Thursday, February 09, 2006

Personalization

When I launched my consulting practice in 1995, many of my early clients (Carlson Leisure Group, Broadvision) focused on using personalization techniques for travel planning and booking. It is surprising that now in 2006, we've still seen few efforts by the major travel players to filter queries and deliver more personalized information for their customers. There are some obvious concerns about embarking down a personalization track. Consumers have little patience to fill out detailed preference profile forms (as well as privacy concerns) and attempts to determine preferences implicitly often alarms consumers that "big brother" is watching. Despite these obstacles, I am still convinced that personalization has a role in travel planning. Currently a basic knowledge of past itineraries is not being used to predict future choices. If you are working on personalization techniques for leisure or corporate booking systems, please let me know as still believe that providing filtered content that meets customer's needs can improve the efficiency of online booking and value to the end consumer.

7 comments:

Peter Franken said...

In a sense I can understand the big brother watching unhappy feeling of customers. Might it be that we have left the individual era of the nineties and are moving to a more communitised era?
I enjoyed Seth Godin's view in "flipping the funnel" in this respect. It's not easy or even efficient to catagorise target groups in my view. You have to be ready with an offer tempting clients to buy at the moment the feel like it.
Just out of the box thinking: Major travel portals, offering a wide variety of travel product, could create entry portals based on specific offerings, while meta-search-engines (operated by....) where "customers meet customers-technology" rules, guide customers the way to that specific entry portal. Just a European
view.

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Dr. Health said...

Currently a basic knowledge of past itineraries is not being used to predict future choices.

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