Until now, low cost carriers have not relied heavily on traditional airline marketing initiatives like air miles and loyalty programs as a way of attracting and retaining new customers.
Instead they have leveraged the constant attraction of low-price tickets, and more recently supplemented that proposition by apps which make the flight experience easier.
But could it be that budget airlines are taking a lead from their flag-carrier cousins and even retailers by using developments like big data and personalization to fuel the next stage of their growth?
According to an article by travel research and news specialists Skift (link below), Ryanair has taken on 150 IT specialists in the last two and a half years. For their part, easyJet’s CEO Carolyn McCall is quoted as saying that their team of 25 data analytics specialists is ‘incredibly important’ for the business.
Even the people who Ryanair and easyJet are recruiting into key positions gives a hint of the trajectory of low cost carriers. Ryanair’s CMO is Kenny Jacobs, a former Tesco executive. And Easyjet has promoted Alberto Rey-Villardo to the position of Head of Data Science, a first time position for the airline.
Conztanz CMO Helene Dubos says that these senior positions, and the accompanying investment in IT specialists by both airlines, is a clear indicator that low-cost carriers have understood the potentiel of their data goldmine. “The next step is more personalization,” says Helene, “but airlines need to be careful that they recognize the border between being personalized and becoming intrusive. ‘Just enough’ personalization is what consumers feel comfortable with.”
In a blog post titled ‘5 Stats That Prove Businesses Must Personalize to Win Customers’, Gigya (link below) list five key insights into consumer attitudes to personalization:
1. 73% of consumers prefer to do business with brands that use personal information to make their shopping experiences more relevant.
2. 86% of consumers say personalization plays a role in their purchasing decisions.
3. 45% of online shoppers are more likely to shop on a site that offers personalized recommendations.
4. 40% of consumers buy more from retailers who personalize the shopping experience across channels.
5. 80% of consumers like when retailers emails contain recommended products based on previous purchases.
“Those research figures relate to retail marketing,” Helene Dubos says, “but retail airline marketing is increasingly adopting e-retail practises. Factors like apps, commodity pricing of flight tickets and the retail-centric atmosphere of airports contribute to transform the consumer perception until the point that airline flights are just another retail purchase.”
“The big challenge for airlines who want to introduce initiatives personalized offers is getting access to the right data,” says Dubos. “Based on individual scenarios, the barriers to progress can be anything from silos of airline data which are hard to access, through to integrating airline data with partner data.”
As a leader in airline data management, Conztanz has a range of consulting skills and software tools which can help unlock what Helene calls the ‘goldmine’ of data that airlines and their partners are sitting on.
“On the one hand, our consulting skills, such as PSS migration and NDC expertise, help airlines managing the IT transformation,” says Helene, “whilst our ConztanzONE platform helps in the digital transformation by presents data from around the business to next-generation services in a consistent way, in real time.”
Low-Cost Airlines Make Big Bets on Data and Personalization.
5 Stats That Prove Businesses Must Personalize to Win Customers.
Consumers Want Personalization, But Retailers Just Can’t Seem To Deliver.