Hooking new customers on web and social media

Hook new customers first with product, then get specific



Marketing recommendations based on search history are now common, but it’s hard to get right in the travel business, ehotelier writes. Just because you went to Paris last year, it doesn’t mean you will this year.

So it makes sense not to focus too much on personalisation, at least at first. Instead, travel companies should express the simple truth of its product, for example that it can deliver big savings on luxury holidays. Hyper-personalisation can come after that.

The example is given of luxury flash sales site Secret Escapes. Once potential customers have signed up, targeting with personal messages is simple.

“We would look, for example, at whether the customer is always browsing for weekend breaks in the UK or looking at Mediterranean holidays,” Tom Valentine, Secret Escapes managing director, says.

But if a customer is searching for ‘weekend breaks’, Secret Escapes is not about to get too specific.

“What we absolutely don’t do is say we think you know exactly what you want to do,” Valentine adds, “because in all frankness we’d be wrong”.

Instead, the company sends an email which highlights the “simple truth” of its product while also subtly steering the customer in the direction of categories that might be interesting.

Television continues to be important for acquiring new customers. But improvements in Facebook’s technology mean that it has also “suddenly” become very useful for marketing.

“Previously our ability to target on Facebook was fairly limited and felt very much like display,” Valentine explains. But today, with the huge amounts of information it contains, the social media site has become very good for targeted messages people may want to see.

“When something truly organic happens on Facebook and somebody shares a sale and then a friend signs up, those interactions are really profitable.”


[pictured: Server room at Facebook’s Prineville Data Centre; courtesy Facebook]

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