News and Insights

Introducing FINN Futures

January 7, 2022

A purchase intent predictive model

Current social and traditional media communications tools are more powerful than ever, but they are still hampered by being tied to only displaying and analyzing past data. While sales-oriented departments have embraced predictive modeling and the associated toolsets, communications professionals have not been as lucky. FINN Global Intelligence set out to develop a model that uses available data to predict consumer behavior to help inform communications and marketing professionals in trends and patterns before they emerge.

As part of this effort, FINN Partners is proud to announce the launch of the first industry category predictive report for FINN Futures – an innovative, powerful, machine learning predictive model that collects, analyzes, and models multiple data sets to forecast consumer trends. The project creates an applicable methodology to quantify qualitative industry variables, enabling better measurement of efforts and output for insights. We put the statistical models to use to gain predictive insights into the next quarter for domestic and international travel, but FINN Futures will expand to analyze other purchase intent categories over the next few months.

NOTE: While much of this data is still representative of the current state of affairs, individual data points can be very volatile with the rise of the Omicron variant. International travel is a good example, as it can be heavily influenced by news items and consumer behavior based on interest other than travel (changing restrictions, outbreaks, etc.). We are currently refreshing this data and will publish those results very soon.

Q4 2021 – Q1 2022 Purchase Intent Behavior for Travel

Although COVID-19 restrictions have been subsiding due to higher vaccination rates and therefore lower hospitalizations, travel will continue to be affected by this pandemic. The interest in travel is there, but most searches ask Google what is safe or possible. 

General Travel Trends

Mental and physical impacts of the prolonged pandemic have reset priorities of post-pandemic travel. Methods of transportation and places to stay are projected to shift to simpler, more cost-effective, and more controlled options including cars, campers/RVs/trailers, and tents. Women show a greater interest in traveling independently (due to larger trends away from groups and group travel) and are increasingly seeking safety reassurance. The influx of new pet owners, specifically dogs, created a strong desire for their new companion to be included in getaways. This includes animal weight restrictions on flights and pet vaccinations needed for international travel. Instead of luxurious getaways, travelers want safe, adventurous nature trips. 

The models indicate beach destinations will surge again over the winter (as they had done prior to COVID) of these, Florida and Hawaii (specifically Maui) showing the largest predicted increases. Mountain destination Vermont will lead search results that correlate with nature-themed trips becoming more popular. Interest in information regarding travel restrictions and higher COVID rates in big cities will further fuel increased interest in more isolated, remote destinations. 

International Travel

Internationally, countries that were popular searches are nations that have stricter travel restrictions, like China, Venezuela, or the Philippines. Since the countries are regularly changing policies, searches to make sure travelers are up to date are necessary. This is likely due to the pent-up demand to travel to these more restrictive destinations and the near-term interest in available travel there. Italy and Cancun, Mexico are predicted to emerge as popular, accessible destinations for leisure travelers. 

Financial Impacts on Travel Behavior

The predicted decrease in the Consumer Price Index (despite near-term inflation worries – supply chain easing is expected) means more disposable income for potential travelers. The model-predicted incline of international travel indicates a strong but indirect relationship with the consumer price index. Increased travel budgets will allow for longer trips to more distant destinations which increases international destination interest.

COVID-based travel restrictions being lifted and vaccination rates growing are the most influential factors linked to increased travel. Search queries regarding travel restrictions are likely to increase as those policies continue to evolve. 

The results of both main models reflect the interest to travel abroad safely now that countries are opening borders to tourism. 

More About FINN Futures

FINN Futures was created out of the need to have a better model not only based on past performance, industry knowledge, and past trends but also include the newest machine-driven predictive and statistical analyses to blend all of these valuable data together with recently-available external data sets from a variety of sources. 

In order to do this, we needed to capture and process data at a large scale – far beyond what subject experts and staff would have the time or capacity to do. These data sets are widely available, but rarely utilized or blended together to extract their true value. FINN Futures does just that – we capture massive search behavior data sets, financial transaction data, travel behavior, CDC and international COVID data, stock market, and consumer price trends among others. 

Aggregating data is valuable on its own, but that is only scratching the surface. FINN Futures modeling analyzed the quality, weights, and interlocking importance of these different data points to illuminate the elements that provided the best predictive value. Using these identified data along with the model-developed weighting, we produced a repeatable model to predict elements of travel over the coming quarter. 

FINN Future’s Future

Starting with travel, FINN Futures has built a methodology that will be applied to other industries. These predictions provide a deep dive into specific topics for analytical studies to showcase potential deliverables and FINN Partners’ deep industry knowledge and expertise. 

Future industry areas will include – financial services, health care, consumer goods, CSR/ESG trends, and others.