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Embracing airline digital transformation:A spotlight on what travellers value.
Monday, 11th September 2017
Source : Amadeus

We’ve entered the Fourth Industrial Revolution, an era of datafication, constant connectivity and digital workforces, it’s an era where artificially intelligent machines will complement global manpower, allowing the humans at the helm to benefit from more efficient and accurate outcomes, and where digital solutions are enabling businesses to serve customers in completely new ways.

And it’s an era where there will be more potential than ever for brands to get closer to consumers, understand what they value, and use machine learning to drive better‑informed decisions about how tomarket to each of their customers. 

Interestingly, 82% of global CEOs are concerned about the relevance of their products or services, according to KPMG’s ‘Now or Never 2016 Global CEO Outlook Report’. And almost half (45%) feel they could better leverage digital means to connect with customers.

So, how is the aviation industry faring in comparison to others when it comes to harnessing the potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to emotionally connect with travellers?

Compared with certain industries, such as fashion, motor and even hospitality, aviation is a relative newcomer to understanding retail consumer techniques. Unlike brands outside the aviation industry – which have always had to engage with customers to compete in the market – traditional airlines often had a monopoly over regions and routes, and therefore were under less pressure to win over travellers and achieve brand loyalty. The story is slightly different with the low-cost carrier business
model, and these airlines have been earlier adopters of sophisticated, competitive marketing techniques as a result.

Now, however, airlines face saturated markets, where they have to fight to win and retain customers. And so, marketing strategies need to not only adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, but to recreate the experience travellers have become accustomed to in other areas of their lives.

The concept of moment marketing – reaching consumers at the right time with targeted information – is becoming commonplace. It’s about understanding all the influences customers are under at any
given time – be it weather, election results or the latest social media craze – and always being ready to respond with relevant offers that will deliver something of value to them, then and there.

It’s an exciting time. The aviation industry is early on in the journey, but airlines are starting to look beyond segmentation to understand what individual travellers value each time they make a booking, and bundling or unbundling their offering appropriately to drive a sale.

Technology providers and airlines have been working together to enhance their booking experience, and to follow a customer through their journey, offering relevant touchpoints and service enhancements along the way.

“Quite often, the human brain produces unstructured questions, such as ‘I’ve got a break some time between June and July, and I can spend £1,000, where should I fly to?’” says Professor Dimitrios Buhalis, Director of the eTourism Lab at the School of Tourism at Bournemouth University. “But most of our current technology systems don’t deal with unstructured questions; they deal with a demand like ‘I need to book a flight to Miami next Friday’ – very structured, data-driven enquiries.

“I think the next stage of airline travel technologies will deal with travellers in a different way. We’re going to get to a situation where travel behaviour will be analysed to the extent that airlines will be able to predict where customers are going to fly to next.”

This paper will:

  • Explore what today’s airline travellers really value, and apply behavioural theories to the flight booking process, including an analysis of the ‘trigger points’ that prompt customers to pay for
    an upgrade
  • Reveal which components of air travel are valued the most and the least by readers of The Telegraph, according to a survey created for this paper by Amadeus and Connections. The results will be revealed throughout these pages
  • Assess the latest industry strategies for better understanding consumer values – and even influencing them
  • Report on best practice, emerging trends and the latest technologies that are revolutionising the way airlines will be presenting their products to travellers in the near and not-so-near future.

The white paper is also available for download here.

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