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Ahead of our upcoming Forward Marketing Summit Sydney 2020 on 26-27 February, we’ve spoken to Melissa Laurie, Principal Client Partner, APAC Media at TripAdvisor about using data to become more consumer centric, her key focuses for 2020 and what attendees can expect from her talk at the summit.
Want to hear more from Melissa? She's one of the many speakers at our upcoming Sydney summit on 26-27 February – see how you can be part of it here.
What have been some changes you’ve seen in using data to become more consumer centric?
In the travel industry, we have witnessed a sea of sameness and recognise that from a consumer’s perspective, travel platforms, technology and holiday deals are seen as blended with little to no differentiation. However, we also know that our brand’s DNA of trust and community are tough commodities to come by, and we need to have the confidence to take bold steps to transform how we deliver consumer experiences.
We know that every person has varying travel needs, from a weekend getaway to Melbourne to a romantic trip to Europe. We also know that real humans give the best advice (humanly) possible. 
Today, when a traveller creates a profile on TripAdvisor, they will find that their homepage features more personalised content, surfacing recommendations from family and friends and likeminded travellers. By connecting travellers to people like them, travellers can find and plan a trip that fits them best. This creates an emotional connection for the traveller and gives us a lens to help solve towards their specific need with personalised advice. 
What is one of the key focus areas for your business in 2020?
The traveller journey is fluid, not linear, which can give rise to information overload and muddled focus. It varies from person-to-person, stretches across thousands of interactions and ranges from days to months. We are conscious that sometimes the demand can shift perhaps too far towards data and precision targeting; stifling the importance of creativity, having a connection with consumers and brand building.
We recognise that the best travel advice are not algorithms or rankings, but rather, given by people like you who have been there before. Our mantra continues to be around enhancing the consumer’s experience; it is a key focus and one that evolves endlessly in our business. By continuing to connect travellers with other travellers they can relate to and rely on for guidance, we put people first and empower them to make confident travel decisions.  
What do you think our delegates can take away from your participation in the upcoming Forward Marketing Summit in Sydney?

2020 marks our 20-year anniversary and since our inception, we have helped billions of travellers take better trips. Our platform is home to 830 million contributions – from reviews, ratings, photos to videos – which inspire and inform millions of travellers every month. 

We have ambitions to continue to be the world’s largest travel guidance company and delegates will learn how we have employed data to enrich our members’ onsite experience and enhance personalisation. We will also look at the fluidity of a traveller’s journey and in doing so, address attribution modelling. I will also share how we use audience signals to help fuel our clients’ brand strategy that are meaningful and impactful.

Want to hear more from Melissa? She's one of the many speakers at our upcoming Sydney summit on 26-27 February – see how you can be part of it here.

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