Travel Marketers Envision Increase in Use of Machine Learning and AI

September 14, 2021

SojernWBR Travel Marketer Ad Tech Usage Plans Sept2021More than 8 in 10 (84% of) travel marketers rate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning for personalization as a very high or high priority across channels for their company. And, in the near future, they expect to see the usage of this type of ad tech increase, per a report from Sojern and WBR Insights.

When asked which ad tech they planned to increase usage of the most in 2021 and 2022, the largest share of senior decision-makers who own the marketing/advertising budget for a hotel, attraction or tourism brand in North America (NA; 41%), EU (35%), MEA (35%) and APAC (31%) regions cited machine learning/AI.

After a discouraging year following the onset of the pandemic, global ad spend for Travel & Transport is expected to see some recovery this year. The survey found that the largest share of respondents across the four global regions were allocating up to half of their marketing budgets to digital advertising. Indeed, 97% of NA respondents will be dedicating up to half of their budgets to digital advertising, with the sweet spot being between 26% and 49% share of budget (cited by 50% of NA respondents).

For the most part, travel marketers are using conversions/ROI to measure the success of their digital campaigns, with a plurality of respondents in NA (30%), APAC (29%) and EU (28%) using this metric most often. In the MEA region, however, the most commonly used metric of measuring performance is time spent on ads (27% share). It’s clear that the results of these metrics are promising. Nearly all respondents saying they are either highly satisfied (40%) or satisfied (56%) with their digital advertising performance.

One thing that could throw a spanner into the works is Google’s planned changes to third-party cookies in Chrome. However, most travel marketers are optimistic about the impact these changes will have. Marketers in the EU (51%), MEA (50%), NA (49%) and APAC (43%) tend to agree that it will have a positive impact on their performance.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a global survey of 300 senior decision-makers who own the marketing/advertising budget for a hotel, attraction or tourism brand.

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