Fare Marketing – A Must-Have Capability in the Digital Age
In today’s digital world, airlines must execute best-in-class Fare Marketing strategies if they intend to compete with Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and Meta Search Engines (MSEs) for business and customer loyalty. OTAs and MSEs consistently leave airlines in the dust when it comes to their digital Fare Marketing. As online entities, OTAs and MSEs are able to focus all of their considerable technical resources towards Fare Marketing to target travelers across the web and guide them seamlessly from their initial flight search all the way through purchase, reducing direct channel sales for airlines and stealing user loyalty from airlines.
When a traveler finds a great fare using an OTA or MSE it isn’t likely that she will associate that deal with the servicing airline, but instead with the brand used to find the fare. When that same traveler needs to plan her next trip, she is more likely to return to the website where she found her deal than the airline flown. This is because these large aggregators brand themselves as the best way to quickly find low prices for flights; and they aren’t wrong. Many airlines do not allow users to easily search low fares and book flights from their landing pages. Coupled with inferior digital marketing strategies and tools, it is no surprise airlines lag behind in direct online sales.
Developing a Best-In-Class Fare Marketing Platform
While digital innovation isn’t easy, not innovating can be just as bad for business. Deploying a powerful Fare Marketing Platform can vastly enhance an airline’s digital presence, allow it to promote real-time fares anywhere on the web, improve direct channel performance, access more data, and innovate faster and more effectively. Airlines that fail to execute Fare Marketing strategies will see their direct sales diminish year over year as their customers favor OTAs and competitors to purchase their flights.
Today’s customers expect their online experiences to be easy, seamless, and fast. From their initial search to their final purchase, they demand a best-in-class user experience from brands. Digitally native OTAs and MSEs, like Expedia and Kayak, understand how to execute a digital Fare Marketing strategy to display the lowest fares in targeted ads, social media, and emails along with advanced website SEO to ensure they are always top of mind when it comes to where to shop. They are able to do this using their vast resources allocated solely to maintaining a best-in-class Fare Marketing infrastructure, because their entire business model revolves around their online presence and online ticket sales.
To compete in the digital realm, airlines have the option to either create their own Fare Marketing infrastructure or to subscribe to one – the quintessential “Buy vs. Build” dilemma. Let’s examine both of those options.
To create best-in-class Fare Marketing infrastructure from scratch that gives users the experience they expect, airlines must involve a variety of stakeholders, multiple vendors, and may need to go through RFP processes. Time consuming projects like CMS customization, fare feed development, front-end design, engineering requirements, performance optimization, security, regulatory compliance, and SEO compatibility can take several years to complete. Once completed and launched, the system will require ongoing resources to maintain and will need to be updated continuously in order to remain relevant.
What’s the outcome? At best, it is an elaborate Fare Marketing infrastructure that may be successful at reaching its goals, but will forever continue to drain airline resources to maintain, repair, and update. At worst, airlines can find themselves several months or years into developing a platform that is already obsolete before it is launched. Wasted money and time could have been better spent on other initiatives to grow their direct channel.
So if building in-house is at best a headache and at worst a risky gamble, what’s the alternative?
Invest in Products. Not Projects. EveryMundo’s Fare Marketing Platform.
Let’s back up for a moment to where we started this piece – today’s digital world and how customer expectations have shifted. Things are done differently now, from how we get clothes, watch movies, listen to music, and get around (hopping into strangers’ cars no less!). In this digital world people own less and subscribe more, build less and buy more, and that is what we think airlines should do when it comes to massive digital transformations.
Why build something that will cost time and money and continuously drain resources to maintain, when you can buy it already built and offload the configurations and ongoing maintenance and innovation to a dedicated partner who eat, sleeps, and breathes Fare Marketing?
Like your DVD and CD collection, it’s time to move on. Subscribe to EveryMundo’s Fare Marketing platform and access more capabilities than any in-house solution offers. Unlock the capabilities of automated high-performance landing pages for every origin, destination, and route (or combinations of routes) in your network using airTRFX; select interchangeable flight search and fare display user experiences from our catalogue of airModules; and extend your Fare Marketing into digital media channels using airWire and airSEM.
Target and convert travelers by broadcasting the lowest real-time fares for flights they are searching for, and transform any page into a flight booking page to drive qualified traffic into your booking engine. Compete toe-to-toe with OTAs and MSEs, reduce your IT dependency, and work with a single partner to innovate at a predictable cost.
Products. Not projects. Subscribe now.