Overview

Best Western came to IBM Watson Advertising looking to reach and engage consumers in active travel planning mode around peak holiday weekends – some of the busiest travel periods of the year. Since travel planning is a personal experience, IBM Watson Ads was an ideal way for Best Western to offer personalized travel recommendations and help take the pain out of the travel planning process.

IBM Watson Advertising and Best Western launched the first AI-powered ads for the hospitality industry with IBM Watson Ads. Watson was trained on Best Western information and used natural language processing to enable 1:1 dialogue to deliver a unique travel recommendation for each user.

IBM Watson Ads engaged in real-time conversations, offering tips, tricks, and inspiration for travelers on their upcoming destinations, allowing consumers to interact with Best Western in a brand new way via dynamic ads on weather.com and The Weather Channel app.

In addition, audience targeting was applied to reach consumers that were most likely to be business or leisure travelers, urban millennials, or had recently traveled.

Results

With IBM Watson Ads, Best Western saw meaningful time spent with consumers and an increase in traffic to their locations, including:

  • 2.2x higher time spent with IBM Watson Ads vs. Google Rich Media Interaction Time Benchmark
  • 42 seconds average time spent within the IBM Watson Ads unit per session
  • 48.6% incremental lift in visits to Best Western locations vs. those who had already planned to visit Best Western hotel properties

Since IBM Watson Ads act as mini focus groups, providing real-time audience and customer insights, Best Western learned that consumers were most interested in tips related to membership perks, discounts, and in-room amenities.

Best Western can leverage these finding to improve their ongoing product and marketing strategy.

Focus Area

  • AI/Watson