A hi-tech bridge to customers

Drawbridge, a tech company based in San Mateo, CA claims to
have successfully created a cross-device ad tracking technology
designed to let marketers target what individual consumers like based on their
online activity as they go from desktop to smartphone to tablet and perhaps
back again. 

Beyond the slightly intriguing moniker
and the company’s country-code top-level domain belonging to Georgia (the
country), they appear to have a revolutionary marketing tool that is
intriguing,.  It is not something they appear to be bashful about considering the prominently displayed and fast turning counter on their website that adds
up the number of mobile devices “bridged for precision audience targeting”.  The
number is fast approaching a billion devices “bridged”. 

The company’s allegedly secret sauce is
its use of probabilistic and statistical inference models to predict what
customers are likely to buy.  Marketers
may justly be salivating at the ability to track every move of customers,
current and potential, fears of big brother notwithstanding.  Leading the pack among those who will be
looking to capitalize on its application are likely to be retailers but the
breath of consumer application is quite simply boundless.

For hospitality, an algorithm that aggregates search results
and offers a menu of options for guests that are in line with their needs and
aspirations could take hospitality to the level of personal attention not seen since the halcyon days of the roaring twenties.  Besides keeping them
ahead of the curve and figuring out hot-button issues for guests, hotels could
figure which restaurants; theaters, parks and even airlines are their
favorite.  That would enable better
anticipation of preferences particularly for repeat customers who presumbly will be better satisfied and inclined to acknowledge value with a greater willingness to pay. 

A few may, with some justification, recoil at the invasion of
privacy implications but establishments could ensure they not “sell” the
marketing information without guests’ consent nor would they use that knowledge in
any way that leads guests to think the hotel is privy to their innermost
secrets.  There is plenty of precedent to
this in the usage of adult movies. There is no known instance of a hotel
reporting on guests’ viewing history to spouses, friends or employers.  Despite the disclaimers, hotel front desk associates absolutely do know
precisely which movies are watched!.  Undoubtedly, over time both consumers and purveyors will embrace technology's seeming ability to "read minds".

Published by

Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.

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