Travel brands have an incredible and unique opportunity to create positive customer experiences. By creating personalised customer journeys, travel brands can deliver the right offer at the right time; a critical component to their success.
As marketing strategies get increasingly sophisticated however, what will the future hold for personalisation in the travel industry?
This is what we will be discussing with a group of UK experts at our next Twitter chat, “The Future of Personalisation,” on 22 November.
To whet our appetites, we recently discussed the topic with Twitter chat participants:
- Janice B Gordon, strategic account sales speaker
- Daryn Mason, customer experience thought leader
- Kath Pay, founder and CEO of Holistic Email Marketing
Here’s what they had to say:
Time sensitivity is something that has been mentioned as a major factor in personalisation for travel. Can you explain why?
Daryn Mason: What you find with travel is that there is a “golden window” for directing your consumers’ path towards purchase. Get it right with the relevant offer to the right person at the right time, then you can trump your competitors and grab a large share of the market. Get it wrong and you will be resorting to costly discounts to lure reluctant audiences.
Janice B Gordon: Yes, everything about travel is incredibly time bound – trains and planes have a schedule, and rooms and food have a sell-by date or time. The trick is to understand your specific customers’ preferences within the schedule of time and work with it.
So how can we turn time-sensitivity to our advantage in the travel industry?
Kath Pay: We’ve found that it can be an advantage, providing you make the most of the opportunities that arise when the consumer is active on the website. The time-sensitive nature of travel allows us to send personalised emails based on their searches and these convert very well.
Mason: I would agree with this. For the companies that crack the code, this time-sensitivity is a huge advantage – you just need to figure out how to harness the right CX technology and data.
Gordon: You need to remember that personalisation is about looking for the themes and characteristics in the way that the customer chooses to use the product. Once you understand this and you work within their schedule and needs, then you can create focused and relevant communications.
We are looking forward to hear more from you all during the Twitter chat but, in the meantime, what advice would you give for those in the travel industry?
Mason: Remember that your customer is always moving – you need to be a sharpshooter when it comes to targeting them.
Pay: Don’t underestimate the power of email. Emails that respond to an action already taken by the customer are amazing opportunities to provide a really personal service. They are far more customer-service oriented and don’t come across as being “salesy.”
Gordon: Ultimately, your goal should be to be in sync with your customer.
Thank you very much. We shall look forward to hearing more from you all.
Join the discussion with our “The Future of Personalisation” Twitter chat at 3 p.m. GMT on 22 November. Join the conversation via the hashtag #AcquiaTravel.