What day of the week is it again? With so many of us staying home because of the pandemic, it can be hard to keep track. A change of scenery to a tropical destination, a winter wonderland, or a temperate weekend getaway sounds pretty nice right about now.
Recent vacation rental booking activity shows that quarantine has given travelers a bit of cabin fever. Families are dreaming about their next big trip, and many are looking to plan a safe, stress-free getaway sooner rather than later.
Recently, Vrbo tapped Wyng to help keep its customers engaged during the pandemic and learn more about their future travel intentions. Enter the new Vrbo Vacay Finder, a micro experience built on the Wyng platform that provides individualized vacation destination recommendations based on a traveler’s personal preferences.
VACATION IDEAS FOR EVERYONE’S NEEDS
Vrbo’s Vacay Finder, facilitated by Wyng, is a single-page quiz that starts with a series of four questions to gather personal travel preferences, including:
Regional location within the US
Desired season for a vacation
Type of destination (city, beach, etc.)
The ideal level of activity
The experience features unique answer displays, including both images and text to highlight answer choices. For example, the quiz starts with a map graphic of the US, with the names of each region overlaid on top.
The visual aesthetic makes answering the questions less of a chore and more like a game.
As travelers answer questions, Vrbo gets a deeper understanding of their unique travel preferences and interests which then enables Vrbo to provide highly relevant, personalized trip recommendations both in the moment and in future interactions.
After finishing the quiz, users are asked to provide their names and email addresses and to opt-in to receive marketing email messages.
Finally, the results page outlines a user’s personalized vacation recommendations based on how they answered the quiz questions. They can then share their outcome with friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, or email.
The results page also includes a dynamic “Trip Board” section that allows friends and family to collaborate to create a vacation itinerary together. It then hyperlinks out to the Vrbo website, so users can finalize their travel plans and begin booking their trip.
As travelers scroll down the results page, they find a gallery containing all potential destination results. This allows users to explore other destinations without having to retake the quiz. Users can select filters or click on destination images for more vacation idea inspiration.
The clickable tags facilitate a continuous journey of discovering more local vacation opportunities. This unique section proved powerful, as the results showed that, on average, users explored two additional vacation experiences before leaving the page.
IMPACT AND THE FUTURE
Vrbo found that Vacay Finder resonated with would-be travelers during the pandemic as nearly 80,000 consumers took the quiz in the first three months.
The key to a successful quiz strategy is to continue to optimize, learn from the data, adjust to evolving restrictions, and adapt to the ever-changing digital consumer.
Micro experiences like this allow brands to get to know their consumers better and provide them with the best possible experiences at each interaction.
THE ZERO-PARTY DATA (ZDP) OPPORTUNITY FOR HOSPITALITY BRANDS
Data deprecation is a hot topic for marketers in hospitality. Waves of privacy regulations (like GDPR in 2018, CCPA in 2020, and CPRA, which takes effect in 2023) and tech platform restrictions (like the demise of third-party cookies and Apple’s IDFA) are cutting off traditional sources of data and disrupting widespread marketing practices.
Vacay Finder points to a privacy-friendly solution: zero-party data (ZPD). Generally, ZPD is all of the consent-based personal context data—preferences, interests, tastes, favorites, plans, etc.—that customers intentionally and proactively share with a brand to improve their experience with it.
By engaging travelers directly and asking them for their personal preferences and interests, along with consent, Vrbo obtains the data it needs to personalize customer interactions.
Forrester Research’s 2020 report, An Illustrated Guide to Collecting Zero-Party Data, stated, “ZPD gives brands a unique opportunity to not only learn more about a customer but also folds that customer’s input directly into her immediate and long-term experience. Tellingly, 49 percent of marketers say zero-party data is their most favored solution to data deprecation risk, according to Econsultancy.”
With the Vrbo quiz in mind, here are a few quiz idea starters for vacation rental companies:
Depending on the concept, quizzes can reveal ZPD like who is actively planning travel, when they are looking to book, who will be traveling, the purpose of the stay, and preferred destinations and activities. Some of the data may be long-lived (e.g., the number of family members), while other data may be short-lived (e.g., timing for a family vacation).
Hospitality companies can collect ZPD by creating quizzes, surveys, preference centers, and other interactive experiences—and then use the ZPD to provide highly relevant and personalized content, recommendations, and offers to customers.