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We exist to make your business thrive and our greatest reward is our returning clients. Our focus is and always will be on our clients and not on industry awards and accreditations, which could account for why we’ve won so many of them…
Personalised Digital Experiences in Travel .
With today's digital travel shopper demanding more from the buying experience, personalisation is being used consistently by leading brands as a key marketing strategy tactic to keep their customers returning and drive conversion.
A personalisation strategy is a crucial component to the digital marketing mix, delivering better digital customer experiences & loyalty as it demonstrates an understanding of the individuals that are visiting your site. Research has found that almost half (46%) of travel marketers saw personalisation as their top challenge throughout 2019 so learning how to use this strategy successfully and effectively is key, although knowing where to start and what to personalise can be a challenge.
When looking into recent statistics, websites and apps account for 82% of bookings without any human interaction (in 2018) showing us that website’s need to be able to deliver on-demand but also be responsive to mobile and cross-device browsing and booking. When looking into recent online mobile behaviours, 48% of smartphone users have stated they are comfortable with planning and booking their trip on a mobile device. The knowledge we gain from this is that there is a specific niche that travel marketers should be focusing on - personalisation for mobile users. We know that mobile devices perform over 50% of Google searches due to the ease and effectiveness, and over 5 billion people worldwide own a smartphone. Personalisation is all about making the user’s journey smoother by showing them content that is relevant to them based on previous online behaviours which is why it is imperative to personalise for mobile.
By creating a personalised online experience, you are recognising the customer as an individual and meeting their needs directly, therefore more likely to capture that individual in their purchase stage. People are now moving to a faster pace of life, and they want their purchasing experience to reflect this. Across the travel industry, we can observe a plethora of personalised content. More basic personalisation such as recommended trips, flight searches beginning with your local airport already populated & holiday/deal finders based on previous search behaviours to remarketing such as ‘How was your stay at …’ or ‘Because you travelled to this country, have you considered…’. With the move to more personalised content, we have also seen a rise in online travel agent companies such as Expedia, Ice Lolly and Booking.com capitalising on the inflation of personalised content. Each one of these sites utilises personalisation by allowing the user to tailor and hand-pick every aspect of their trip including hotels, experiences, transfers, travel and more while displaying other relevant content to the user like the examples above.
So how is personalisation going to help my business?
We know customers are unlikely to book a holiday, flight or hotel after a single occurrence of personalisation. Still, it does play a rather significant factor for when the customer is in the purchase stage of their journey and are ready to book.
Travel brand On the Beach says customers take approximately 40 days to make a purchase and visit their site around 26 times to adjust the items in their basket.
As stated above, consumers want convenience & ease, which is what personalisation provides. After enabling personalisation, research has shown that it influences and accelerates the users purchasing decisions.
With your customers, these statistics could be slightly higher or lower, but it’s worth noting that all the behaviour occurring on your site allows you to build a picture of the different audiences that use your site.
How do I start my personalisation journey?
Many website platforms offer some kind of personalisation features, our preferred platform here at Sagittarius is Sitecore.
Using Sitecore’s inbuilt experience profile & experience database, you can gather data on individual visitors and use them to develop audience profiles. Creating audience profiles allows further investigation into online behaviours. These tools then allow you to integrate the usage of automated personalisation & engagement tools to develop a rounded personalisation strategy.
At Sagittarius, we have 70+ Sitecore experts that can help you with all aspects of Sitecore development, including personalisation. Get in contact with us today to see how we can help your brand implement a successful personalisation strategy that delivers ROI.
Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.
A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.
So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance.
What is a Content Strategy?
It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.
But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business.
Who are my Audience?
You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.
So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context.
Do I need to tailor content?
As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.
Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:
What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?
Who are they most influenced by?
What voices influence their behaviour?
What type of content do they consume?
Where do they consume content and engage with brands?
Different Content, Different Objectives
All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.
There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.
Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale.
Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels.
Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.
Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.
Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.
How do I manage all this?
Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.
Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.
Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.
If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.
want to speak to one of our experts?
Naomi joined Sagittarius in January 2021 to deliver exceptional external brand experiences, engaging internal communications and to assist with the driving of sales and the developing of relationships with key strategic suppliers.