Exclusive: Globrix set to shine for Teletext Holidays

Advertisers on Teletext Holidays should start seeing the benefits of parent company A&N Media’s purchase of free-to-list property search engine Globrix in the fourth quarter of 2010.

AND, the digital division of A&N Media – part of the Daily Mail group – is working with Globrix to adapt its technology for its other verticals including travel and motors.

Teletext is keeping tight-lipped about what innovations advertisers can expect to see on its website but there are plans for it to go public around October time.

Richard Titus, chief executive of AND, said: “We sat down and said, ‘Let’s clear the slate. What does a perfect travel experience look like for consumers and then what does our content have to look like to deliver that?’”

The Globrix deal was tied up in February this year after the original founders bought themselves out of a joint venture with News International.

Speaking after his appearance as a speaker at the Travolution Summit this week, Titus said the technology could transform data management in travel – one of his biggest criticisms of the sector.

Titus said technology has not been able to keep pace with customers’ demands due to the lack of consistency in data handling, in particular with shared API standards.

“I see a business which is not largely user-centred. It’s breaking the business and this does not benefit anyone,” he said.

“My computer forgets me. Every time I turn it on its says ‘Hi, where would you like to go, how many of you want to travel, what are the ages of those travelling with you?’.

“Why is the computer not doing more of the work? Why do I have to do so much of the work? It’s madness.”

Victoria Sanders, managing director of Teletext Holidays, said the new technology will make sure more of its advertisers’ deals get seen by the customer.

She said: “There is a fundamental need for a media aggregator in the market, and we need to look at our technology and work with our clients to make sure that all the holidays loaded with us get to the consumer. Because at the moment a lot does not get seen because of the search technology.”

Titus added he believes the UK is following in the wake of his native US, where online travel companies are now focusing on driving loyalty through personalised service.

“Even if you do occasionally make less revenue or less margin, the lifetime value of that customer is worth it,” he said.

“By presenting them with the option for them at any given time they will reward you with their loyalty. This is a concept which is much more mature in the US. If you satisfy the customer you are always going to win.”

He believes the Globrix technology will give Teletext a lead, but that the pressure to innovate is ongoing.

“Technology usually goes bad after about two to two and a half years if you stop investing. For regular assets, like printing presses, that figure is more like 15 years,” he said.

One of the changes Titus has implemented at AND is having chief technology officers at board level, giving them more influence over strategic direction and the commercial side of the group’s businesses.

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