Travel companies begin rush to personalisation

Tour operators like TUI Travel and Monarch Travel Group and aggregator sites such as Secret Escapes are working hard to implement technology that improves the website visitor experience and makes them feel more individual.

Monarch Travel Group marketing and commercial director Phil Boggon spoke to Marketing Week at the Abta 2012 Travel Conference

Creating tailored emails and sending them at the opportune time is also a result of this drive to personalisation.

Monarch Travel Group marketing and commercial director Phil Boggon told Marketing Week at the Abta Travel Conference the company, which owns the Cosmos brand, is introducing a new reservation system that will improve CRM capabilities “quite significantly” and will allow personalisation.

“It means rather than sending everyone an email every week we have got much cleverer on open rates and how much customers have interacted with us – we have realised less can be more.”

Alex Saint, CEO and co-founder of Secret Escapes, a membership website offering discounts on premium hotel bookings, adds that developing the site’s CRM capability is a “big project”.

“We are moving away from the early stages of the business where one size fits all. We now have minor alterations in emails and next quarter we will start introducing segmentation – we will be managing people’s content on the basis of their behaviour.

“Every time they visit the site we know who they are so we can tailor the experience and tailor the mailing programme.”

Johan Lundgren, deputy CEO of TUI Travel told Marketing Week that even in the mass market personalisation is becoming vital.

“Even if you operate in a mass market it’s absolutely key that you individualise – it mean that the customer feels that the company is communicating on their terms and conditions. There’s nothing so annoying as getting messages from companies with totally irrelevant content. They think if you can’t get this right why should they trust you [to handle bigger things].”

Speaking at a presentation, Qubit founder and managing director Graham Cooke said that research showed 92 per cent of visitors to a company’s website will never buy an item and 60 per cent will never return, so the opportunity for conversion is huge. “If you get them to engage it will have a dramatic impact on your bottom line.”

Click here for more news from the Abta Travel Convention 2012.

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