As smartphones become more sophisticated, consumer obsession around them has risen exponentially. For many people, it’s the first thing they reach for in the morning and the last thing they look at before going to bed. Studies show that in the US, smartphone use has even overtaken TV viewing time with phones now dominating media consumption. The average US adult will spend 3 hours 43 minutes on their mobile device every day, consistently using apps over web browsers.
This trend has proven valuable for airports. Between 85% (leisure) and 88% (business) of travellers bring their smartphone on their trip with them, and mobile tracking offers clear data to improve operational efficiency. The use of airport apps is on the rise, with more passengers choosing to receive notifications about things like flight status, baggage wait times and security line time via an app and online check-in is now the most popular option.
However, this amount of screen time can easily lead to digital overload. Users are constantly bombarded with messaging and content from companies who want to sell their product, and social platforms have become possibly even more crowded than email inboxes. In fact, phone time is expected to plateau in 2020 due to concerns about overuse.
Whilst many consumers are developing strategies to cut down on mobile use and reconnect with life on a more ‘traditional’ level, marketers are struggling to get their message across to an increasingly cynical audience. Where social platforms have commonly been a great place to build engagement and find new leads, it’s now becoming more and more difficult to compete with a constant stream of updates and sponsored posts.
So how can your airport marketing team get people to connect with what you’re saying?
Take a customer-first marketing approach
The tactic of simply firing your message out to as many people as possible is no longer an effective use of resources. Increasingly, customers are immune to impersonal, blanket messaging. They demand highly personalised content that is tailored to them and their unique interests.
The stats are clear:
A whopping 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations.
80% are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand that provides personalised experiences.
72% of consumers in 2019 only engage with marketing messages that are customised to their specific interests, and 80% of those who classify themselves as frequent shoppers say they only buy from brands that personalise their experience.
36% of consumers believe that brands should offer more personalisation in their marketing.
No more ‘strangers on a plane’
The fact is, if you’re not absolutely optimising personalisation, you should be. It’s actually relatively easy for marketers to provide this all-important feature and to give customers what they want using information that’s already available.
After all, 90% of retail consumers are willing to share their behavioural data if additional benefits are provided that make shopping cheaper or easier. And 65% of air passengers are willing to share additional personal information (e.g. address of destination, travel purpose, picture) to speed up their processing at the airport. While this figure has dropped from 70% in 2017 due to concerns surrounding privacy, the majority of passengers are still more than willing to give up their data for a better customer experience.
When you can collect and leverage customer demographics data (name, age, gender, income, interests, communication preferences, previous purchasing behaviour, social engagements, location) it becomes easy to build a clear picture of your customers. This allows you to determine the interests and needs of the individual customer and present them with relevant, timely, personalised content that is more likely to be of value to them and therefore capture their attention. It also means you can develop copycat profiles to identify probable new leads.
Marketing campaigns can then be targeted based on segmentation of your customer database, so that your messages land where they are most appreciated, and become a welcome addition to your customer’s social media feed or inbox rather than a tiresome interruption.
This is all easily achieved using a CRM and integrated marketing system like Rezcomm. Rezcomm’s world-first airport ecommerce platform is designed to take the guesswork out of customer relations and allow your airport to really get to know its passengers.
The person-centred approach in action
When you are marketing to an existing customer you can become really specific about what you offer, based on what you know about that person. For example, if your customer is a 64-year-old man, traditional persona-based marketing would target him with retiree-specific packages. However, you know that your customer is an active sports enthusiast who frequently hikes and takes part in adventure travel. He’s currently browsing online, searching for holiday inspiration.
Personalised, person-centric marketing will factor in your customer’s unique interests, previous browsing and booking behaviour and more, meaning you can offer him products that will be much more appropriate, relevant and appealing.
This adds value in several ways. Firstly, the customer is more likely to convert, because you have shown him a holiday that he wants to go on. Secondly, the customer is happy because he’s received a special offer that makes him feel valued. You have sent him personalised information about something he actually wants, which will only build his trust and loyalty towards your brand. Thirdly, marketing in this way will make your airport stand out from the competition and build customers who become strong advocates for your brand. This leads to word-of-mouth marketing, which is one of the most cost-effective forms of customer acquisition in existence, with 92% of customers saying they trust recommendations from friends and family. Fourthly, your brand credibility will grow, which will have a positive impact on staff morale and revenue.
Harnessing technology in customer relationships
It may seem counterintuitive, given the fact that consumers are suffering digital overload, but by harnessing the capabilities of technology to connect your airport to its customers, you can build a much more satisfying experience for the individual.
Customer data gathered through your airport website’s integrated flight and car park booking software, WiFi sign up or newsletter sign up can be leveraged to provide an exceptional level of customer service that will see you rise above the competition.
The machine learning, AI and predictive analytics in Rezcomm’s airport-specific tools can help you to determine customer intent and predict customer needs and behaviours. You will be able to easily identify which content or type of content works best for every person in your database. You can then begin delivering a tailored, interesting, valuable message right at the precise moment when a customer is likely to engage.
Rezcomm is the technology partner of choice for airports worldwide. Contact us for a chat to find out how our in-depth industry knowledge and world-first integrated airport ecommerce platform will help you use personalised marketing to fly high above the competition.
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