Private Data Co-Ops, The Next Level In Secure Traveler Insights

By: Darren Dunn, SVP, Travel and Tourism, ADARA

Within the travel sector, sharing consumer data can be very helpful.  Global data co-ops help travel marketers understand traveler behavior better outside of their own data collection. Hotel companies can understand which restaurants their competitors like. Airlines can determine if their elite members are also flying competitor airlines. An amusement park can assess which nearby attraction is their biggest competitor on the weekends.

For some travel marketers, there is a need for something more customized and more specific – data around a single location, for example. Private data co-ops help isolate and aggregate a specific subset of data for a specific purpose. For example, a destination marketer such as a tourism board could want to collect a wide variety of information about their destination across channels with data from airlines, restaurants, car services, hotels, and so-on, while keeping traveler data safe and private.

Definition: Private Data Co-ops (PDC) are created to connect the data of a designated group of public and private sector participants in an environment that mutually benefits all parties while limiting privacy liabilities associated with open global exchanges.

Creating a PDC That Works

The idea of forming a private data co-op might seem like overkill. Shouldn’t a destination simply create its own? However, the business relationships between public and private companies, rules about customer data privacy and logistics around reporting and data sharing between participants ultimately requires a third party that is set up to manage so much complexity effectively.

In order for wide adoption within a destination, there must be tightly defined rules for how the data is being shared and how and what it is being used for. Each party has their own motivation for what they want to get out of participating.

It’s best to form a PDC based around a specific event, goal, or set of questions that everyone within the co-op is invested in. For example, Adara is working with the Japanese National Tourism Organization to help them analyze the effectiveness of tourism campaigns leading up to several global events including the Olympics in 2020. JNTO will be able to analyze their digital marketing campaigns targeting inbound travelers, including searches and bookings for flights and hotels, and search and purchase behaviors of foreign tourists visiting Japan. This aggregated insight will help JNTO increase the effectiveness of digital marketing efforts and execute a digital marketing plan that grows the Japanese travel market overall.

Sometimes Private is Best

A recent Gartner survey shows that many marketing teams have staffed up their customer analytics teams simply to manage all of the data that must be aggregated and organized. These overworked teams don’t have enough time to understand their own customer information, let along form a clear picture of their customer’s larger set of behaviors.

This is where a PDC is so helpful. Marketers can move the responsibility of data heavy lifting to their partner and allow their analysts to focus on insights. With a single platform to aggregate and manipulate insights, customer intelligence, marketing leaders and executives can get questions answered quickly and act on larger trends happening outside their four walls.

Yet, while data analysis is growing, so is data security and privacy. GDPR, California’s Privacy Bill and even headlines about Cambridge Analytica show that the market needs to take consumer privacy and data rights seriously. An individual company is best protected when they don’t directly handle a variety of customer-level data from many partners. Professional data management companies have the right technology in place to comply with todays rules and the fast evolving requirements that will shape the future.

Prepare for Future Change

When many people want access to the same – very valuable – information, marketers can assume that technology innovation will follow closely. In the case of consumer data, blockchain is the logical next step in delivering a centralized, accessible, yet also secure data solution for marketers (and one day, potentially for travelers themselves!)

 Adara is working towards a future where blockchain technology and “martech” are seamlessly integrated to deliver very specific data to individual members of a data co-op very securely. Information such as the value of a specific data point, and then number of people accessing that data, creating a richer, more robust version of what is offered today. As more places around the globe increase data regulations as they also increase their appetite for customer insights, this innovation will be in high demand.

About Darren Dunn:

Overseeing Destination Strategy at ADARA, Darren brings over 18 years of travel industry experience working for companies such as FarePortal, WorldMate, Orbitz, and Expedia/Trip Advisor as part of Interactive Corp (IAC). The diversity of travel companies allowed him to gain valuable experience in the destination, air, and hotel businesses across the globe. He has been in the digital marketing industry for over 18 years dating back to a company he co-founded in 1997, called iPromotions. A Seattle-based company, iPromotions was built up to a 45 person company and sold in early 2000 to 24/7 Real Media where Darren went onto various leadership roles.

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