Today, we’re publishing a new report by Adara about the booking behavior of top tier loyalty program members, “Understanding the Secret Lives of Top Tier Travelers,” which provides insightful takeaways on how brands can sustain loyalty and boost customer retention.

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Customers are constantly being bombarded with branded messages. According to the American Marketing Association, the average consumer is exposed to approximately 10,000 brand mentions a day. To make things even more complicated, many companies are making it easier for consumers to switch brands by offering them incentives to change allegiances. This makes sustaining loyalty extremely challenging for businesses.

When it comes to booking travel, it’s common for customers to shop around before making a purchase, exposing them to a broad range of competing messages. The majority of travel loyalty programs out there are built to help alleviate this challenge by reinforcing brand-affiliation as customers shop around.

However, Adara, a data co-op that delivers critical intelligence to activate personalization for business performance, found that even loyalty program members (both with basic and top tier statuses) commonly compare more than one travel brand before making a purchase.

In fact, approximately the same percentage of basic loyalty members and top tier loyalty members visit more than three websites before booking an airline or a hotel, according to Adara’s study. A frequent traveler, or those with four or more bookings in six months, however, is more likely to be loyal to a single company.

Carolyn Corda, Adara’s chief marketing officer, says that travel brands should focus on the patterns in customer data and not just on the profiles of the customers. These patterns will enable businesses to intervene at the right time and help with customer retention. Airlines and hotel chains should review the data on an individual level and get to the heart of brand affection.

Adara conducted this research to better compare loyalty behavior across airlines and hotel chains and provide insights into what travel brands can do to better manage fickle behavior. They have compiled their findings in this whitepaper, which includes:

  • An overview of loyalty in the travel industry
  • Deep dives into how behavior patterns change amongst loyalty members across airlines, hotel chains, and trip frequency
  • Three takeaways travel brands should focus on to improve loyalty
  • How to bring it all together with personalized loyal behaviors

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This content was created collaboratively by Adara and Skift’s branded content studio, SkiftX.