Independent CDPs and what travel brands need to do: Tuesday’s daily brief
Plus automating the debt collection CX.
Good morning, Marketers, and is the sun calling you?
In these parts, the sun showed up a week too late for Memorial Day, but it’s a welcome visitor nonetheless, and let’s hope it hangs around. The weather, together with the encouraging COVID-19 statistics and the sudden freedom (in many situations, anyway) from masks, had me thinking about travel -— even before I read the report on how the travel industry might rebound (below).
We’ve been talking for months here about business travel: in-person versus virtual and hybrid conferences. But how about leisure travel? I took a road trip last week (did you miss me?), but now my mind is drifting towards flights. New Orleans? Austin? South Beach?
But never mind my vacation fantasies: there’s a marketing story to be covered here. The leisure travel industry faces big challenges; the first step to meeting them, surely, is to realize that marketing around special offers and discounts is no longer enough. Travelers need to feel they are cared about. And that will be a theme across many industries in 2021.
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Beware ‘Roof Rack’ CDPs
The latest contribution from Real Story Group, the technology analyst firm, breaks down the risks of purchasing a CDP as part of a more extensive technology package, rather than investing in an independent CDP: in other words, buying it as a roof rack rather than as the car itself.
CDPs have become popular for good reason: they try to address chronic difficulties marketers have endured around obtaining reliable access to a centralized store of information about customers and prospects. That demand has also lured vendors of adjacent technologies into arguing that their data management subsystems are also CDPs. How’s a buyer to suss out what’s real, and more importantly, what’s ideal?
The Customer Data Platform Institute offers a useful functional definition of a CDP: “A Customer Data Platform is packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems.” For better or worse, this definition allows for a wide scope of potential CDP suppliers.
A core value proposition for CDPs comes from decoupling data services from customer engagement and management systems. Customer channels come and go, but first-party data is gold. Be cautious, therefore, when considering the wide variety of vendors that include some kind of CDP capability as just one part of their offering — from the major marketing suites to CRM and CMS platforms.
What the travel industry needs to do to rebound
A new report from app intelligence vendor Apptopia, customer engagement platform Braze and flight locator Skyscanner shows that consumers still value low costs from travel brands, but are putting health and safety first.
Ready for Takeoff, based on a global survey of 9,500 consumers, plus internal data from the report’s three sponsors, warns that it may take years for leisure travel especially to return to pre-pandemic levels. It does, however, identify three trends that give travel brands a context for engaging with potential clients. In addition to health and safety trumping cost (although cost is still very important), the report found that:
- Passengers shared no consensus about the need for vaccination “passports” (digital means of confirming vaccination status), although 42% of respondents expected that they would be required; and
- Global travel is more daunting than domestic travel, with 59% feeling comfortable traveling within their own country, but only 32% feeling it’s safe to travel abroad.
Travel brands should note a high level of interest in factual messaging about COVID-19-related matters, for example, regulations in place at the travel destination (63%), information on the travel brand’s own policies (59%) and news about the state of the virus at the destination (52%).
Why we care. One of the big stories of 2021 will be how fast and successfully business verticals will be able, not only to re-open, but to recover to pre-pandemic levels of performance. Travel and hospitality face stark challenges of course, although there’s a large potential audience of passengers who are yearning for get-aways and have travel budgets they haven’t touched for over a year.
The direction from this survey is clear. It’s not the time for travel brands to pretend the pandemic never happened and send impersonal email blasts letting people know they’re ready for business. They need to take seriously the importance of communicating about COVID-19, their own precautions, and conditions at the destinations they serve. Great deals are always welcome, but for the foreseeable future they’ll need to be packaged with clear, transparent and responsible health and safety information.
Creatio-Experian collab brings automated CX to debt collections
Low-code process management and CRM platform Creatio announced a new collaboration with financial information services company Experian. As a result of this relationship, Experian clients will have access to a simplified workflow for processes like debt collections.
An unnamed US debt collection agency is the first company to deploy a system from this joint project, allowing them to automate the collection process without having to build the technology from scratch.
Because of this relationship, Creatio will also have access to Experian’s consulting and use industry best practices for workflow in the financial space.
Why we care. Low-code and no-code solutions like those offered by Creatio are helping to transform marketing. One of the main areas it’s doing this is with automation, as Hubspot VP Platform Ecosystem Scott Brinker pointed out at this spring’s MarTech conference. These principles apply to all kinds of workspaces. To make the transition to an industry like finance, an additional partner such as Experian is helpful.
Google to adjust adtech after settlement with French antitrust commission
Along with paying a $268 million fine, Google agreed to adjust its ad technology to provide more flexibility and transparency as well as improve the way its Ad Manager services works with rival ad servers and sales platforms.
Google will make two main changes to its ad tech: providing more flexibility and transparency for rivals and publishers. “We will work to create a solution that ensures that all buyers that a publisher works with … can receive equal access to data related to outcomes from the Ad Manager auction,” said Gomri. On the flexibility front, Google will now allow partners to “set custom pricing rules for ads that are in sensitive categories and implementing product changes that improve interoperability between Ad Manager and third-party ad servers.”
Why we care. This decision and Google’s response means it will be easier for publishers to use Google’s ad tech tools and learn from the data–which means potentially more options for publishers using ads to drive revenue and fund content.
Quote of the day
“Today, I’m listing some key thoughts to keep in mind as we transition back to in-person, or more realistically, a hybrid model.
1. Cultivate Trust
2. Remain Laser Focused on Purpose
3. Hang On to the Advantages of Virtual
4. Foster the Human Element
5. Embrace the Hybrid Model
6. Stay Adaptable”
David Postill, SVP Marketing and CX, AGI