Travel & Leisure: Digital Marketing Spotlight 12 September 2019 Roundup

by Caroline Barrow

On Thursday we welcomed delegates from the travel and leisure sector for a morning of insight and networking. Delegates listened to four speakers from Cheetah Digital, Mention Me, StudentUniverse, and Hurricane, and then participated in roundtable discussions. Our speakers covered a diverse range of topics, from data acquisition to video marketing, offering tips and tricks for how to enhance and improve marketing strategy within the travel and leisure industry. Below you can read a summary of the key points from the morning and follow the links to the full presentations.

Get Personal: How To Revolutionise The Customer Experience

In the post-GDPR era, it’s difficult to get access to data that could help you personalise your customers’ experiences. Sharon Forder at Cheetah Digital has a solution to this conundrum: zero-party data. Zero-party data is data that customers intentionally share with a brand. This allows brands to get relevant, GDPR-compliant data that they can use to build customer relationships and personalise customer experiences across their communications.

Sharon showed us the importance of ‘value exchange’ in maintaining customer loyalty. When consumers share their data, they not only need to know it’s safe, but they want something in return. This means that brands need to give back to their customers by using their data to communicate with them in a personalised way.

Sharon explained that collecting zero-party data can start with a simple question, like whether the customer prefers red or blue, and progress from there to collect more information about each individual. She talked about the difficulties caused by siloed data and how Cheetah can help with this by pooling data into one place. To hear Sharon explain more about zero-party data, watch her presentation.

Referral Marketing: Turn Your Happy Customers Into Your Most Effective Acquisition Channel

Travel and Leisure/Entertainment are two of the most referable sectors when it comes to refer-a-friend campaigns. Andy Cockburn, CEO and Co-Founder of Mention Me, a platform for retailers to create refer-a-friend programmes, shared his experience on creating successful referral campaigns. When setting up Mention Me, Andy and his co-founder, Tim Boughton, found that the two most important things for future marketing were trust and relevance. This is because people are trusting brands and marketing less and less, making it more challenging for marketers. Relevance is important because giving the wrong information to the wrong people is a waste of both time and money.

Andy explained why, because of these two principles, the refer-a-friend model is the type of marketing that people trust the most. It works because people trust their friends’ judgement and because people only recommend things that will be relevant to their friends. This means that people who have been referred by friends come to the brand knowing it will be right for them and that they can trust it.

Andy covered the social psychology side of this process, giving insight on improving the success rate of campaigns. He talked about the complexities of the referral funnel, how to map out customers’ happiness, and how to use current customers to advocate a brand. Watch Andy’s presentation to learn more about effective refer-a-friend programmes.

Brand Loyalty: Dead, Dying Or Just Different?

Sam Willan, General Manager UK at StudentUniverse, talked about customer loyalty and how it’s shifting. StudentUniverse is a site offering discount travel for students and young people, and Sam told us about their approach to customer loyalty.

Black Friday is important for StudentUniverse because it’s their biggest sales day, which is why they created their Black Friday VIP List. This offered their existing subscribers a head start for redeeming Black Friday offers if they opted into communications. Eight per cent of their user base chose to receive these communications and over two per cent of those who signed up made purchases over the Black Friday weekend.

Sam explained that getting new customers is not always the most important thing because repeat customers are very valuable. This is because they’re more likely to buy ‘preferred products’ (which have more value for the business), they cost half as much to acquire, and they return 2.5 times in income.

Returning customers can be more valuable than new customers because the brand has possibly already spent money on getting them to their site and the customer is already familiar with the brand. To hear more about StudentUniverse and their repeat customers, watch Sam’s presentation.

Video Marketing: The Perfect Travel Companion

Hurricane is a video content agency that works with many brands, including many in the travel sector. Jon Mowat, the Managing Director, told us that video marketing lowers acquisition costs and increases lifetime customer value. He talked us through the four key reasons why video marketing works: haptics, moving image, personal self, and emotional stories.

He looked at how emotional videos affect our mood and behaviour, and the evolutionary reasons for why we’re addicted to our phones, such as the dopamine pump we get when we receive notifications, and our natural attention for moving objects.

He explored how we treat phones like an extension of ourselves because of all the personal information stored in them, and how we value things on our phones because they feel like they belong to us. Jon showed examples of successful video marketing campaigns and explained in detail why they worked so effectively.

He gave an overview of the digital sales funnel and how it relates to video marketing, and shared six top hacks for the travel sector. Watch Jon’s presentation to learn more about how you can use video marketing for your brand.