Audience Data, Audience Data Summit, Features

Audience Targeting Strategies for Travel Brands

By: Alex Fu, Global Director of Audience Insights


Marketing today is increasingly data-driven. It’s clear across the industry that utilizing online and offline data to target audiences is a critical part of any effective digital marketing campaign with almost uptake of 9 out of 10 marketers across global regions.

However, usage isn’t everything. Only 7% of global digital marketers indicate that they have all the data they need to build effective marketing campaigns1. Perhaps this is something to do with the fact that there is so much data available and advertisers and brands are overwhelmed by this when building their audience targeting strategy.

At Eyeota, we see spend across all major verticals and travel is one of the biggest spenders on audience data so, with summer vacations around the corner, let's take a closer look at some developing audience strategies for the travel sector that were presented at the Eyeota Audience Data Summit recently. 

Data Usage by Travel Brands

The types of travel brands spending on audience data is certainly wide-ranging; however, we can clearly see holiday booking sites, airlines, and hotel brands engage the most in audience data usage.

In terms of audience targeting strategies, different travel advertisers will hone their audience targeting strategies towards a specific marketing goal.

For example, we found that 60% of Travel Agent & Booking Site audience spend goes towards INTEREST-based segments, because those sites are trying to reach consumers when they are researching trip ideas and travel experiences.

So let’s take a step back and go through the basics of an audience targeting strategy for some of the key travel audiences that brands may want to connect with.

Travel Audience #1: Solo Adventure Travellers

It is not the standard travel audience that brands typically target like business or family holiday-makers, but it is increasingly becoming an audience type to consider. According to Hostelworld, the number of solo bookings made by Britons has increased 60% over the past three years, the highest rise globally.

A sample audience targeting strategy for a budget travel airline. They might want to target solo backpackers using a broader mix of segments that cover a range of categories; demographic, household type, employment, their type of lifestyle and unique interests like wild-life and green energy living.

This strategy might also focus on demographic-, household- and employment-based segments to reach solo travellers in the awareness phase.

Travel Audience #2:Wellness Seeker

The global wellness industry is now worth $4.2 trillion with wellness tourism experiencing a 6.5% annual growth; more than double the growth rate for overall tourism, according to Wellness Economy Monitor.

A hotel booking site can connect with Wellness Seekers by again incorporating that full mix of  data segments that covers a range of categories; demographic, purchasing power, employment, their type of lifestyle and interests, such as beauty-lovers and beach-goers.

As we showed previously, 60% of booking site spend goes towards interest-based segments, so these profiles should likely lean towards lifestyle- and interest-based personas.

Closing the gap between usage and data sufficiency can also be achieved by developing and refining an audience strategy to align with your marketing objectives. This, however, is not easy.

Developing an audience strategy is just as important as establishing your marketing objectives. Remember

  1. Decide if you are aiming for broad brand awareness or if you want to promote a specific product or service. Be clear about what you are going to measure.
  2. Use market research, marketplace insights or internal customer analysis to understand which audience you want to target. 
  3. Select relevant audience segments within those categories to optimize your campaigns, analyze your results, learn what is working and refine your strategy. Remember to always test and learn. - it’s key to communicate with your data provider whilst you optimise and activate

Contact to get more help with audience targeting strategies.

1 Source Kantar (2018); n=468 global advertisers, agencies and media company professionals.