BrightOnTravel: Target people’s downtime with bespoke content, says News UK travel chief

BrightOnTravel: Target people’s downtime with bespoke content, says News UK travel chief

Firms are having to increasingly compete for people’s time by offering bespoke targeted offers, delegates at the BrightOnTravel conference were told last week.

Victoria Sanders, head of travel at News UK, the parent company of the Sun and The Times, said there was now no such thing as down time.

She said people were now constantly consuming data and content in a phenomenon she dubbed ‘smart boredom’.

“There is no such thing now as dead time. If you’re waiting for a bus for the Tube you are always on your mobile.

“You are looking at something. We have to fight for people’s time and how do we do that? We have to interact with them.

“What they want is bite-sized information. They want to be able to read snippets of what you’ve got so you attract their attention so they will come back to you another time.

“What we do is make sure we don’t have the same content on different platforms because what I read on my mobile I want to read a lot less of than I do on my tablet or desktop. It’s also got to be personalised.”

Case study examples Sanders cited included an American Express ‘Tweet, Sync and Save’ scheme on Twitter.

Customers sync their Amex card with their Twitter account they can access various offers through using hashtags. Once taken up the offers are automatically debited to the card.

Coffee shop chain Starbucks also has its click and collect service so that a customer can order their drink from the most convenient outlet on their way to work or on the go.

A third example was the ‘Drink’ app through which users take a picture of label of wine.

It will order that wine and send tasting notes. The app will also save preferences and make recommendations for other types of wine it thinks you will like.

She also cited Journification which is using in-store sensors like iBeacons to direct people to special offers based on what is known of their browsing behaviour online.

“We know that we have to be totally bespoke and it’s all about the ‘me-shaped cut’,” said Sanders. “We are seeing a transformation in customer expectation and it’s all about being me-shaped.

“We anticipate the future of product and services that are delivered to customers’ requirements and that’s what we’re trying to achieve.

“Brands are increasingly having to create a personalised experience for their customers and bespokeroducts.”

Looking forward Sanders said News UK has been looking at biometrics, what she described as “the next chapter in hyper-personalisation”.

This involves sensors being placed on people so that information can be gleaned about what they are feeling about something.

British Airways did an experiment at 30,000ft using a ‘Happiness Blanket’ which allowed them to gauge the customers’ satisfaction in different scenarios.

That means BA could offer a tailor-made service whether that be in terms of food or onboard entertainment it could see what making the customer happy.

Sanders admitted this was a bit far flung but that in reality some travel firms were leading the way in how to personalise their offering.

She picked out Gogobot, which has created ‘tribes’ of people with similar tastes and which new customers can join.

Sanders also mentioned Original Travel which asks customers to take a short test to determine preferences and build up a profile of the customer.

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