The marketing method known as “Spray & Pray” is used by many organizations. They try a whole bunch of all tactics, on a whole bunch of customers, on all the time. When something works, they stick to it but when nothing works, they take up the loss and try something new until they find the magical solution.
The problem is that they never pay attention to the reason why certain campaign works well and other bring losses. They do not realize that something working now, may not work tomorrow or what did not work today may work tomorrow.
The essence is they don’t think analytically. OTA analytics be a game-changer for this industry.
Online travel agencies (OTAs) are no exception to the “spray & pray” methodology. In fact, OTA businesses have a very complex conversion funnel as compared to any other e-commerce website, making their problem even worse. The main reason for the buying complexity is that travel booking is not part of the impulsive buy product cohort. Almost all customers do their research before booking travel tickets as travel transactions involve significant money.
Every step of the sales funnel ranging from ad click to ticket booking has a significant churn rate. To understand attrition at every step of the sales funnel, online travel agencies need to have a stronghold of analytics. Understanding key performance indicators (KPI) and their impact on business are very important in any business and online travel agencies are no exception.
Travel agencies can better utilize their marketing resources & they can strategize accordingly if they know answers to such questions. Agencies should know customer churn rate at every sale funnel step. There are numerous marketing channels e.g TV, radio, newspaper, Facebook, Google, Bing, third-party search engines, etc. Various options in selecting marketing channels reinforce the requirement of digital marketing analytics by understanding the multi-channel marketing attribution model.
1 dollar of facebook advertisement expenditure is bringing what worth of business?
Key Performance Indicators
To understand digital marketing, one has to get a hold of the KPIs. Each KPI has its own business objective attached to it, KPIs monitoring makes urgency to optimize business objectives in its first place. Starting from acquisition strategy to retention, each has its strings attached to KPIs. Here is a list of a few important KPIs which need to be monitored regularly
Above mentioned KPIs are self-explanatory except the Adstock rate. Let’s understand what is adstock rate. Digital marketing does not give you immediate results. Here comes the adstock rate in the picture. You got to understand the latency effect of each channel‘s marketing campaign. Some channels have a larger delayed effect in converting the sales lead as compare to other channels. Agencies need to know the adstock rate for each marketing channel for better marketing attribution modeling. We will cover adstock rate in detail in a separate blog.
The mentioned KPIs vary for each marketing channel e.g Facebook may have higher retention but the CAC of Facebook may be higher. OTA needs to understand & create its marketing strategy accordingly. In certain seasons e.g. in Nov-Dec they may see a large inflow of recurring customers as compare to other months so this type of analytics insight can help in molding marketing strategy accordingly in those months.
Imagine booking agents can see the lead conversion score for every inbound lead on their screens. It is possible by making use of predictive analytics abilities. Based on historic trends of involved variables, we can predict the probability of lead to sales conversion. By predicting we can actually detach agent lead conversion skills. Pitching the right product to the right customer at right time can help in increasing the conversion rate resulting in an increase in revenue.
Below mentioned data would be fetched for data warehousing to create a central database.
Using Predictive propensity to buy lead score modeling, we can target the right customer at the right point of time. Right Discount selection based on lead conversion probability can also help in increasing overall profitability.
Yes, chatbots are not just fads. It can add value to your business in many ways. Considering travel leads coming to you from all across the world from different time zones, you have to employ people for 24 hours to manage demand fluctuations. Chatbots can fill that empty time gap. Chatbots can be used to filter junk leads to optimize human resources. Informative assistants can be another utility of chatbots for all travel-related inquiries and chatbots can also be used as virtual travel booking assistants. By making use of deep learning techniques in NLP, chatbots can be made really smart.
Demand forecasting is predicting the future demand for travel booking. If online travel agencies knew the number of inbound leads for travel booking for the coming days, they can manage their resources efficiently. By figuring out trends, seasonality & cyclical movements in historic data, one can better predict the future demand. Demand forecasting can also help to optimize manpower costs.
By creating a customer persona and segmenting users based on that, can really help in conversion uplift. It is a very well-known fact that if we target a selected user set for any campaign, it gives better ROI e.g. sending direct mail detailing offers to users who have a higher probability to respond to those offers, is better than sending direct mail to every user. Statistical clustering can be a good point to start if you need to segment your users.
The mentioned techniques can help you to maximize business profit by boosting lead conversions for your online travel agency business. Do not forget to A/B test any change you are thinking to adopt.