Pictured: Phillip Mann at the Travolution Summit
Travel firms looking to exploit the promise of personalisation through data analysis should ‘start small’.
Marketing experts from Epsilon offered Travolution Summit delegates advice on how firms can exploit the entire customer journey from pre-booking inspiration to post-travel sharing.
Adeline Segaux, Epsilon travel account director, said: “Three out of four people feel frustrated when the content they see is not relevant to them.
“People feel a great company is one that has the ability to understand their needs.”
Philip Mann, vice-president digital, EMEA, said that it was the job of travel firms to try to fill the sales funnel as low down and close to the point of purchase as possible.
He said firms have three broad types of customer which they know something about and can tailor their offering to: loyal repeaters, irregular customers and lapsed customers.
“The lower you can fill the funnel the better. Bring them in at the bottom and the better off you are. You have a great opportunity with these three types of people.”
Segaux said there was a tendency to focus on the booking phase when the research phase can be just as important.
“Sometimes we forget about who our customers are,” she said. “Put yourself in your customers’ shoes.
“Think about all the different stages you go through and all the different things that can influence you as you go through that journey and how you as a business can influence that.”
Mann said there were things travel firms could do themselves straight away before engaging the services of a third party marketing consultancy.
He said they should do customer service mapping, unlock data to build a single customer view, conduct A-B testing to generate segmentation and insights and do a technology audit.
“Figure out what it’s like buying a product from you, what’s it like being a customer. Look at where your marketing spend your money, where does it work and where does it not?”
Mann added firms should work out where their data sits and take it out of silos to it can be fed into a marketing database.
“Talk to whoever is managing you data. Go figure out where all this data is sitting. Be honest with yourselves, let them be honest with you. Ask how can I start small.”
In terms of technology solutions Mann said: “Companies buy a product and probably only use 20% of what it’s capable of and then buy another shiny product that does something similar.”