Airlines : Personalized Offers Need 360° Customer Insights and Deep Data.

By Hélène Dubos | Technology

May 29

Airlines stand to gain a lot from presenting passengers with real-time, personalized offers. Offers which relate to the passenger’s own preferences, and to their exact stage in the buying process or journey.

Here’s an example. Imagine that one of the rules you had created for personalized offers was:
– IF the customer is flying to a destination they visit frequently.
– AND they have not made ancillary purchases for this flight.
– AND they have purchased exit row and/or meal upgrades in the last 9 months.
– AND ancillary inventory is available …

… THEN your system can make an offer on a channel preferred by the customer. For example, in-app, SMS or Facebook Messenger.

The offer itself can be just as flexible. For example, depending on the customer preferences, your system might offer a bundle of extra legroom and a vegetarian meal.

Even the timing is variable. The offer could be triggered 24 hours before departure, or when the passenger checks-in. With relevant permissions and technology, geo-fencing could even trigger the offer when the customer arrived within, say, 5km of the airport.

In order to make that instant decision whether to offer a bundled exit row and meal upgrade, the airline needs to be able to interrogate multiple systems in real-time, then centralize and transform the raw data into immediately actionable insights.

It’s what we at Conztanz call the ‘Smart Data’, the clever mix between ‘360° customer data’ and the deep data which is the data generated by operational systems such as managing inventory, service availability or back-end processes such as bag system.

360 customer data

Building a 360° customer image needs multiple perspectives.

Raphael Bejar, Sales Director at Conztanz explains: “To continue with the example of offering an exit row and meal bundle, conventional marketing techniques would simply make the offer at the booking stage, with no analysis or personal relevance scoring.”

But,” Bejar continues, “the obvious problem is that the customer might not need extra legroom, and might not be a vegetarian. So the passenger deletes the offer and, in doing so on the first offer, might get used to instinctively deleting other offers from the airline. That’s bad news for airline marketers.”

“In contrast, for an airline to have their offers always being perceived as relevant and worthwhile they need to use real-time data. That’s how we arrived at the notion of 360° smarter insights into the customer. So the customer gets an offer at the best moment, when they are in the right place.”

“Better still,” Bejar emphasizes, “you then overlay that 360° data with fuzzier, behavioral inferences for in-depth personalization. And those fuzzy insights are extracted from the data which is found in multiple systems and repositories. Meal choices, flying frequency, if the passenger has hold baggage, time between the booking and the flight, ancillary purchase history, the gap between outbound and return flights, age, gender, payment method, prefered communication channel … this data is the valuable clues about themselves that the customer is leaving in various data silos.”

“Once an airline masters 360° data and behavioral data, it is ready to embark on an ambitious personalization program which automates profitable 1-to-1 on-the-fly marketing.”

Relevance and Timeliness. The two key factors for buying psychology.

In order to buy any product or service from a marketing message, the consumer will need to instantly tick two boxes:

( ) Do I want this offer?
( ) Do I want it now?

To stay with the example of extra legroom and a vegetarian meal, a great scenario would be that the offer is made, say, the night before the flight if the customer prefers Facebook Messenger, the morning of the flight if the customers prefers email, or on arrival at the airport if the customer prefers SMS as a channel.

“For most airlines,” says Conztanz’s Bejar, “that kind of capability is just a dream. They’re busy coping with legacy IT and data silos, so they imagine they’d need to spend $5 million on infrastructure before they were that advanced. But in fact our ConztanzONE platform can enable that kind of activity in just a few months, with a cost measured in thousands, not millions, of dollars.”

Meeting complex 360° personalization challenges with ConztanzONE.

The ConztanzONE ‘smart data’ platform is cloud based. Simply put, it delivers unlimited virtual connectors which can be used to interconnect existing IT resources and systems. Those systems can be your own silos or partner systems. Literally anything, anywhere.

There are three key IT benefits when airlines overlay ConztanzONE onto their IT world:

– Leverage your current IT, now.
– Easily include external data.
– Use multi-source, real-time data.

For marketers interested in personalization, the effect is dramatic. “When your offers are timely and relevant,” explains Bejar, “the perceived value of your promotional platform increases. Your acceptance and click-thru rates go up, and the brand experience is reinforced.”

On top of which, ConztanzONE doesn’t just enable personalization. It fast-tracks other data-driven initiatives, like implementing IATA’s NDC or pull and push PNR data to Government security. If it involves data, the job of ConztanzONE is to remove friction and create valuable business intelligence.

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