Advertisers find new dimensions in travel audience dataNews / OnlineBy Viewpoints | October 21, 2015Share This article was originally published on The travel and leisure industry was one of the first to be transformed by digital.The industry is somewhat unique in that price is proven to be the overwhelming factor consumers are concerned with – their personal experience with a particular brand is pushed to the back of the line as price gets bumped up to the front.NB This is a viewpoint by Kevin Tan, CEO for Eyeota.This in turn makes the industry notoriously competitive with razor thin margins.As a result, many travel and leisure companies employ cutting edge technologies available in an attempt to reach and engage their consumers before their competitors do. This means the industry was among the first to embrace programmatic advertising and audience data, which allows them to reach the right consumers at the right time.A world of dataThe global data trends from our Q1 Eyeota Index for 2015 shed light on just how sophisticated the programmatic data buying habits of travel and leisure companies has become, including the type of data that is fuelling their advertising investments.The results are set against a backdrop of an overall global decrease in audience data expenditure in Q1 – a regular occurrence owing to seasonal holiday patterns and budget saturation at the end of Q4.However, in spite of this global slowdown, the travel and leisure sector experienced the most growth of all sectors and was the biggest spender on audience data - from seventh place in Q4 to first place in Q1 in Europe, for example. The worldwide travel and leisure sector has started, and will continue to, capitalise on the advantages of programmatic advertising as it allows companies to understand their customers as humans rather than just a pile of anonymous data.The three biggest spenders within the industry were hotel chains, online travel websites and national airports. These three groups are making efforts to provide a more personalised experience, and approach customers as individuals.Segmented viewSocio-demographic data, which has long been the backbone of audience targeting, is still the most sought-after segment. Marketers from Europe, Asia Pacific and North America purchased 53% of this data segment, significantly more than any other type, such as purchase intent which was only 19% of all spend.Although socio-demographic will continue as a staple, companies need to invest in a variety of audience data types to succeed in bolder purchasing decisions.Interest data, for example, assists marketers to connect with the people who have demonstrated an active engagement in their services or products, making them more open to influence.Purchase intent data alerts marketers to online research conducted by potential customers. The insights available are vast and marketers must seize the opportunity to capitalise on them.Tips and hintsHandling and understanding the ins and outs of audience data is not the easiest task to master, but here are some audience data tips that you should bear in mind: Where is the data collected? A good provider will be happy to forward a transparent list of how it has compiled its data. The source of the data is just as important in determining data quality as what the data represents.How fresh is it? Engaging people through timely and personalised communication will only happen if the data is current.Where can it be accessed? Providers should be integrated with a wide range of media buying platforms where you can activate your campaigns.How can it be used? Communicating the data end goal to providers (for example: social, mobile, display or audience targeting or tracking) will ensure it is as accurate as possible. In an industry where a single seat or hotel room booked can make the difference, efficiency and efficacy are crucial to stay competitive. Programmatic, fuelled by audience data, has redefined advertising through the automation of digital ad delivery, allowing marketers to precision target their consumers in real time – making sure that the last seat gets booked.NB This is a guest article by Kevin Tan, CEO of Eyeota.NB2 If you are interested in learning more about programmatic advertising, Tnooz is hosting a FREE TLearn webinar in partnership with Admedo. "Get up to speed on programmatic advertising" takes place on Tuesday 27 October.Click here for more details and a link to the registration page.NB3Image by Shutterstock.