- Best Western partnered with IBM Watson Advertising on a new artificial intelligence (AI)-powered ad that offers personalized vacation planning with travel tips and tricks, accommodation recommendations and offers based on travel preferences, the company announced in a news release.
- Consumers can engage with the ad by providing information on their travel plans. The AI-powered ad will respond with tailored suggestions for how consumers can get the most out of their vacation and enjoy Best Western locations across North America.
- Consumers can book a hotel room, take a virtual 360-degree tour of a Best Western and learn about the hotel chain's rewards program and hotel amenities. The ads are running on weather.com and The Weather Channel app, both of which IBM owns.
Best Western is the latest hospitality and travel brand to leverage AI to provide vacation-planners with more personalized experiences. Marketers continue looking for ways to deliver more informational value to consumers, and AI's ability to analyze behaviors can potentially help drive that type of meaningful engagement.
Emirates Vacations took a similar approach to a recent campaign that leveraged display ads embedded with AI-powered chatbots that answered travel questions and offered destination and vacation package recommendations. In a 30-day test before the campaign's official March launch, the company saw an 87% engagement lift compared to its average click-through rates.
Marketers are investing in marketing automation tools, including AI, as the industry becomes more data-driven and focused on personalization. Marriott recently teamed up with Salesforce on a customer recognition platform that gives the hotel brand a 360-degree view of consumers so that it can provide personalization at every touch point, whether an interaction begins on the company's mobile apps, websites or call centers.
These technologies might help traditional hotel and travel brands stand out against growing competition from digital disruptors like Airbnb, which are similarly looking to expand their business past room-booking to offer more comprehensive and curated travel plans.