What can travel marketers learn from easyJet’s digital strategy? .

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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.

Summary

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

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

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

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

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?

 
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Sagittarius
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Sagittarius

03 Feb 2015 - 7 minute read
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