Charlie Aspey, email marketing manager for Intercontinental Hotels Group’s European operation, outlined how the company has inserted weather forecasts in pre-stay emails to customers, which update dynamically depending on when the email is opened.

The initiative is part of IHG’s push to “deliver personalised brand experiences to customers at all stage of the guest journey”.

Speaking in the same session at RBTE 2017, Selligent chief marketing officer, Nick Worth, revealed that the marketing engagement platform’s client Redfin, a US-based estate agent, is also using weather data as a way of connecting with customers.

Redfin exploits weather data at a postcode level to maintain relationships with customers that have bought a house through the estate agent.

Weather data is used to contact customers after the first snowfall on their house. An email invites customers to send a picture of their house covered in snow and also offers to help resolve any problems the snow may have caused.

“That build a relationship and it is cheap and easy and hyper-personalised,” said Worth.

IHG has also personalised its loyalty scheme through the use of customer data to ensure each member gets different offers based on their purchase and stay history.

For instance, if someone predominantly stays in a Holiday Inn brand they may receive an offer tempting them to upscale to the more premium Crown Plaza brand.

“What is key is customer insights,” said Aspey. “There is no point collecting data you are never going to use.”