Boston Consulting Group – Facebook Report – Travel Companies Have Been Slow to Seize the Mobile Opportunity

Facebook logoTravel Companies Have Been Slow to Seize the Mobile Opportunity

Early Movers Can Cement Significant Advantage by Personalizing the Travel Journey

According to a New Report by BCG and Facebook BOSTON, June 19, 2014—

Although it was one of the first industries to be disrupted by digital commerce, travel and tourism has been slow to embrace the opportunities offered by mobile technology, according to Travel Goes Mobile, a new report by The Boston Consulting Group and Facebook. This reticence has left the playing field wide open for early movers. Those that miss the shift will find catching up increasingly difficult once consumers patterns of behavior and relationships with mobile apps and the companies behind them solidify.

BCG Logo“Early movers in travel, especially those companies that design successful mobile apps, have the opportunity to establish lasting advantage,” said Jason Guggenheim a BCG partner and coauthor of the report. “For many travel suppliers, this means an opportunity to strengthen or reestablish customer relationships that have been eroded by online intermediaries. For intermediaries, it means rethinking their offerings to protect the positions they have established on the PC. Winners will need to understand their customers’ mobile-usage trends, tailor their marketing, and even adapt their operating models accordingly.”

Estimates of the number of apps installed on the average smartphone vary, depending on who is doing the counting, but they range from about 25 to about 40. So far, only a few travel-company apps are used regularly by a significant share of consumers. Most travel companies have converted fewer than 20 percent of their PC customers to mobile-app usage, and no travel app has established itself as the go-to resource on more than 2 percent of smartphones.

The report argues that the biggest opportunity for travel companies is to cement relationships with customers—especially a company’s best, high-value customers—by offering them truly personalized service and experience. Mobile apps generate information related to usage, searching, time of use, location of use, spending, preferences, friends and followers, and countless other kinds of data. The more a travel company engages customers through mobile devices, the more information it can synthesize to personalize messages and the in-app customer experience. This information can also be used to segment the company’s best customers on the basis of frequency of use and expenditure, among other criteria, including their current location, time of day, and status.

“The tools and capabilities available to travel companies continue to expand as digital and mobile technologies improve,” Lee McCabe, global head of travel strategy at Facebook and a report coauthor, said. “This paper reveals the extraordinary role mobile technology can and will continue to play in travel and the tremendous value it can add to travel companies and travelers’ experiences. Sophisticated apps, combined with rich data and targeting capabilities, allow for personalized marketing at scale. The ability to perfectly time and tailor messages on the basis of rich data is very powerful from a business standpoint—for both brand- and direct-response-related objectives.”

The single log-in functionality offered by Facebook, for example, enables seamless movement among apps, eliminating the need to log in for each visit. Innovations such as app install ads, conversion ads, and deep links further simplify moving among multiple apps, which is great for the user and generates tremendous data for marketers.

The report points out that mobile “gatekeepers” have the power and sophistication to vastly augment travel companies’ own data-collection and analysis efforts with the vast amount of consumer information they manage. The biggest gatekeepers today are the device manufacturers and the companies behind the main mobile-operating systems and app stores, app-to-app marketers, and social networks and messaging app operators. The top three—Facebook, Google, and Apple—currently account for half of total app usage.

The report argues that, in terms of apps, travel companies want their customers to do three things: discover and download their apps, engage with them at multiple stages of the travel journey, and find the experience so simple, satisfying, and useful that they want to come back and use the apps again—to the exclusion of other available travel apps.

This means that travel companies need to design apps with functionality that customers—especially high-value customers—prize and that other travel companies cannot match, market the app effectively for both ease of installation and engagement, experiment and bring out new functionality quickly to keep the app fresh and make it more useful, and make the experience more personal over time.

To download a copy of the report, please go to www.bcgperspectives.com.

via BCG – Press Release – Travel Companies Have Been Slow to Seize the Mobile Opportunity.

Interview: Emirates CEO on Why the Dubai-Based Carrier Is Winning – Daily Telegraph

English: This is a photo showing airplanes fro...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ever wondered what happens to a 258-seater jet when it starts to look a bit dated?“  Cut up in the desert,” Sir Tim Clark, the long-standing president of Emirates airline, says matter-of-factly. “Sad but that’s what you have to do. They are no use to us.” Emirates’ Airbus A340-500 aircraft may only be eight or so years old, but some of them will soon end up in the warm waters of the Persian Gulf, surrounded by coral and divers.“They have no value so we strip out all of the parts as best we can and then the government takes them, sanitises them and makes them environmentally friendly and creates reefs,” Clark says.It may seem brutal but there is no room for sentimentality in the fast-paced environment at Emirates, which is already the world’s biggest airline by international passenger traffic and is growing rapidly. It’s out with the old and in with the new, after Emirates in November placed the biggest order in the history of civil aviation for larger, far more fuel efficient planes.Emirates is already the biggest operator of A380 super-jumbos – it took delivery of its 44th in December – and it has a total firm order book of 385 aircraft, also including Boeing 777s and Airbus A350s.Although the real sums that change hands over aircraft deals always remain cloaked in secrecy, the list value of Emirates’ order book is $166bn £100bn.

via Interview: Emirates CEO on Why the Dubai-Based Carrier Is Winning – Skift./Daily telegrahp

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Vueling partners with Sony to offer first smartwatch boarding pass

English: Vueling Airlines logo Español: Logoti...

Vueling becomes the first airline to offer boarding passes via wearable technology.

Spanish carrier Vueling has embraced wearable technology and has partnered with Sony to offer the industry’s first smartwatch-based boarding pass on Sony’s Smartwatch 2.

Details of the surprise development are few and far between, but the “wearable boarding pass” will be provided via a new app from Vueling and Sony, which will be available for download from the Google Play Store from the end of March. Smartwatch 2 owners will be able to store their boarding pass on their smartwatch and present it at airport checkpoints.

vueling-boarding-pass-wearable-tech

Vueling joins Virgin Atlantic in making use of wearable technology to enhance the passenger experience.

Virgin Atlantic is currently trialling Google Glass and Sony Smartwatch solutions in the Upper Class Wing at Heathrow Airport. The airline, alongside its partner on the project, SITA Lab, provided a live demonstration of the technology at FTE Europe 2014 in London earlier this month.

via Vueling partners with Sony to offer first smartwatch boarding pass.

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Airlines ranked for their speed at replying to people on Twitter | Mail Online

Twitter Logo

When a delay of just a few minutes can destroy a traveller’s entire itinerary, Twitter has become the go to place for many air passengers to keep abreast of changes to their travel plans – or air their grievances.Now a new study has revealed the most efficient and responsive airlines on the microblogging service.According to US travel intelligence site Skift, European airlines trail their US counterparts when it comes to responding to customer needs on Twitter.

Top Tweeters

Top five US airlines

American Airlines    12 minutes
JetBlue Airways       15 minutes
IndiGo                      16 minutes
US Airways              38 minutes
Air Canada              42 minutes 

Top five European airlines

Ryanair                     66 minutes
Lufhansa                  72 minutes
KLM                          93 minutes
easyJet                   120 minutes
SAS                         191 minutes

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2585112/Twitter-users-airlines-speedier-others.html#ixzz2wblb6c82
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

via Airlines ranked for their speed at replying to people on Twitter | Mail Online.

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Why Online Video Matters for Airline Marketing – Skift

English: Westjet 737-700 landing at Montréal-P...

Skift launch a new report

The spread of online video has affected marketing for almost every business-to-consumer industry, but it is particularly important to a commoditized and opaque business such as airlines.“I think that you see more and more content coming from airlines because it’s a unique business with such a big cost structure,” says Corey Evans, who manages sponsorship and community investment for WestJet, the Canadian airline known for its extravagant videos. “Most customers’ attitude to look for the lowest fare, no matter what. When you are in a dead heat with competitors, content could be the differentiating factor. It builds brand awareness and lets people know about how we treat our guests and our corporate social responsibility efforts.”Especially as travelers increasingly use online travel agents or meta search engines where multiple airlines’ prices can be com- pared side-by-side, engaging content could differentiate one from the next.

via Why Online Video Matters for Airline Marketing – Skift.

English: Westjet 737-700 landing at Montréal-P…

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Ryanair Partners With Travelport

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800, named Nyköping, take...

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800, named Nyköping, takes off from London Luton Airport, England. (2007) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ryanair, Europe’s favourite low fares airline, today (11 Mar) announced a new partnership with Travelport, a leading distribution services and e-commerce provider for the global travel industry, allowing Travelport-connected agents worldwide access to Ryanair’s low fares and comprehensive route network.

The combination of Ryanair’s low fares, extensive route network at primary and secondary airports, and No 1 or No 2 market share in most of Europe’s major travel markets, will enable Ryanair and Travelport to deliver a significant business travel platform, and allow Europe’s largest businesses to save both time and money by flying Ryanair. This significant partnership follows recent technology developments from Travelport making it the ideal partner for Ryanair to target the travel industry channel.

Ryanair continues to improve both its customer experience and offering and this partnership with Travelport, and the launch of a dedicated Ryanair group travel service, are the latest in a programme of developments, with a new business product set to be unveiled in the summer, along with a fully revamped Ryanair website, a brand new app and mobile boarding passes.

In London, Ryanair’s Chief Marketing Officer, Kenny Jacobs said:

“This partnership with Travelport is a significant development for Ryanair and for businesses across Europe and beyond as we continue to evolve our business offering. As Europe’s largest airline, we’ll carry over 81.5m customers this year on the largest route network, connecting 186 airports in 30 countries.

More than 22% of these customers already choose Ryanair for business travel and we expect that percentage to grow as this partnership allows corporate travel departments and businesses even greater access to Ryanair’s low fares and routes, ensuring they save millions of euro in travel expenses every year.”

Travelport’s Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer, Kurt Ekert said:

“We’re excited that Europe’s largest low fares airline has selected Travelport as its partner and is fully embracing what we can uniquely offer through our industry-leading airline distribution technology. We look forward to working together to help Ryanair achieve its business ambitions and extend its extensive choice of low fares to travel agency customers worldwide.”

via Ryanair Partners With Travelport.

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BBC – Capital – Why it doesn’t pay to be loyal

English: A Delta Airlines Airbus A330-323E lan...

English: A Delta Airlines Airbus A330-323E landing on runway 18C at Schiphol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The price of loyalty is on the rise. Just last week, Delta Airlines became the largest carrier to switch to a frequent flyer programme that issues points based primarily on ticket price, rather than distance flown. It joins similar US programmes run by Southwest and JetBlue Airlines.

via BBC – Capital – Why it doesn’t pay to be loyal.

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New Skift Trends Report: Online Video Strategies in the Travel Industry – Skift

Skift logoOnline video is rapidly eclipsing television as the most effective channel for marketing, especially for marketers targeting younger demographics. For a largely commodified and opaque business, video marketing is more important for airlines than most travel-related businesses. As a result, airlines are among the most successful producers of video marketing in the travel business. Even the once boring in-flight safety video is asserting itself as a chance to define and differentiate the airline brand.

In this Skift Travel Trends report, we will explain the importance of online video, how it differs from other forms of marketing, the differences between various online video platforms and video’s place in the marketing toolbox. We will also explore why airlines excel in this arena.

Through interviews with professional marketers and experts and specific case studies, we will define best practices for airlines and ideas for meeting viewers’ preferences. We will also look at how marketers are employing fresh short-form video platforms such as Vine and Instagram video to generate hype, experiment, and engage with fans

via New Skift Trends Report: Online Video Strategies in the Travel Industry – Skift.

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Ryanair credits marketing investment for boost to passenger numbers | News | Marketing Week

ryanairMon, 3 Feb 2014

Ryanair blamed lower fares and increased competition for its first Q3 loss since 2010 but says forward bookings for the fourth quarter and full year are running “significantly” ahead of last year after recent increases in marketing spend.

Video: Ryanair’s ‘We are Changing’ Irish TV ad:

Ryanairs TV campaign details the service enhancements it has made to woo disgruntled customers that have switched to rivals. The airline made a loss after tax of €35.2m for the three months to the end of December, compared to a profit of €18.1m in the same period a year ago. Revenues were flat at €964m.

Ryanair said passenger numbers were up 6 per cent year on year but seat promotions caused average fares to drop 9 per cent compared to a year ago. “Ancillary” revenues, which includes bag fees, priority boarding and credit card fees, were up 13 per cent.

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary says: “We responded to this weaker pricing environment last September with seat promotion and lower fares which stimulated traffic across all markets.”

via Ryanair credits marketing investment for boost to passenger numbers | News | Marketing Week.

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O’Leary reveals Ryanair-Google plan to ‘change how we buy tickets forever’ – Independent.ie

English: Michael O'Leary

English: Michael O’Leary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

INTERNET giant Google is working on top-secret plans with Michael O’Leary’s Ryanair in a bid to completely transform how consumers search for, select and buy airline tickets.

O’Leary reveals Ryanair-Google plan to ‘change how we buy tickets forever’ – Independent.ie.

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