel San Francisco Summit 2018 Round-up

The San Francisco 2018 summit was all about helping travel industry professionals separate the real from the hype. Check out the Round-up to see where the industry is placing its bets for the future.

Click here to view the report. 

EyeforTravel’s San Francisco Summit 2018 brought together the industry to dissect the technological transformations that are constantly shifting the ground on which we stand and to plot a safe path through the change. Read the Summit Round-up now to see what top brands had to say about artificial intelligence, loyalty, mobile marketing, data management, blockchain and more
A host of brands attended the Summit and you can read what they had to say in this round-up, including:
  • Lyft
  • Booking Holdings
  • JW Marriott
  • Expedia
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Accor
  • Hipmunk
  • Utrip
  • Lola

They came to answer a host of critical questions facing the industry, including:
  • What is the true potential of artificial intelligence and machine learning?
  • What does an effective digital strategy look like?
  • Where should a company invest, and how does an organization measure the effectiveness of the strategy?
  • What has been the digital age’s impact on customer expectations?
  • Even with a new set of digital tools, how do traditional business principles still apply?
  • Is the hype behind blockchain real, imagined, or some combination of both? 

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

The Secrets to Using Data for Better Results

 Click to download
Travel brands everywhere are rushing headlong into data and analytics to try and get closer to their customers but what are the keys to success? A new report investigates …

EyeforTravel’s new report series into behavioural analytics is looking at what makes customer tick and how travel brands can use data techniques to improve every part of their sales process. In the first report in the series, Understanding the Travel Consumer, EyeforTravel alongside leading travel brands, is opening up the data processes and techniques necessary to drive insight. Core to this is how to treat the data itself. Here are some key pieces of advice from the report that can help you to unlock the potential in your data.

Concentrate Data
In the report, every travel brand featured advocated consolidating data into centralized systems. This is because it then becomes easier to drive reporting, analytics, automation, and personalization from a single source.

For car hire company Hertz, they realized that they needed a ‘golden record’ for each customer. Ricardo Rangel, senior director of data architecture at Hertz defines this “a single, well-defined version of all the data entities in an organisation.”

First, they had to pool their data before they could run it through a customer matching engine, which has “the capability of searching, indexing and giving back the information about that customer.” Layered on top of this is an “application network” that interfaces across the business to provide a wide variety of services via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), from alerting about a flat tire or issue with a particular model of car, to giving customers their preferred car type.

NH Hotels moved their property management system, central reservations system, customer relationship management and revenue management solution to the same database and Eurail has one “data warehouse” accessible to all employees via desktops or mobile phones. 

Travel digital marketing expert at McKinsey & Co Del Ross advises looking at your needs and budget – especially for smaller firms – working with a third-party specialist, and holding your data remotely in the “cloud”. “Storage space, speed, access, and security are all important considerations in data strategy,” he advises. “These factors combine to make cloud sourcing more compelling.  Using the principle, ‘only do what only you can do,’ brands should capitalize on the technical expertise of specialty service providers and invest their resources into analytics and gathering actionable insights.”

However, Maria Gómez Bada, manager of analytics and data insights for HomeAway.com, points out that “If you have data internally, you will always have more actions on the data and be able to get more insight. If you have it externally, it’s probably cheaper short-term but you have a black box.”

Ask What Are You Asking?
When it comes to data, it is easy to get lost and find yourself tied up in a tide of requests and dead-ends that don’t lead to actual improvement. The key is to define the requirements in crystal clear terms before setting out. “What we learned … was that we needed to understand the question or the problem that we were trying to solve and our audience so that we could structure the dashboards to serve them,” says Priti Dhanda, director of revenue management analytics at Hyatt. “The properties had very different requirements to the above property people. So, a key goal was how do you use the same data and answer questions for the different audiences?”

Deploy First, Test Later
If you’re looking to expand your organization’s data analytics then the experts in the report recommend getting solutions set up and operating so they can be tested and perfected rather than trying to build a great system from the outset. “It doesn’t need to be perfect [on release] and then we continue to improve it,” says Dhanda. “If we just focus on building that most perfect solution, we would never get there, and we would still be thinking and trying to get even a sample out.”

The testing of systems then becomes critical. “In the CRM space, we test absolutely everything,” said Darrin Rowe, director, customer insights & loyalty at Greyhound Lines speaking at Smart Travel Data North America 2018. “It’s an A/B test for every single thing we do. So, thinking about creative, thinking about copy and subject lines. There’s no magic bullet here, it’s just a ton of A/B testing and figuring out what resonates with our customers.”

According to Steven Consiglio, product performance manager at Booking.com, his organization has found that “It is impossible to even have hypotheses turn out to be accurate in our findings,” which makes testing vital to uncover those unintuitive findings. Therefore, on their site, “The amount of different site experimentations is countless. The experimentation is ever-present.”           

Visualize for Success
Visualization is critical for data-led analysis. As the quantity of data exponentially increases, visual means are frequently the only way to comprehend and extrapolate meaning. Furthermore, data has been found to be far more convincing than just presenting the bald numbers, making it vital for gaining buy-in from colleagues.

“Visualizing does not need to be difficult – it turns difficult content and relationships into understandable information,” says Ina Hoppe, data analyst and systems development manager at Leonardo Hotels. “Pre-think what you want to show, or you will draw sophisticated dashboards no one will use. Ask your teams what they want, and keep it simple,” a sentiment that harks back to Dhanda’s advice when creating a project.  

Let the Law Lead
“I think data is the future of everything that we do and we’re scraping the surface,” says Alessandra di Lorenzo, Chief Commercial Officer, Media and Partnerships at lastminute.com group. “We must never as companies, even as individuals, underestimate the power of data and the importance of managing that data in a compliant way that doesn’t damage the company’s relationship with customers. My answer is [to] probably get some help if you’re not very big, because it’s tricky and even the big players are still learning.”

This is now all the more vital as the European General Data Protection Regulation has come into force and means that customers must agree explicitly to all uses for their personal data, that data must be protected, and they can delete it.

Practical solutions brands can take to comply and still have a strong set of customer data include separating and anonymizing data. Amer Mohammed, head of digital innovation at Stena Line ferry firm says it now splits data into two copies: The first is anonymized, the second is personal. “In the marketing you have personal data where you can identify the individual, in the second we have anonymous, aggregated data,” he told the EyeforTravel Smart Travel Data Summit 2017. “If a customer asks us to delete their data, we only delete the first one. The second we use to get to know our customers.” This allows them to continue drawing conclusions whilst protecting the data and allowing customers to delete it easily.

Click here to download the Understanding the Customer report, part of EyeforTravel’s Behavioural Analytics Report Series. This report features insights from: 
  • Booking.com
  • HomeAway.com
  • Hyatt
  • Hertz
  • Expedia
  • Lastminute.com Group
  • McKinsey & Co
  • Stena Line

Monday, 11 June 2018

A Snapshot (Literally) of EFT Europe 2018

We want to thank everyone that came to EyeforTravel Europe for three days of fantastic speakers giving amazing insights. For us, it's back to the drawing board to plan more great events but for all of you, here are some pictures from the event. See if you can spot yourself or your colleagues and stay tuned for more event coverage, including a post-summit round-up report, more stories and loads of video content. 

Thanks to all of our attendees, 

The EyeforTravel Team 



Tuesday, 5 June 2018

How Travel Brands Should Tackle Attribution


Knowing your customer is critical but complex journeys across multiple devices present travel brands with huge challenges. A new report investigates how travel brands can conquer attribution.

Travel brands should attack the issue of attribution from multiple angles says EyeforTravel’s new Understanding the Customer report, a completely free report, which can be downloaded now. Approaches range from tracking through cookies, data-driven attribution and encouraging customers to log-in to own brand sites and apps, all of which needs to be underpinned by a strong data program that measures changes over time.

Travel brands need to undertake an extensive and multi-faceted approach because attribution requires capturing interactions at so many touchpoints over extended periods and with different devices.

Mobile bookings in particular have additional complexity in terms of attribution, as mobile remains a last-minute channel, with short leads times leaving limited room to build up tracking data. In EyeforTravel’s Mobile Industry Survey 2018, 80% of accommodation business surveyed reported that mobile lead times were shorter, with 58.7% saying that they were much shorter. Just 1.3% found that mobile lead times were longer.

Click to download


This can leave brands reliant on just last touch attribution, particularly when it comes to mobile bookings, and often looking at an incomplete view of their customer’s journey.

Maria Gómez Bada, analytics expert at HomeAway.com, argues that travel firms should fight the tendency to analyse just the last click, and see the whole picture. She believes that Google Analytics default attribution model, which will show you your customer’s last known direct click, gives an incomplete picture. Instead, she proposes data-driven attribution models for most online, complex companies.

“Data-driven attribution understands the value of the whole path, not only considering clicks but also impressions,” she explained. “[For example], a customer has seen your ad in Facebook, doesn’t click on it but recalls your brand, and might come in later through SEO [search engine optimisation] or SEM [search engine marketing]. Data-driven attribution gives a value to each medium and channel, considering clicks and impressions. Not only that, it works with predictive models to try to understand how you can invest in better marketing channels and ultimately get more conversions.”

To do this however, you need a strong foundation of data around your customers. “We’ve implemented a data management platform that basically enables us to very much look at our audience,” says Alessandra di Lorenzo, chief commercial officer, media and partnerships at lastminute.com group. Core to this is tracking, particularly cookies: “We call our cookies essentially unique users who come to our site [and when] altogether, make up our audience. What we do is look at this audience and combine segments… that we then use to personalize all of the messages that pop up on the website. This information enables us to make the customer journey more intelligent and more profiled, and therefore more relevant, we hope, to the unique users coming to browse our pages.”

Combining data from your sites cookies with third-party tracking enhances the potential to build out profiling and increases the accuracy of data-driven attribution. “Access to a person’s behaviour from retargeting sites and affiliates helps us, with a breadth of exposure,” says Steven Consiglio, product performance manager at Booking.com. “A map site, a luxury vacation site, it goes on-and-on. [Through these] you learn increasingly more, because your learning platform is not your own page: it’s wider.”

However, Lorenzo argues that even when armed with a host of information, “Unique identification is pretty much impossible from one device to another. Our solution to this is giving customers a value that brings them to log in… [for] a more tailored experience.… We have implemented all of the social log ins to make it very seamless. It’s about exchanging value and creating something special for our users.”

“Who can argue if a probability-based algorithm is right or wrong unless you benchmark it against another probability-based algorithm or a deterministic approach – which is what you have with a log-in base? This is the power of the Googles and Amazons, Facebooks and eBays who have a massive amount of logged-in customers and can deterministically tell if you are the same person.”

Del Ross, senior advisor at McKinsey & Co and a travel distribution and digital marketing expert, adds that the most important thing is to ensure that your data methods stay the same over time, so you can understand trends. “Behavioral insights have much more commercial and strategic value than transactional data,” he believes. “Transactional attribution is useful, but it is more important that the attribution method be consistent so that changes over time can be understood.  The absolute data is less important than pattern changes, which can reveal shifts in customer preferences and needs.”

Click here to download the Understanding the Customer report, part of EyeforTravel’s Behavioural Analytics Report Series. This report features insights from:

  • Booking.com
  • HomeAway.com
  • Hyatt
  • Hertz
  • Expedia
  • Lastminute.com Group
  • McKinsey & Co
  • Stena Line