Case Study on Easy Marketing platform, all in one marketing tools: Travel Agency
Being the CEO of a travel agency is a painful thing. Not only is the competition from other travel agencies killing, seasonal variations in demand, and frequent fuel hikes causes severe losses. Not to mention – recessions and long periods of economic uncertainty when people take shorter and ‘nearer-home’ vacations. To add to this, our customers who are mostly corporate employees are very hard to reach on phone, and promoting any special offer to them is extremely difficult.
Till one day, my friend – who owns a high-end boutique in Juhu – told me about UZMarketing’s Easy Marketing platform platform. He showed me how one single platform that combines various modes of communication like Mobile Text, Email, IM, Voice Broadcast and Social Media, can be leveraged effectively to reach prospective customers in time, and sell them new offerings. After the initial phase of skepticism, I decided to try it out.
Over a couple of meetings, I and my Marketing Manager devised a plan to promote ‘favorite destinations’ during ‘off-peak seasons’, and ‘not-so-famous destinations’ during ‘peak seasons’. Generally, most travel agencies promote favorite destinations during peak season as it seems like the obvious thing to do. However, lack of availability of hotel rooms and travel tickets, leads to hike in prices, and hence – several cancellations and ‘no-shows’. We learnt the hard way that promoting favorite destinations during off-peak season gave us better margins. Not to mention that we stand out amongst other agencies for providing better rates, and better service. The only hitch was reaching out to customers quickly to intimate them about an oncoming ‘low-demand week’ and making bookings.
That’s where UZMarketing’s Easy Marketing platform came into the picture. Using the 5 modes of communication in tandem, we reached out to customers in time Promoted ‘early-bird’ offers and Incentivized them for referring other friends and acquaintances Briefly, this is how we did it. Whenever we anticipated a low-demand week coming up, we would launch the campaign the previous week, starting on Monday (Day 1).
Day 1 (Monday): Mobile Text: We picked 3 of our employees who can communicate well, and a personalized sms was sent from their numbers. Unlike the typical bulk sms, our sms was bang on target. “Dear Mr. Rao, this is Naina from “XXX Agency”. I am not able to reach you on phone. This is regarding a special offer for you, being one of regular customers. Pls call me back if you want to know more. Or sms your email id and we’ll send you details. Or visit our website (a separate webpage created for this, was mentioned) to know more”. In most cases we had the email id. But asking them to sms their email id was a quick way of knowing who might be interested. It also gave an impression that we don’t send intrusive emails and only do permission marketing (easy marketing, right?).
Day 2 (Tuesday): Email: Emails were sent to all those email ids that were smsed back to us, as well as what we had on record. The email had photos of the destination including tourist attractions and photos of hotel rooms where we had a tie-up. This way, people could see the hotels they would check in to. The email also mentioned a 10% discount for early birds, as well as a 10% discount for referring friends and family – using our Facebook page (hyperlinked). People could avail both discounts too. Finally, there was a link to a page on our webpage, where they could do the actual booking and obtain a confirmation (easy marketing, right?).
Day 3 (Wednesday): Social Media: Customers could log into our Facebook page using their Facebook login, mention the names of their acquaintances who might be interested in it and leave a personalized message that we had created, for all of them.
Day 4 (Thursday): Voice Broadcast: On a leading FM Radio channel, we had a clip where an excited customer is talking about going to this destination, how little it cost him, in addition to that – the early bird discount he got, as well as a further discount for referring friends and acquaintances. The clip also mentioned the webpage URL and facebook page URL.
Throughout: Instant Messaging: Throughout the week, employees were available to come onto the IM when somebody visits our website, and resolve doubts, take enquiries and direct an interested user to the webpage where they could complete the booking: People who came through referrals could even indicate that. Our staff would then match it to the Facebook logins and maintain a separate list of such people. The referrer and referred were both eligible for discounts. Totally easy marketing.
We ran this campaign when we wanted to promote Mahabaleshwar in June and July months. This hill station has peak demand in the summer months and everybody in Mumbai or Pune love to go there. In June and July, people avoid it due to the rains. But there are a whole lot of tourists who like the place even when it rains, and we were targeting such people. By doing so, we had a huge spurt in business in these months when business is typically low. We are now making a list of destinations and assigning off-peak seasons for each of them. This way, we can run campaigns all through the year and make significant additions to our bottom-line. I have even booked a Hyundai Sonata in advance, anticipating this. All of this was possible – thanks to Easy Marketing platform!
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