LateRooms's marketing strategy now includes social media and big data as well as the more traditional channels.
NB This is a guest article by Pamela Whitby, editor of EyeForTravel.
Five years ago Rich Kemp joined LateRooms to help formulate its social media strategy. In that time Kemp, who now holds the title head of creative & social media, has seen the application of social media change quite dramatically.
Today social media is at the heart of LateRooms's big data strategy and the insights it reveals are being used to give customers a highly personalised and relevant experience.
Kemp is a bit circumspect about going into too much detail at this early stage about the firm’s brand new data-driven campaign, but is comfortable in admitting that social data is at the core.
“Today it’s all about the data. Everything we do is going in that direction,” he says.
While social data hasn’t necessarily been a focus in the past, it is now proving to be hugely useful, if done in the right way. However, Kemp is quick to point out that it forms just one part of a campaign that LateRooms is currently working on.
The objective of the campaign, which Kemp will be speaking in detail about in Amsterdam later this year, is to activate influencers to become brand advocates. It is doing this internally by applying big data methodology to the information its customers have shared to help to provide offers that are relevant to a specific individual.
Kemp cites an example of positive user-generated content about LateRooms that resulted from using social data to deliver a highly personalised experience.
From the public data on one customer’s Twitter page, LateRooms knew that he was a big fan of all things related to Manchester including being a follower of Manchester City.
So when he arrived for a hotel stay in a Leeds hotel booked through LateRooms to find a goody bag of Manchester-themed presents his response could, well, only be positive.
Personal, relevant but not creepy
Everything - the customer’s demographic, previous searches, past booking behaviour, the books they read, the TV shows they watch, what their friends like, even what they think and feel - can be harnessed to deliver a truly individual and personal experience.
But there is a fine line between being creepy and being relevant. Kemp argues that the more you personalise the experience the more it becomes a positive one for the user.
“Our aim it to make the offer so relevant to the user that they would have no reason to book with anybody else,” he says. “And importantly, we’re using data that our customers have openly shared in the public space. There’s no under-the-radar activity here.”
According to Kemp, at LateRooms all data is gathered internally from the business’s customers.
“We believe that what we are doing is listening to meaningful information our customers are putting out there and using it to make their brand experience truly special. It’s not rocket science, but it is innovative and insightful. And it works."
While big social data that is significant, it is worth point out that this recent campaign had a dedicated team running it – which just goes to show, the human touch remains crucial to any successful technology project.
NB1 This is a guest article by Pamela Whitby, editor at EyeForTravel. It appears here as part of Tnooz's sponsored content initiative.
NB2 Rich Kemp, head of creative & social media, LateRooms, will be speaking in detail about this new data-driven campaign in Amsterdam at Online Marketing Strategies for Travel Europe 2015 (24-25 November).