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Now Arriving

Now Arriving, it’s Indestinate

DEVELOPER FOCUS In a recent data innovation contest run by IC tomorrow, the digital programme of the UK Technology Strategy Board, small business Indestinate won the competition and funding to develop a destination tourism platform, Now Arriving, in partnership with EE. This platform will enable digital marketers to use EE’s mobile data on location, movement and demographics to deliver tailored travel experiences to the consumer, and measure the impact of their campaigns. Here, Smart Chimps talks to Clive Hall, director of digital media at Indestinate, about how this app platform is using location based services to enhance UK travel.

 

Smart Chimps: How did you think up this service? What happened that inspired you, and how did the concept come about?

Clive Hall: The Now Arriving location marketing service was inspired by our work with tourism organisations, in particular Visit New Forest, which wants to be able to provide visitors with personalised itineraries based on real time consumer behaviour patterns.

We have worked closely with the Visit New Forest tourism group to map the current digital visitor journey. We have heavily engaged local tourism businesses to develop the scope for the service ensuring the commercial needs of all stakeholders are achieved.

Having won the IC tomorrow Data Contest in June, we have been given a boost of around £25,000 to develop our Now Arriving platform in partnership with mobile network, EE. The platform will utilise EE’s real time location, movement and demographics data to deliver tailored travel experiences to the consumer. A live impact dashboard will show the effectiveness of tourism marketing campaigns, while providing analytics on the visitor behaviour that makes up the UK’s annual £115 billion tourism spend.

SC: Tell us about your platform and how the service will work from both a tech and consumer perspective

CH: Now Arriving enables destination management organisations (DMOs) to make ‘high touch’ interactions on a mass basis, delivering personalised travel experiences to the consumer.

Now Arriving utilises mobile data to understand at scale visitor behaviour patterns. These include demographics, location, time and mobile usage. The platform combines each of the following data streams and databases to create tailored itinerary recommendations: destination tourism products – events, attractions, accommodation, hospitality, shops; product pricing – accommodation rates, attraction entry, travel, meals; customer database – hotel bookings, ticket ordering, loyalty programme sign up; transaction data – voucher redemption, loyalty point programmes, mobile payment; interaction data – DMO website, DMO App, proximity beacon triggers; and weather – historical weather data and forecasts.

Our propriety data system builds a detailed interest and demographic profile graph of every visitor to the destination. It generates an accurate picture of their activity and brand preferences, whilst immediately rewarding the visitor with personalised multi-channel content directly relevant to them, based on their location, the time of day, the weather and season.

SC: How will the platform be offered out to travellers (ie, as an app?), and why?

CH: The platform will be offered through the web and as an app, through the specific Now Arriving portal. In addition, the service will be white labelled for destination management organisations, becoming the core of their digital content delivery platforms. Destination websites already receive millions of unique visitors per year. Our approach puts the Now Arriving service in the heart of the visitor’s current digital journey.

The web will be used to take advantage of the pre-location visitor research. The app will capitalise on the trend for mobile in travel and the unique feature of mobile; location. The app encourages visitors to try accommodation, activities and attractions that are relevant to them which they may not know about or may not have considered. We are solving the question of ‘what shall I do when I arrive at my holiday destination?’.

SC: How does the service use EE’s real time location data etc to provide its services?

CH: Now Arriving utilises mobile data provided by EE’s mobile data division (Orange and T-Mobile) to understand at scale visitor behaviour patterns, including demographics, location, time and mobile usage. All data is aggregated and made anonymous as network usage data based on groups of 50 people or more.

The data is used to create an interest graph by combining the context data for each destination location. The interest graph then powers the content recommendation engine.

SC: Is this not all a little Big Brotherey, tracking people’s every move and pumping information out to them?

CH: Now Arriving does not track the movements of individual smartphones. It uses anonymous, aggregated crowd behaviour data to build the destination interest graph. All data is provided on an opt-in basis and no personalised data is ever shared with third parties.

The service is helping to provide directly relevant personalised content to the visitor at the time and location they demand it.

SC: Who will receive the analytics information, and how will that be used?

CH: The analytics information is made available to the destination stakeholders, who include: destination marketing organisations; accommodation providers; attractions; and activity providers. This data will be of particular interest to marketers involved in sponsorship and event organisation.

The data will be provided through an impact dashboard and will be used to support personalised pricing, creation of visitor itinerary packages, event sponsorship, footfall analysis and the impact of marketing campaigns, to name just a few of the many uses.

SC: Who will be your main user group, such as overseas travellers, those from the UK going on more local holidays, and are you aiming the service at consumers or business users, or both? Why will your target group use your app?

CH: The service is aimed at overseas visitors but also UK visitors, in particular short break and day visitors. We expect the majority of initial users to be UK-based tourists who are want to experience an unforgettable trip created through special experiences. We make it easy for the visitor to find what might interest them while they are in the destination location.

We are initially aiming the service at the consumer market; however, we will also be developing a service which is relevant to the business tourism market.

SC: With overseas travellers frequently avoiding the use of mobile data for fear of big bills, a fact that even the EU’s recent roaming price reductions may struggle to combat, what percentage of travellers to the UK do you expect to use your service? 

CH: We forecast the overseas users of the app to make up between 10% and 20% of the total users.

SC: How do you want to develop your service going forward?

CH: We are already working on providing personalised pricing and booking through the mobile app. This will make it easy for the visitor to find where they want to stay, what they want to visit and what activities they wish to do, making them all bookable through their mobile phone. We will make the full travel planning experience easy and enjoyable, while boasting conversion, up-selling and cross-selling, and showcasing the most relevant content.

SC: Thank you Clive!

Matt Sansam, programme manager at IC tomorrow: The Technology Strategy Board, through its IC tomorrow innovation programme, is delighted to be funding and facilitating Now Arriving’s truly innovative location marketing technology. Specialist start-ups often provide inventive solutions to business challenges and IC tomorrow continues to connect these companies with established businesses, such as EE, who are looking to collaborate on new ideas and technology.

For full website article, please click here.

ICTomorrow

Calling all agencies, brands and retailers!

InDestinate and IC tomorrow are seeking an agency/brand/retail partner to trial a new and innovative solution to quantify the impact of mobile ads on in-store visits and understand the true value of mobile advertising.

The agency brand partner will work with us to trial the project, following our recent win in the Smart Mobile Advertising category at IC tomorrow’s Digital Innovation Contest.

The solution provides the ability to collect location data by using a consumer’s smartphone and build an accurate physical location database which can then be applied to the user’s GPS position. The tracking of purchases can also be enhanced by implementing proximity beacons which can be connected to our existing apps (plus third party publisher apps) using the available SDK.

The solution features the following key elements:

–          Data collection

–          App creation of an accurate location database

–          Deployment of consumer location panel

–          Physical location inference model

–          InDestinate consumer panel hosting the data collection app

–          Location analytics platform

–          Privacy structure

–          Deployment of proximity beacons in identified retail locations

The project is a fully funded IC tomorrow project, which will include product development and completion of a three-month trial. We are looking to work with a partner who can utilise the data and developed platform in a real-world advertising campaign during the trial.

If you are an advertising agency/brand/retailer and are interested in this opportunity to better understand consumer behaviour within the context of mobile advertising, please email your expression of interest to clive.hall@indestinate.com or phone 0844 504 4048 (Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm) by no later than midday Tuesday 10th June.

For further information about IC Tomorrow and this advertising opportunity, please visit: http://bit.ly/1oIa1yp

 

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