It isn’t surprising that big data trends are a number one priority for travel marketers these days since they help to analyse & successfully predict customer behaviour and improve the overall conversion funnel. While the implications of travel data are huge, it can be used to great effect by deeply looking at how consumers are interacting and making transactions during their travel journey.
Mountain View based travel intelligence company Adara is one organisation, analysing the consumer data and providing strategic insights to a number of travel industry organisations across the globe. Their recent Series C funding round of $23 million further reinstates the belief that travel data has a huge potential in the coming days.
Overcoming a shaky Wi-Fi connection, I managed to catch-up over a Skype call with Adara’s Jonathan Hardy who currently leads sales strategy and operations in Asia Pacific. Speaking from his hotel room in Hong Kong, Jonathan talked about a number of things including the company’s vision for South-East Asia and APAC.
Based out of Singapore, Jonathan leads the sales team for the APAC region which also houses Adara’s ad operations team. The company has formed partnerships with a number of sales houses in Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines to extend their sales reach in these respective markets. Jonathan also mentioned that the company is in the process of formalising their presence in Japan.
In Singapore, Adara has a data partnership team that is actively approaching OTAs, airlines, hotels, meta-search sites and all businesses who have a consumer facing website used by customers to book and plan travel.
Is Data Security a Concern?
With over 320+ million monthly unique traveller profiles, the company ensures data security with its proprietary platform Magellan.. Their tech co-founder Charles Mi who is an ex-IBMer has ensured that Adara’s platform is robust to manage data, identify users and serve advertising across the web. As of today, Adara works with multiple partners within each travel category including hotel groups, airlines & OTAs. It leverages data on their behalf to help them monetize the data and use it to deliver their own targeted advertising.
Part of this comes through trust, where Adara segments and uses data in a way so that there is no leakage between different competitive partners. Adara has a variety of policies and each data partner has a lot of control including filters on who can/can’t use data. At a campaign level data partners, get to approve or reject which builds on their trust. On a top line basis, Adara is also working out industry policies and guidelines that ensure trust among stakeholders.
How can Adara help the travel industry?
Where Adara can really add value to the travel industry is by leveraging the data to its true potential. The data comes in from various sources such as hotels, airlines, meta-search companies and the challenge is to tie it all together. With its platform Magellan, it is providing a holistic view of the traveller for players in the travel ecosystem with real time customer views and behaviours. This could mean anything from the path to booking or identifying the lost customer (For instance suggesting recommendations on choice of a hotel depending on user’s past behaviour and recent flight booking or offering an upgrade deal to customers about to travel)
When I asked Jonathan about their customer set in Asia, he said, “The big US travel companies are represented world-wide. We are working with the Asian arms of Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton Accor & Intercontinental etc. We have also signed with a leading South-East Asian Airline, we’ve signed up with a number of OTA partners in the region such as hotelscombined.com and Travel.jp in Japan”.
What’s next in the region?
Jonathan is bullish about Adara’s growth in the region despite starting their operations only 12 months ago. Their impressive line-up of advertisers includes Singapore Airlines, Fulton Hotels, Banyan Tree and a bunch of leading homegrown Asian players. Con1`sidering that their head of business-development is from India itself, one can expect them to make some rapid strides here too.
Right now, Adara is actively working on plans for 2016 part of which would be focused on how to take advantage of the new funding. The belief shown by their Japanese investors further makes a strong case for Adara to make deep in-roads in this part of the world. To learn more about Adara, visit www.adara.com.
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