Expedia CEO Mark Okerstromon Personalization

TNOOZE – Tnooz Mark Okerstrom

Source: Expedia CEO Mark Okerstrom on learnings from Dara, continuing Expedia’s culture and global growth

It’s a treat to hear Mark Okerstrom say Personalization is the next frontier. We know he’s right on target with outstanding results from our pioneering application PersonaHolidays.com. It has increased engagement and call-to-action by 300% – check this video >>

It’s now installed as an active live app for the Barbados Tourism Encyclopedia. We have discussions well under way for several Canadian applications and we’re in discussions with a global new age OTA. We’ll keep you posted on this exciting venture.  https://www.tnooz.com/article/expedia-ceo-mark-okerstrom-on-dara-expedias-culture-global-growth/#comment-4896777

Here is What Expedia Said:

Tnooze – What are your personal and professional thoughts on personalization and the road ahead to get better at matching offers to people and provide more targeted services to customers across all your brands?

Expedia –

“Honestly, I think it’s a huge opportunity. It’s the next big thing potentially”.

Paraphrasing his comments, he tells us: The first wave of online travel evolution, or revolution, was about making the dull text-based green screen of the travel agents more engaging and opening them up to travelers.

But that is where we still are, he adds.

Where we need to go is back to the 70s and 80s, when travel agents knew where you stayed and, “they knew what type of hotels you liked and they knew where you like to go in the summer and where you like to go in the winter. And they could already tailor their offering to you.”

Expedia is not quite there yet, but they can beat anyone!

It is a race between man and machine and man is still winning. He adds that, because of Expedia’s size, capabilities and vast data, They can do this “better than anyone else in the industry”!

We Shall See…

None of the OTAs have made any significant strides toward true personalization. They have studied data to exhaustion but have failed to understand personality.

It seems to me that understanding data and personality are different skill sets. You need to work with physiologists who have already defined the concept of PersonaBranding. Every hotel must be branded in this way.

New Suite of Technology Needed
PersonaHolidays is a suite of technology that includes the application that travelers see and that helps them make the right choices based on nuances and not just location, price and amenities.

It requires a PersonaBranding technology and a travel matchmaker engine, as in http://Matchmaker.travel. Once branded, the matchmaker interfaces the inference engine and the brand personality to create the right match.

Inference Engine
You must built an inference engine that translates every interaction into Matchwords and travel personas that can be matched back to hotels. This is an entirely different and separate approach to the PersonaBranding. But the two are tightly linked with numerous databases that are evaluating and perfecting the cross references and ultimate matches.

Nuclear Search
It requires a new Search and Compare system that is immediate, visual and insightful. These systems have been used in nuclear and chemical sciences using organic algorithms that provide ultra fast search, filtering and matching.

A Total Departure From the Way Things Are!
These system are unlike anything used in travel. It requires intelligence that looks for indicators of compatibly and contrary indicators that together validate the overall ‘right fit’ in an evolutionary process.

In PersonaHolidays the result is stunning interactions with pages that dance in immediate response to every click at the speed of thought!


Here is a full demo of the system:

More about PersonaHolidays Matchmaker Engine see – http://MatchMaker.travel


PersonaHolidays is a technology that can be added to any tourism destination marketing site, as well as the sites of hotel and tourism associations, hotel chains, and city and travel marketing agencies. It is being licensed to the Barbados Tourism Authority with several other contracts now underway.

The PersonaHolidays application may also be set up as a 3rd-party marketing site for any interested party.







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