Did you know the online travel booking market is estimated to hit $833 billion by 2025? As technology continues to play a crucial role in our lives, it’s no real surprise that it’s impacted how we plan and book our holidays. According to the latest statistics, 68% of all sales in travel and tourism were made online in 2022, and Statista predicts that online sales will account for 74% of all revenue in the travel and tourism sector by 2027.
All of this is fantastic news for businesses selling flights, hotels and holidays online. However, they still face the tough challenge of making their voice heard in an overcrowded industry.
Take airports, for example. Thanks to ecommerce platforms like the Rezcomm Marketplace, you now have all the tools at your fingertips to sell flights, hotels and holidays (in addition to reservations like parking and lounge) directly to customers on their websites. This means that instead of losing customers to online travel agencies and airlines, your airport is now competing with them. While attractive holiday prices and flight offers are great for grabbing customers’ attention, in the long term, it’s an innovative and robust airport marketing strategy that will make you stand out amongst the rest.
Wondering where to start? Luckily for you, our experienced airport marketers have the answers you need. Join us as we share how to improve your airport marketing strategy by making it all about your customers.
Simply firing your message out to as many people as possible is no longer an effective use of marketing resources. Increasingly, customers are immune to impersonal, blanket messaging. Instead, they demand highly personalised content tailored to them and their unique interests.
The stats say it all:
What’s even more interesting is that while 85% of companies feel they’re already providing personalised experience, only 60% of customers think it’s true, suggesting that businesses still need to up their game. So, if you aren’t already, it’s time to put your customers at the heart of your airport marketing campaigns and leverage the data you’re already collecting to take personalisation to the next level.
In the past, it was tricky for airports to get hold of customer data. Why? Because most customers would book travel products with an online travel agency or airline, giving them their valuable data, and, unfortunately, airports would be stuck with a terminal full of strangers. The only real opportunity airports had to connect with and get to know customers was if they booked airport parking or a lounge reservation.
Today, airports have many opportunities to collect and leverage customer data to build effective marketing campaigns and compete with the big names of the travel industry. Selling flights, holidays and hotels, offering pre-booked duty-free and food and beverage, and even in-terminal WiFi, all provide airports with the means to collect customer booking data, get to know who they are and what’s important to them while also obtaining that all-important marketing permission for further communications.
Once armed with this data, you’re unstoppable! With information such as customer demographics data (name, age, gender, income, communication preferences, previous purchases, location), it becomes easy to build a clear picture of your customers. And when you’ve built up that picture, your airport can create relevant, timely and personalised content that is more likely to be of value to individual customers and capture their attention. It also means you can segment customers to target different groups with different marketing campaigns, and you can even develop ‘copycat’ profiles to identify probable new leads.
While we’re discussing the benefits of personalised communications, it’s worth pointing out that it’s not just your customers that want to receive these, but your airport employees and stakeholders too! Read our article, ‘why your airport needs to send more than just marketing emails,’ to discover the best practices for your airport’s internal communications strategy.
The merits of personalised marketing for airports are undeniable. However, to have maximum effect, your airport needs to have a solid strategy that ensures it engages with customers at every stage of the airport customer lifecycle.
It starts at the ‘Active Evaluation’ stage, where the customer searches for and compares the best flights. To capture their attention, your airport must publish inspirational content on social media, run paid ads and create effective landing pages to secure those all-important conversions.
Once you’ve secured a booking, it’s about getting the customer ready to visit your airport and answering their questions. Create an automated email marketing sequence to regularly check in with your customer during the countdown to their flight. Tell them what they can expect at your airport and the things they can do. It’s also an excellent opportunity to remind them of anything they’re missing, such as Fast Track tickets or pre-order Food and Beverage to improve their airport experience and generate additional revenue.
Use previous booking data to determine the type of customer they are and what they value most. For example, if a customer has booked valet parking, they’re likely willing to pay for a more convenient and luxury experience, so try selling your Airport Lounge reservation or Fast Track boarding tickets.
Another way you can improve your airport marketing strategy is by continuing communications once passengers arrive at your airport, and the best way to do it is via SMS. More than just text messaging, SMS is great for updating your passengers on queuing times at the airport, sharing in-airport offers they can take advantage of immediately and gathering vital feedback by linking them to your airport’s contactless KPI & Feedback system. You can also use SMS text messages to wish your passengers a safe and enjoyable journey and welcome them back – nice touches that will improve your brand experience and increase passengers’ loyalty to your airport.
Airport marketing shouldn’t stop when your passenger boards the plane. On their return home, check in with them via email or SMS to gather feedback on their experience with your airport. Take the opportunity to share flight offers and personalised destination content they’re likely interested in, linking them to your landing pages. Ask customers to sign up for your rewards programme to increase the chances of booking with your airport the next time they fly. It’s all about continuing your relationship with customers and luring them into the loyalty loop to get one step ahead of your competitors.
By harnessing the capabilities of technology to connect your airport to its customers and listening to what your data tells you, you can build a much more satisfying customer experience.
For example, say you have a 64-year-old male customer. Traditional persona-based marketing would tell you to target him with retiree-specific holiday packages. However, the data you’ve gathered on your customer tells you differently. For example, you know that this customer is an active sports enthusiast who frequently hikes and takes part in adventure travel. Personalising your airport’s marketing content to this customer to meet his unique interests will ensure that the destination content and flight offers will be relevant and appealing.
This adds value in several ways:
Of course, while that all sounds very exciting, we know the prospect of collecting and reporting data can be time-consuming and sometimes very daunting for airports. The good news is that thanks to tools like Rezcomm’s Business modules, it’s possible to automate your airport’s ecommerce reporting and data collection to simplify the process and cut costs, all while creating even better and more personalised marketing campaigns.
We’re merely scratching the surface of what your airport marketers can achieve with the Rezcomm Marketplace. Download our brochure to learn more about our Marketing Modules and book a meeting with our experts to discuss how we can help your airport stand out to customers for all the right reasons.