The move to first party data shouldn’t be delayed

There seemed to be a lot of relief that this impending cookie-less future was further away when Google announced  last Friday that they are delaying Chrome’s cookie-blocking privacy plan until 2023.

But the time to connect with your customers is now. The deadline that had been looming was the catalyst for brands to reflect on the way we target and market to audiences. This reflection should not stop.

I get that transitioning to a first and zero party data strategy can be challenging, particularly if it’s just one of a number of digital transformation projects on the go. And the delayed deadline may mean that it’s a project that is no longer an immediate priority.

First party data is your business’s biggest asset, and represents an opportunity for your business to build a unique customer experience and defensible competitive advantage. By unlocking this value, the death of the third party cookie has less impact, especially when you’re leveraging your biggest asset the right way.

Safari and Firefox have already deprecated third party cookies and there will still be a reliance on cookies and first party data in the near term; the evolution of measurement solutions will not happen overnight. It’s an encouraging step that Google wants to iterate their Privacy Sandbox solutions further. 

Don’t wait until third party cookies are gone

My suggestion is to take the momentum that has been built around first party data and implement a strategy as soon as possible. This will provide a longer runway for testing, learning and iteration. 

This could mean investing to solve for customer privacy, evaluating new adtech and martech, and getting current customer data fit for purpose. Ensuring there is durable measurement and tagging in place plus an investment in additional sources of first party data are two excellent steps to progress with.

Having richer, more complete information on your customers will allow your brand to create more tailored strategies and connect with more personalised customer experiences, resulting in better retention, increased brand engagement and loyalty.

To find out more about how you can better capture data from your customers and in turn create better experiences please get in contact with me or the Datisan team.

Need a reminder on what is interpreted as first and zero party data? Read our blog post from 2020 here.

… is critical to Datisan’s vision of creating better experiences and it is really exciting when we grow our capabilities in this space.

Welcome to our new Customer Success Manager, Alick Homann! 

Alick joins Datisan in our Brisbane office from Platinum Electrical and Air, where he was the Business Unit Manager for their growing IT and structured cabling department. 

Alick has six years of experience in the IT software and infrastructure industry working for various companies such as Cisco, HPE and Nutanix,  and has collaborated with businesses like JBS Swift, QUT, Sunsuper and Glencore to help consolidate infrastructure to enable cloud adoption, scalable infrastructure (both data centre and network) and software driven topologies. 

Through his years of experience, Alick has developed a customer-centric approach to helping solve complex business challenges by aligning customer outcomes with the right mix of technology.

When asked about his passion for the client success and engagement Alick commented,

I have a great passion for helping customers understand and navigate emerging technologies to solve their challenges. I love taking a solution from concept to deployment with a customer, and I am excited to apply my background to data and analytics to help create compelling, data-driven customer experiences.

Alick will be working closely across Datisan’s clients in adtech, martech and cloud, with the purpose of driving strong relationships and managing project outcomes.

new start Alick Homann
Alick Homann, Datisan’s latest Customer Success Manager

Datisan’s Head of Business Development, Mike Cornwell, welcomes Alick to Client Success team by saying,

It’s exciting to have welcomed Alick to the growing Datisan team and great to see our customer success function start to scale. Alick has shown impressive credentials in understanding what value represents for our customer’s and mapping it back to technology and work streams.

When asked about joining Datisan Alick said,

It’s a great time to be joining the Datisan team – I’ve already been a part of their annual DATA Day which was an awesome way to meet, and collaborate with, my new colleagues. Datisan is a respected brand in the market that has exceptional talent at the helm – I’m expecting to gain a lot of knowledge along the way.  I am eager to use my experience in software and infrastructure to help clients create positive experiences for their customers while driving cross-channel revenue generation and improving their overall ROI.

Welcome to Team Datisan Alick!

Interested in working with Datisan? Check out our Careers Page for open roles or apply through our Talent Pool.

Introducing Sumen Pooni 

We’re so excited to share with you Datisan’s newest team member – Sumen joins Datisan in our Brisbane office from the University of Queensland, where he was the Marketing Intelligence Analyst responsible for digital data, analytics and insights for UQ’s International team.

Sumen has over 10 years of experience in the digital marketing industry, working for various organisations such as digital agencies, Microsoft Bing’s Data team and News Corp Australia,  specialising in using data, analytics and marketing technology to help organisations overcome technical and technological challenges and help improve overall customer experience and ROI.

Sumen Pooni, Datisan’s new Data Analytics Specialist

Throughout his career over these years, Sumen has developed great passion to contribute to organisations’ growth and development through thoughtful integrated planning and research to deliver positive digital marketing data and analytics solutions and outcomes that produce sustainable growth. 

When asked about his passion for the industry Sumen commented,

I have great passion for understanding and using emerging technology platforms in an integrated manner to improve overall user experience. I love the opportunity to be able to use data and analytics to drive business decisions and enable data-driven marketing and growth hack marketing strategies to help organisations to deliver a positive experience for their customers and develop sustainable growth for their organisations. Furthermore, I love to use data to tell compelling stories.

Sumen will be working closely with Datisan’s Head of Cloud and Martech, Tom Sowerby, on our Analytics services.

Tom was enthusiastic about Sumen joining the team saying,

Sumen is a welcome addition to Datisan in 2021 and his expertise is already evident to our wider team and clients. I’m looking forward to seeing his unique blend of martech and business skills create better experiences for our clients and their customers.

When asked about joining Datisan Sumen said,

I am really excited about joining Datisan – getting to work with some of the brightest minds in the space and I hope to gain a lot of knowledge along the way. I am really eager to use my experience in digital marketing plus my technical skills in data and analytics to help clients create positive experiences for their customers while driving cross-channel revenue generation and improving their overall ROI.

Welcome to Team Datisan Sumen!

Interested in working with Datisan? Check out our Careers Page for open roles or apply through our Talent Pool.

Get in touch to find out how we can help transform your business by booking a consultation with Mike Cornwell, here. 

In exciting news, Datisan is now partnering with innovative technology platform Fivetran to provide even better and more efficient outcomes for our clients and their technology needs.

This partnership complements Datisan’s other marketing and technical relationships, as the first full stack sales partner for Google in Australia and New Zealand across Google Cloud and Google Marketing Platform.

Matt Daniels, Chief Technology Officer of Datisan, said of the partnership,

Data integration and pipelines have always been seen as a necessary evil, but often take an inordinate amount of time to deliver. Partnering with Fivetran allows us to extremely rapidly deploy production ready pipelines for our clients. This in turn allows them to get to the real value generation from their data – insights and activation – in weeks, not months or even years!

Fivetran provides reliable access to analysis-ready data for analysts to query at any time. They currently offer over 150 fully managed, automated connectors for databases, applications, events, files and functions, allowing businesses to extract data from any source. They are known for delivering zero-maintenance pipelines and ready-to-query schemas.

Read more about Fivetran here.

Datisan CEO Chris Rozic agreed that this was an exciting addition to Datisan’s existing partnerships, stating,

Fivetran enables Datisan to help our customers meet the personalisation needs of their customers. Data freshness and the ability for marketers to rely upon an integrated, real time ecosystem is only as good as the data quality, and the speed it gets there.

If connecting multiple data sources and data freshness are important to your business, speak with our team today about how we can support your digital marketing, data or cloud objectives.

If it hasn’t already, artificial intelligence (AI) is coming to a contact centre near you – and not just in the form of the ubiquitous chatbots that pop up with their friendly greetings on sites you visit. 

Industries are always looking to up their game when it comes to their marketing, customer service and experience, and one way many are doing this is by integrating contact centre AI, with 20% of all customer service requests expected to be handled by AI by 2022.

Contact Centre AI can help to provide a more effective and efficient customer experience, while saving businesses time and money by simplifying and easily integrating into their current workflow systems.

This is one of the most important ways businesses respond to and meet customers needs

It does this by providing human-like conversations via virtual agents. This increases time and cost efficiency, by minimising the time live agents are online and providing answers to simple, frequently-asked questions, to which solutions can easily be applied. 

So how are real businesses utilising Contact Centre AI and what are the benefits of its implementation? 

Marks and Spencer is one company that successfully integrated Google Cloud’s Contact Center AI (CCAI) with their workflow, enabling them to report an improvement of more than 10 seconds in its average handling time. Live agents are more satisfied as they no longer have to redirect calls and can work on more complex customer inquiries. Customers are also happier and in turn, brand loyalty has increased significantly. 

GoDaddy has had a similar success rate by using Virtual Agent, powered by Dialogflow CX, a chatbot component of Google’s CCAI, which enhances the customer experience by allowing the business to create virtual agents that are able to handle all enquiries and offer simple solutions to frequently asked questions, meaning that more complex issues are passed on to live agents. 

Tell me more about Dialogflow

Popular US streaming service Hulu has also integrated this technology, by using Contact Centre AI to respond quickly and efficiently to customer enquiries. With quick responses to frequently asked questions, and automatic responses that help customers get the best experience possible.

With AI becoming more progressive and the future of marketing leaning into new technologies, is now the time to invest in Contact Centre AI?

Marketsandmarkets predicts that the market for AI technology in contact centres will increase from $800 million in 2019 to $2.8 billion by 2024. From increased customer satisfaction rates, to reducing live agent chat time, to automating business workflow, the proof is in the pudding.

When asked to share his thoughts for future trends in Datisan’s latest Digital Marketing Maturity Growth Report, Xpon Technologies Founder and Group Managing Director, Matt Forman says,

2021 will be one of the most exciting years yet for marketers that have invested in getting their data in order and ready to take advantage of the change and automation that modern cloud based AI and ML will deliver.

What else did our 2020 Digital Marketing Maturity Growth Report find? Download your free copy here.

Contact Centre AI will not only have a positive impact on customers and clients, but also on the cost effectiveness of business and on contact centre staff, with reduced live agent time and the ability of Contact Centre AI to handle smaller enquiries and complaints.

Watch Google’s video below on Contact Center AI:

To find out how you can drive call centre efficiencies with Google Cloud, get in touch with Datisan today.


What is Dialogflow?

Part of Google Cloud Platform, Dialogflow is a lifelike conversational AI with state-of-the-art virtual agents. It is available in two editions: Dialogflow CX (advanced), Dialogflow ES (standard). 

Powered by Google’s leading AI, it supports rich, intuitive customer conversations in one comprehensive development platform for chatbots and voicebots. It’s goal is to improve the customer experience while increasing operational efficiency. Some of the key benefits of using Dialogflow include:

A Dialogflow agent is similar to a human call center agent. You train them both to handle expected conversation scenarios, and your training does not need to be overly explicit.

 Introducing Stephanie Ahfuni 

The new year has brought with it an exciting new start for the Datisan team.

Stephanie joins Datisan in our Brisbane office from Oh My Agency, where she honed her specialist skills in client relations/communications and task automation. Stephanie has over 2 and a half years of experience in the online marketing industry, working for the likes of Credit One Group and boutique digital marketing agencies.

When asked about her passion for the industry Stephanie commented,

I love being given the opportunity to really evaluate and examine data related to client journeys. To see where, when and why people do the things that they do online and how we as marketers can make their decision making process easier. It’s exciting to take information on how users interact with websites and other platforms and then use this to create simpler pathways to assist businesses and users in achieving their shared goals.

Datisan’s Head of AdTech Bharat Tarachandani said,

Stephanie is a valuable addition to the rapidly growing GMP AdTech team at Datisan on the back of new client growth. Her agency activations background puts her in a great position to understand challenges our client and agency teams are facing and how we can help better collaborate and implement solutions unlocking new growth opportunities for our clients.

When asked about joining Datisan Stephanie said,

I’m so excited to become a part of the team here, getting to work with some of the brightest minds in our industry and absorbing knowledge from them like a sponge! I’m keen to be able to take the time to really make a difference for my clients and assist them in making a difference for their customers.

Welcome to Team Datisan Stephanie!

Interested in working with Datisan? Check out our Careers Page for open roles or apply through our Talent Pool.

Get in touch to find out how we can help transform your business by booking a consultation with Mike Cornwell, here. 

The global education sector is no exception to the industry trends and adoption we have seen in the past 12 months.

There’s no denying that COVID-19 arriving on the scene has made a massive impact on our world. It’s required many industries to undergo quick digital transformation.

The immediate implication on education is obvious – that schools and campuses emptied and classes moved online very quickly. While we’ve all become quickly familiar with the concept of Zoom learning, many haven’t considered is COVID-19’s impact on marketing education to prospective students, both for schools and tertiary and vocational institutions.

Before the pandemic, many educational institutions were in the beginning stages developing their digital marketing efforts and investing in areas such as online counselling, virtual campus tours, and educational webinars. 

In Datisan’s 2019 Digital Marketing Maturity survey, we found that two-thirds of tertiary education providers were focusing their marketing efforts on upper-funnel targeting at the time. This meant that just one-third of all educational institutions surveyed were utilising full-funnel strategies to engage with their targeted audiences at different stages of the student journey.

What else did our 2019 Digital Marketing Maturity Growth Report find out?

In the same survey, only 15% of education providers responded that they confidently knew who they were talking to and when.

Additionally, a huge 85% of education respondents were not consistently using a combination of first and third-party data to deliver more tailored messaging to niche and targeted online audiences, instead opting to speak to broader markets.

This is only exacerbated by the fact that our report found that 75% of respondents in education don’t link their online and offline customer journeys to their digital marketing activities. 

In the wake of the pandemic and lockdown, entire schools and universities have transitioned to online learning, streaming classes onto screens in the homes of students across the world. Other essential aspects of the student experience have also moved online in the pandemic, such as graduation ceremonies and campus tours. 

What does the pandemic and remote learning mean for the marketing of education, and can it pivot as quickly as its service delivery?

With no clear end to the pandemic in sight, and while travel restrictions keep international students at home, education providers will need to turn their attention to the domestic student market. 

Education providers ought to turn their attention to refining and targeting niche audiences in order to direct their messaging to the right prospects. 

The future of marketing for education institutions may still be a little foggy, but by investing in deep-dive customer journey research and infusing that data into intelligent, targeted online performance marketing campaigns, the marketing of our educational institutions will be in good stead.

To find out how your education institution can utilise data-driven online marketing, get in touch with Datisan today.

To find out how you can set your brand up to create, target and refine online and offline audiences, get in touch with Datisan today.

Consolidating back-to-back wins from 2018 & 2019.

We’re excited to announce that Datisan has been named Google’s Emerging Star as well as the Maturity Megastar Partner of 2020 at this year’s Google Marketing Platform Partner Awards for Australia and New Zealand.

In a virtual event for 2020, the Datisan team gathered and celebrated together while engaging with Google Partner Managers and other Partners, while enjoying some excellent catering from Google to replicate the experience in other years.

The Emerging Star award is new to the awards for 2020 and one that was awarded at the discretion of the GMP judges. 

Emerging Star highlights Datisan’s ability to connect marketing and IT stakeholders on projects we work on. It also touched on our ability to facilitate connection and foster conversations and relationships across Google and particularly called out the strong growth in clients, projects and individual and team certifications we have experienced in the past 12 months.

Maturity Megastar is awarded to the Partner who submitted the best customer user case that highlights progression up the digital marketing maturity scale with positive client results.

GMP judges noted that as well as providing an excellent use case, Datisan’s winning submission highlighted the work and efforts that had gone into Digital Maturity as a business and how it underpins every Datisan engagement.

It highlighted our proactive work leveraging past maturity studies to build our own Annual Digital Marketing Growth Report . It also mentioned the expertise we were building as a result of the industry benchmarking we’ve been able to present to the market off the back of three years worth of data from the region.

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Head of Business Development, Mike Cornwell says of the work that Datisan has done in digital marketing maturity:

Maturity plays a key role in all of Datisan’s engagements with our clients. We want to help clients to understand what it means to move up the maturity scale, and help them do so. 

Datisan’s maturity assessments and roadmaps are the starting point for all business engagements as they provide the strongest indication of where an organisation is starting their digital journey and also highlights where they need to develop in order to best support their key objectives.

We wouldn’t have been able to be awarded these honours without the support of our Google Marketing Platform Partner Managers, as well as our exceptional clients whose projects allow us to provide work like what has been recognised here.

More to come as well as team pictures once the awards are delivered.

This comes with the news that Canstar is extending their partnership with Datisan across the full Google Marketing Platform stack.

Sara Tweedly, Group Executive, Digital & Marketing at Canstar, says about working with Datisan, 

Datisan has been a great partner for us over the past 12 months in the analytics space. We’re looking to them to support our alignment of media, tech and analytics and can’t wait to get started.

This will include the addition of Display Video 360, Search Ads 360 and Campaign Manager to the existing Google Analytics 360 engagement.

Mike Cornwell, Datisan’s Head of Business Development said,

“It’s great to see Canstar make the move to leverage the wider capability across GMP; they’ve done some really cool things in the analytics space this year and we can’t wait to get going on the program of work associated to the full stack.

In particular, I’m excited about the value we can add to their measurement and audience strategies.

This is the latest in a surge of client wins for Datisan, representing one of four companies who have engaged Datisan for AdTech solutions immediately following their Google Marketing Platform certification announcement in October.

Datisan’s Head of AdTech, Bharat Tarachandani, is enthusiastic on how quickly Datisan is scaling in this space.

We are excited to have multiple full stack clients plus keen interest from several others so early in our journey into the AdTech space. It demonstrates the value we bring to the market with combined Analytics, GMP and GCP capabilities.

Along with their Certified Partner status in Google Cloud Platform (GCP) as well, this makes Datisan Google’s first full stack Google Marketing Platform and Cloud Platform sales partner across Australia and New Zealand. Different to a traditional media agency with full stack capabilities, Datisan’s expertise with both sets them apart as a Platform Enablement Partner.

Winning work with Canstar has been the cherry on the top of what has already been a strong year for Datisan in Financial Services.

In November, Datisan added Google Cloud Partners Financial Services Expertise to their growing list of expertise on this platform. This expertise is awarded to partners who demonstrate customer success and leverage the Google Cloud Platform to help deliver competitive and compliant solutions in rapidly changing global markets with powerful, scalable technology, including secured multi-cloud and hybrid solutions for the financial services industry.

Chris Rozic (L), CEO & Co-Founder, Datisan & Bharat Tarachandani (R), Head of AdTech

Datisan CEO Chris Rozic agrees,

It’s satisfying to see that the strong work Datisan has delivered in the financial services and insurance sector being rewarded with continued business as well as recognition from our partners at Google.

So if you’re looking for advanced solutions and services in a particular area, speak with our team today about how we can support your digital marketing and cloud objectives.

Grow together is one of Datisan’s core value statements and this guiding principle has been applied to our approach to industry certification and advancement.

As well as our recently announced full stack certifications with Google Marketing Platform, we have been busily showcasing our client success and technical know-how as a Google Cloud Platform Partner, and have been awarded five expertises by Google Cloud. 

Google Cloud Platform Partner Expertise allow partners like Datisan to highlight success in product/technology, solution/workload, and industry specific work, and is evaluated based on unique requirements for each Expertise. As well as customer examples, the awarding of Expertise requires individual team member technical certification or credentials.

Datisan’s Head of Cloud & MarTech, Tom Sowerby, states

It’s satisfying to see that the strong work Datisan has delivered for our clients being recognised by our partners at Google Cloud. Partner Expertise is a great way for us to validate the work we have been doing day-to-day with customers as they directly reflect our engagements with them.

Expertise also promotes Datisan’s capabilities to potential businesses, helping them identify a partner that would be the most relevant for their technical and business needs.


Datisan has been recognised across the following five Expertises in 2020:

Datisan’s Head of Business Development Mike Cornwell adds, 

It’s great to see our expertise broaden across Google’s Cloud platform. The FSI certification is particularly pleasing – we’ve done some really innovative work in that space this year so it’s great to be recognised for it by GCP.

So if you’re looking for advanced solutions and services in a particular area, look for a Google Cloud partner with an Expertise – look for Datisan

Speak with our team today about how we can support your digital marketing and cloud objectives.

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Streaming Data Analytics Workload Expertise

Partners who demonstrate customer success by helping companies ingest, process, and analyze event streams in real time. Built on the autoscaling infrastructure of its core components—Cloud Pub/Sub, Cloud Dataflow, and BigQuery—Google’s streaming solution reduces complexity by provisioning the exact resources needed to ingest, process, and analyze fluctuating volumes of real-time data.

Data Warehouse Modernization Workload Expertise

Partners who demonstrate customer success by leveraging Google BigQuery to streamline the data warehouse modernization path with a comprehensive migration offer, easy-to-use tools, and ecosystem that manages your complete migration so customers can get started with ease.

Google Cloud Analytics Product/Technology Expertise

Partners who demonstrate customer success in the following areas: BigQuery, Google Cloud Data Studio, Cloud Composer, Cloud Dataflow, Cloud Datalab, Cloud Dataprep, Cloud Dataproc, Cloud Data Fusion, Cloud Pub/Sub, Cloud Spanner, Cloud IoT Core, Data Catalog, Cloud Life Sciences, Genomics, Google Marketing Platform, Looker, Cloud Dataprep

Google Cloud ML & ML APIs Product/Technology Expertise

Partners who demonstrate customer success in the following areas: Cloud AutoML / AutoML Tables, Cloud Natural Language API, Cloud Jobs API, Cloud Translation API, Cloud TPU, Cloud Video Intelligence API, Cloud Vision API, Places API, Cloud Speech-to-Text API, Cloud ML Engine, TensorFlow, Dialogflow

Financial Services Industry Expertise

Partners who demonstrate customer success and leverage GCP to help deliver competitive and compliant solutions in rapidly changing global markets with powerful, scalable technology, including secured multi-cloud and hybrid solutions for the Financial services industry.

The roller coaster of 2020 has had far-reaching impacts on many industries, and most certainly on the financial services & insurance industry.

‘Pivot’ along with (along with ‘unprecedented’) may have become yet another 2020 buzzword, but with our lives and habits changing so dramatically in such a short period of time, the financial services industry has been forced to iterate incredibly quickly.

COVID-19 has rapidly changed customer expectations and needs – pushing the vast majority of financial service providers (banks, insurers, lenders etc) towards new technologies to be integrated seamlessly into the customer experience.

Prior to the pandemic, the industry was in a unique position of change, moving swiftly towards a heavy focus on personalisation and targeting. Datisan’s 2019 Annual Digital Marketing Maturity Growth Report identified the financial services industries as being on a more mature trajectory to many industries, as the FSI average was seen as ‘Connected’, compared to the Australian average of ‘Emerging’.

What else did our 2019 Digital Marketing Maturity Growth Report find out?

Econsultancy.com surveys conducted in mid-late 2018 found that while 37% of financial services firms say that ‘targeting and personalisation’ was a top priority for their organisation, surprisingly 94% of banks said that they hadn’t quite figured personalisation out yet.  

Our 2019 Digital Maturity report also discovered that only 15% automate their digital marketing optimisations. Our report also found that 85% of financial services businesses didn’t leverage automated media optimisation and bidding tools, relying instead of manual bids updated weekly or rarely.

For a ‘connected’ industry, one disconnect we found in our Report was that only 15% automate their digital marketing optimisations.

Customers are no longer satisfied with being told that ‘everything is okay’ by a faceless corporation, and trust has become more crucial in the customer decision-making process (especially with regards to financial matters). 

The use of data-based personalisation in fostering emotional trust is new to many financial services companies and can be a tricky area to navigate.

Use not enough personalisation, and customers may find their experience to be inconsistent, generic and confusing. Use too much personalisation and it can get overwhelming. In fact, according to Gartner:

38% of consumers have stated that they would stop doing business with a company if they found personalisation to be ‘creepy’. 

The challenge is striking a balance of personalisation in the customer experience.

Through setting up systems to gather customer intelligence and acting on this data in a contextual manner we can hope to create the desired journey.

According to PwC,

We expect that the ‘new normal’ operating model will be customer- and context-centered.

“That is, companies will change the way they interact with their customers based on the context of the exchange. They will offer a seamless omnichannel experience, through a smart balance of human and machines.”

Personalisation and trust should be working together in these times. Marketing news site ‘The Drum’ notes:

“There’s an element of politeness which should sit alongside personalisation in finance, whereby people need to agree (beyond just accepting cookies) before brands can go ahead and get friendly. When approached sensitively – which is especially important in these uncertain times – personalisation will help finance brands set themselves apart from competitors; not just other banks, but fintech start-ups too.”

To find out how you can set your financial services brand up to foster more personalised and trusted customer experiences, and make the leap to cloud for marketing technologies, get in touch with Datisan today.

It’s clear that the events and restrictions of 2020 have sent shockwaves through the global travel industry. 

Prior to 2020, travel across the globe was booming – in 2018 there were a record 1.4bn international tourist arrivals, with tourism as a whole accounting for approximately 2% of the total global GDP.

Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, global air travel has decreased 85% from this time last year, and Google searches for phrases such as “can I travel” or “safe to fly” have skyrocketed. At least 27 airlines have filed for bankruptcy, with hundreds of others clinging on to life as restrictions continue to extend.

On a more micro level:

We have all seen the impacts of travel restrictions on our own networks. If not ourselves, we all know someone who has had their travel plans dashed. As a result, we are seeing decreased tourism spend globally, but increases in local travel where would-be travellers are staying closer to home. Google searches worldwide for “staycations” have increased by 100% since 2019, and searches for “beach open” have exploded by over 3,000%.

Road trips have also seen a resurrection in mainstream popularity during the pandemic – the American Automobile Association estimates that 97% of all trips taken over the summer in the U.S. will be via car.

#vanlifeaustralia has over 69,000 posts on Instagram but has a while to catch up to the global hastag, which has over 8.5 million.

Unsurprisingly this has been popular in Australia as well:

There has been a raft of content regarding the resurgence of classic road trips in Australia in recent weeks, timely with borders opening imminently – #vanlife and #vanlifeaustralia are trending terms on social media as well.

So, what does this mean for businesses as we look ahead to the future of travel in a post-pandemic landscape?

As consumer behaviour surrounding travel shifts, businesses must remain agile and adopt innovative measures to continue driving the tourism industry forward. 

With so many travellers stuck at home pondering their wanderlust, there is a natural opportunity within the travel industry for the use of virtual reality to be utilised more often. Not only can VR give a sense of being physically within a destination and allowing you to ‘get away from it all’, it is also a valuable ‘try-before-you-buy’ tool for both travellers and travel agents. 

With less disposable income, travellers will be more selective in their choices for holidaying. To ensure they receive the best value within their budget, demand for ‘try-before-you-buy’ will likely surge. 

Check out an example from Holoscribe – this VR experience of Barnard Castle in the UK. This tool allowed viewers to explore the castle and the surrounding area.

Ben Fogarty, CEO and co-founder of Holoscribe, said:

Using readily-available content like Google Maps Street View, 360-degree imagery and free-for-commercial use imagery, we were able to pull together and publish this 360 interactive experience in a matter of minutes using our XR Publishing software. It means consumers can explore and discover attractions like Barnard Castle and the surrounding area from their home and plan their visit when it is safe to do so again. 

But when will it be safe to do so? Perhaps the most prominent change to travel has been in hygiene expectations from travellers. This presents a unique challenge in that hygiene standards (and what is perceived as ‘safe’) differs largely between countries.

As a result, companies must employ precise data in their customer profiling to understand how each consumer will interpret booking considerations – and tailor the customer experience accordingly. 

 Our 2019 Australian Digital Marketing Maturity survey responses told us that:

3 in 5 travel & leisure industry businesses already use a range of 1st and 3rd party data sources to target their audiences for digital marketing campaigns.

And what’s more:

2 of those 3 are doing so at a high level, and are able to create a complete view of the customer from different data points.

Not only this, but 80% of respondents reported partial linking of online customer data (e.g. ad server, DSP, web analytics), with 20% having significant offline to online linking, meaning they are able to link customer journeys to digital marketing activities.

What else did our 2019 Digital Marketing Maturity Growth Report find out?

This year’s Digital Marketing Maturity survey is still collecting responses (help us out here), but we have already noted some interesting changes in digital marketing strategy for CMOs, such as a 60% increase in demand for digital transformation within businesses, and an overall 30% reduction in marketing budgets. 

While we are still unsure what lies on the horizon for travel in the coming years, we do know that industry contenders can only remain competitive by remaining agile and embracing digital innovation. 

To find out how your travel or leisure brand can make the leap to cloud for marketing technologies, get in touch with Datisan today.