Cross Channel – The Future of Airline Marketing
A Travel Marketer’s Mantra:
Loyalty has been the foundation of marketing in the airlines industry for the past few decades and it is not going to change any soon. All marketing programs revolve around one objective – repeat customers.
The only way you can earn your customers’ loyalty is by rewarding them for flying with you. That’s precisely why ‘reward programs’ have been the most prominent form of marketing for airline brands for as long as we can remember.
Today, the technology landscape has transformed. Several online-offline touch points have evolved and customers have grown to expect personalized experiences in all of these. ‘Customer delight’ has taken a whole new meaning. Reward programs and membership cards won’t cut it anymore. You need to meet your customers and communicate with them through website, mobile, social media, email, airport kiosk, magazines – the list goes on.
How do you keep your customers engaged at so many touch points and ensure that they come back? How do you justify the money you are spending?
A cross-channel marketing strategy with data at the crux is the answer.
You need to be able to understand who your customers are, what they are looking for, what channels do they spend most time on and then personalize their experience with consistent messaging across devices and channels. This level of personalization will help make decision making-easier for your customers. They remember your brand and the next time they want to fly, they will come back to you. The cost of earning a repeat customer is much lesser than that of winning a new customer.
It is easier said than done though. What cliché! But true, you need to get a few things right to crack your cross-channel marketing. Here they are,
- Integrate your data
- Targeted messaging
- Get social
- Attribute and measure across channels
- Use a universal ad technology
Integrate your data
You have tons of data about your customer which is great news. But how do you make use of it? Integrate all the customer data you have from various sources – loyalty, CRM, etc. – in one single data management platform. Create a unified view of your customer, his preferences and buying behavior.
Now that you know your customers, what he wants and where he spends most time on – target him with the right messaging through the right channel. It is all about the personalization. Make him feel special. It works wonders.
Your customers are on social media and they are spending loads of time there. Meet them there and you are bound to catch their attention. Engage them on Facebook and they will remember you.
Attribute and measure across channels
Your customers use multiple devices to search and book for flights. Target your campaigns on their most preferred channels – email, social media, sms, etc. – and measure performance across these media. For example, Ben who had searched for tickets to Amsterdam on his desktop, has later booked the flight using his mobile. Wouldn’t it be annoying if Amsterdam flight ads continued to greet Ben everywhere on the internet?
Use a universal ad technology
User experience is directly proportional to conversions. You need to make sure your ad content renders flawlessly across devices and platforms. If your ad doesn’t capture the customer’s attention, he is never going to click on it. If he doesn’t click on it, the chances of him booking your flight are drastically reduced. HTML5 would be a smart choice. It is perfectly compatible on desktop, mobile web and mobile app on all screen sizes.
Technology is opening up new avenue every passing day and your customers are adapting quickly. You need to stay on your feet and evolve to keep pace. Your marketing strategy needs to ascend beyond device and channel boundaries to ensure that you are there to help your customer at every step through the decision making journey.