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What can travel marketers learn from easyJet’s digital strategy? .
Digital Marketing Director Josh Whiten shares some insights into how the travel giant EasyJet approaches it’s digital marketing.
Last year I was invited to attend an Open University Business School workshop for their MBA students on the subject of Digital Disruption, as a result of my previous work on this subject and it’s impact on the UK legal market. One of the most fascinating talks of the day was from easyJet's European Marketing Director, who gave a remarkably open insight into their digital marketing strategy.
The low cost airline sector overall may not be renowned for it’s sophistication in marketing nor it’s commitment to customers.
Yet this summary of the key issues discussed reveals valuable lessons in how easyJet is striving to differentiate – lessons of value to anyone involved in travel marketing or digital marketing in general.
Outlining the easyJet Marketing Strategy
The easyJet digital marketing strategy addresses three key aims:
1. Attract Customers
With such a visible and well known brand, gaining awareness is not too much of an issue. Therefore their main focus is on ensuring customers know, like and understand their brand and offering.
2. Improve Conversions
The easyJet website attracts a phenomenal amount of traffic, so the key challenge is to improve conversion rates and also ensure digital reach keeps growing. Therefore a lot of resource is invested in tweaking the site to nudge conversion rates, exploiting new channels like apps, and implementing greater personalisation.
3. Exploit Existing
easyJet aim to ensure their existing customer relationships are fully utilised through segmented communications designed to generate conversions.
The easyJet Marketing Channels
- TV Advertising – conveys a message that easyJet is the consumer’s friend and raises brand awareness. It is not destination focused (which is a move away from the marketing model traditionally adopted by low cost airlines - just tell people where you can fly at what price and they’ll go there because it’s low cost, not because they actually had a previous desire to visit that destination).
- Website – this generates 200,000 bookings per day so a significant amount of effort is invested in improving the user experience and adapting to different geographic markets. This is achieved through a simplified design and use of personalisation based on the previous search (the easyJet site is built on the Sitecore platform, a technology we have also used at Sagittarius to create personalised user experiences on award winning travel sites). In addition there is constant multi variate or A/B testing of different versions of design, process and content - although the winning version usually tends to be the simplest.
- CRM – easyJet does not segment their audience too strictly, the main segmentation criteria are fairly broad such as consumers who flew last year but not yet this year. In this case content marketing is often used to inspire customers to fly again, presented in a really simple format such as icons for routes such as sunshine, couples, sightseeing.
- Mobile – easyJet are fully embracing mobile marketing across apps and mobile technologies – for example ensuring that email campaigns opened on mobiles include and lead to the fastest possible process. They have also re-engineered their core processes for mobile and once users have enquired or booked they are encouraged to download the easyJet app. This features live updates on weather, flights etc. and time-stamped updates direct from the operations team who manage possible delays.
- Charter – easyJet has introduced a strong internal culture based around best practice to help inspire and motivate staff, improve customer experience and differentiate from competitors in a sector which can have a negative image when it comes to customer care.
So what are the lessons for other travel brands looking to achieve bookings online?
- Use different channels in the right way – for raising awareness or for driving conversions.
- Focus on improving conversion rates, especially if you have a larger visitor base.
- Make everything in your site as simple as possible through testing.
- Personalise the user experience based on behaviour.
- Target the previous season’s customers if they haven’t rebooked yet.
- Inspire users with relevant content to encourage them to travel.
- Set core values and messages, then repeat them everywhere.
Join our next 24/7 Multichannel Travel Consumer Masterclass on 24th March 2015 where we will be exploring the way the travel industry, customer journey and customer experience is changing as a result of todays digital and social transformation and what actions are required plan and execute and deliver a targeted digital marketing strategy that drives sales.
Book your place today: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-247-multichannel-travel-consumer-tickets-15299944546