In order to improve relationships with travellers, companies should strive to understand data about their target markets and reconsider their traditional products, urged speakers at Digital Travel APAC 2018 in Singapore.
This is especially important for the “Experience Generation” – the millennials in particular – who are increasingly pursuing “experiences rather than material goods”, and responding to these customer profiles can associate the brand with positive experiences, said Akira Mitsumasu, vice president, marketing & strategy, Japan Airlines.
“We should move away from the product that we started out with, and reinvent ourselves to discover more parts of the customer journey and how to become part of this new value chain. Airlines are no longer just about seats, inflight entertainment and lounges, but about the purposes of travel,” he elaborated.
For example, having learned from its data that its passengers often search for pet-friendly flights, Japan Airlines introduced a pet charter into its offerings.
AccorHotels has also diversified from its core business of hotels, and adopted new business models through the acquisition of private rental platform onefinestay, shared Emilie Couton, the group’s vice president of digital marketing, Asia-Pacific.
Couton added that being at these “touchpoints” for customers not only increases interaction with them, but also “increases the stickiness of the relationship” between brands and buyers.
Russell Young, managing director Asia-Pacific of Sojern, said: “It’s no longer about reinventing the wheel with new technology, but to enhance the customer experience by improving what already exists.”