âFirst Classâ marketing relies on customer experience | DMA

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âFirst Classâ marketing relies on customer experience


Ahead of her webinar on personalisation, and why you should take it seriously, Carolyn Corda VP, industry strategy, Travel/Hospitality/Sports at Epsilon explains why personalisation is so important and why brand should pay attention

Google put rumours to rest in mid-July unveiling its direct booking interface, which allows consumers to find and book hotels on Google maps without leaving the Google environment.

This latest advance is just one reason the online travel-booking business is getting more competitive. Other new entrants such as Amazon and TripAdvisor are flexing their muscles too, while established players like Expedia and Priceline consolidate.

These dynamics are giving travel suppliers a run for their data and their customers. Travel suppliers need to defend their market position by focusing on the customer experience, further distinguishing their brands through personalisation.

The quality of customer data and how brands analyse and execute on it impacts market share because consumers are pushing travel brands to do more. If you travel frequently, you’ve likely heard a similar exchange to the one I did recently, when a fellow-traveller tried to negotiate his way into United’s First Class lounge at Heathrow. He was typical of an impatient (and self-important) elite loyalty member asking a beleaguered service agent the rhetorical question: “Do you know who I am?”

However, if you strip away the drama from such exchanges, you’re left with a strong desire on the part of the consumer to be known and treated as an individual.

Expectations of specialized treatment for being a good customer are pervasive and increasing. Findings from a Deloitte study revealed that frequent travellers consider a hospitality provider’s “ability to understand my needs” more important than comfort, reputation or loyalty points.

Why wait for your top-tier travellers to question your knowledge, asking, “Do you know who I am?” Join me and my colleague Amit Deshpande, VP Analytics from Epsilon as we take you through how one of the first sectors to become fully digital, the travel industry, is working to create a truly personalised customer experience.

Carolyn Corda is VP, Industry Strategy, Travel/Hospitality/Sports at Epsilon.

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