TUI Focuses On Non-Traditional Video App Content To Keep Customers Engaged

TUI is using a new approach to the video content on its mobile app to keep its customers reeled in post-holiday, says marketing site The Drum.

The holiday operator currently uses its Digital Assistant app to allow travellers to plan their holidays, as well as obtain advice before departing and during the holiday. But a new approach to content aims to extend the shelf life of the app year-round and will help the firm maximise its existing content, according to digital marketing manager Christian Armond.

The challenge is to keep customers engaged after their holiday has ended, Armond said at a Criteo event. "Once they come back they may not interact with us for another year through the app, so therefore what's the purpose of it at that point and how do we keep them coming back to it?" he asked.

His solution is a renewed focus on video and a move away from the more traditional approach such as films showing rooms and resorts. One option would be to introduce presenter-style content, he confided to The Drum.

"Most travel websites have always been very transactional... but we're doing more and more around content, and video is especially becoming increasingly important to us to try to make the experience much more engaging and inspirational," said Armond.

TUI may also follow the examples of Thomas Cook and Virgin by introducing virtual reality into its Thomson Holidays store, he confirmed.

Another issue on the TUI marketing agenda is the challenge surrounding mobile and cross-device - or "mobile snacking", said the digital marketing manager. Although this creates problems when it comes to tracking purchase pathways, TUI has nevertheless increased its mobile ad spend.

He continued: "At the moment no-one has cracked the cross-device measurement so therefore you have to take stuff a little bit more on faith. It's almost going back to the old way of doing marketing; it's faith-based marketing.

"[We are doing] more mobile advertising. It's come out that we've recently invested more especially in paid search, and we spent most of last year testing different media owners and formats."

The travel industry has seen much change in recent years, with the likes of start-up players such as Airbnb entering the market and forcing traditional package holiday companies like TUI to innovate in order to keep up with the pace of innovation and customer expectation, says The Drum.