Personalizing Your Marketing with AI, with John Lyotier

Episode 359

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John Lyotier is CEO and Co-Founder of TravelAI, an UpNext company. TravelAI is an applied AI company operating in the field of travel. Through a network of interconnected brands, the company connects high-intent travelers to the largest travel websites in the world and over 10 million properties. TravelAI’s proprietary big data marketing engine has facilitated more than $1.5B in gross booking value and 6M nights booked since 2016.

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with John Lyotier all about what led him from a tech start-up into the travel space. We discuss why businesses need to prioritize personalizing their approaches and messaging to meet the needs of individual consumers. John shares why he believes in the power of collaboration in the travel industry and why by aligning objectives and revenue models, businesses can optimize efficiency and create shared success.

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • How John’s company has used their agility to stand out, be “remarkable with a purpose,” and reverse engineer your goals
  • TravelAI’s approach to personalization and targeting to reach individual consumers, with brands that appeal to, for example, pickleball players or people who want to rent a cabin in a specific area
  • How technology can be infused with humanity to create a personalized experience for travelers
  • Why the power of your network grows with each organization you have in that network
  • How digital marketing has shifted from being an art to becoming a science in 2023, and the implications of this shift

Personalization in the Travel Industry

AI technology has been the hot topic of 2023, and the travel industry is no exception. John Lyotier shares his extensive experience and expertise and gives valuable insights into the power of AI in providing personalized experiences and tailored marketing efforts to attract individual consumers.

One of the key challenges the travel industry faces is the overwhelming amount of choices available to consumers. John emphasizes the need to move from a web of 5 to a web of 500, and eventually, a web of 5,000, to achieve true personalization and targeting. By segmenting and personalizing data, businesses can understand individual consumer personas and craft marketing messages that speak directly to their desires and preferences.

Balancing Technology and Humanity to Create Lasting Memories

Technology plays a vital role in personalization, and John reminds us that it shouldn’t overshadow the importance of human connection and emotions. He shares why he believes in infusing technology with humanity, as it is the meshing of both of these things that truly creates lasting memories and immersive experiences.

Collaborative Strategies for Success

We discuss why working together and forming partnerships is essential for achieving success in a crowded marketplace. Just as a bundle of sticks is stronger together, collective efforts and strong partnerships lead to greater outcomes.

John highlights the importance of aligning with partners’ objectives to allow for shared success and mutual growth. Whether it’s vacation cottages, discount travel, or unique niche audiences, like pickleball players, the future of travel lies in customization, collaboration, and the creation of unforgettable memories.


I am so excited to announce that my first book, Stronger Together: Building World-Changing Collaborations that Succeed, has been released! Help me celebrate this milestone and expand your knowledge about collaboration. Find out more information here:

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