Travel companies know that in this day and age, when information is available everywhere, the best way to appeal to consumers, earn their trust and convince them to buy a product or service is to offer a highly personalised customer experience. In order to maximise success, marketing needs to be focused and tailored for the individual customer. But personalisation requires insight and effort so that it can really work well.
In order to understand how to do this, we need to take a look at what personalisation in a digital context is. At its most effective it goes well beyond changing the name in an e-mail or its subject line. It means that the content is designed to directly relate to and meet the needs of an individual customer. By doing this, marketers can build a relationship with customers and keep them loyal in the long term, consistently catering for their needs.
There are three key reasons why personalisation works in marketing, says Tnooz. First of all, customers appreciate it because it helps them sift through the information flood they face and see what is relevant to them.
Secondly, technology allows very fine targeting, making marketing really effective. Thanks to the software and data analysis tools available it is easier for travel companies to select and single out individual users, as most content management systems include at least some form of personalisation functionality.
But probably the most important reason for the rise of personalisation is the high ROI it yields. Figures from a study quoted by Tnooz show that more than 80% of respondents say that personalised content plays a part in their decision to purchase. Last year, global spending on online advertising surpassed investments in broadcast TV advertising and digital set to continue growing. The reason for this is precisely the ability to target and fine-tune campaigns in real-time. And the cost of using personalised tactics has gone down considerably in recent years, further boosting ROI.
Personalisation has affected e-mail marketing dramatically, mostly because the approach is easily applicable. E-mails can be quickly personalised in the subject line, body copy and the call to action and this is one of the key reasons why e-mail marketing remains so effective. A 2013 study by Experian Marketing Services showed that personalised subject lines led to 26% higher unique open rates. Moreover, the study found that promotional e-mails had 29% higher unique open rates on average, as well as 41% higher unique click rates.
Big data is a major factor behind the success of personalisation. Being able to study their customers, find out what they look for online and how they research online gives travel companies a great advantage: they can give users answers. According to IBM Big Data Success Stories, businesses that invest in improved data collection and analytics can boost their revenue by up to 49%, compared to companies that don't make such an investment. In addition, companies that use big data to target customers see a 30% increase in ROI. And most importantly of all, using big data and personalisation can result in loyal and repeat customers.