The visiting CEO of travel data aggregator Adara is in Sydney this week and nothing less than travel data domination is his ambition.
Global boss Layton Han (pictured above) flew in from his San Francisco headquarters yesterday, with his maiden business trip to our shores signalling the company’s optimism about the Australian and New Zealand markets.
Speaking exclusively to B&T at Sydney’s Pier One Hotel, Han said the company he has helmed since 2009 wants to “collect every single piece of travel data possible”.
“Our overarching company vision is to grow the travel industry together,” he said.
“Through a better understanding of data, analytics, insight and measurement, we can help clients make informed decisions around marketing and advertising targets.
“We are aiming to be the world’s travel co-op, and Australia is a very important market for us.”
Han believes that making data work for companies is the key to unlocking new revenue and maximising marketing potential.
“Every company has a unique data taxonomy. Adara has great technology when it comes to data collection and expertise around determining which data is valuable,” he explained.
But the problem a lot of companies have, according to Han, is making the data they do have intelligible.
“We often speak to companies who say, ‘I’m going to do something really cool with my data’, and we identify that the missing piece for them is understanding what those people [their customers] are doing outside their regular environment,” he said.
“These companies have a vision, but not a deep insight.
“Destination marketing organisations (DMOs), for instance, do a lot of marketing, but are often data-poor. They know how many people are visiting, but don’t know who is visiting.
“A good example in the US was Visit Virginia. With their data, we helped them optimise their marketing and media to target specific travellers. They saw success after providing the right promotions at the right time.”
Adara’s commercial director for the pacific region, Stuart Stacy, added that there were more benefits beyond better targeted marketing campaigns to be had from utilising data.
“By taking a holistic view of the market, we’ve seen examples of DMOs securing incremental funding from government bodies,” he said. “That’s the power of understanding the data.”
Adara has grown considerably in recent years – there are now 175 travel related companies who are partners, with all contributing data to the platform. And Han has big plans for Adara in the years ahead.
Adding value and validating data is also key in this modern travel environment, Han revealed.
“In a media-specific sense, data integrity and gaining new insights are the most important thing today,” he told B&T.
“You need to know who the data comes from. Advertisers are always asking for more transparency with data, and the co-op makes it more transparent.”
Sorting the wheat from the chaff is essential too, according to Han.
“You need to go beyond the ‘cookie’ data, which is noisier and less transparent,” he said.
“You have to be focused on the people behind the data – the unique identifiers gained from all the devices and media channels. It’s about people ID data. Our USP is the depth of people-based data.”
And then there’s the elephant in the room of two ubiquitous companies, who reportedly gobbled up 90 per cent of new global online ad spend in the last 12 months.
“Companies like Facebook have a lot of great data,” Han said. “But in a travel sense, they lack transactional data. Even Google don’t have this data; we collect a huge amount of booking data.