TTI Autumn: ‘Viral marketing in travel not being done well’, says OpenJaw

Posted: September 14th, 2012

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Marketing campaigns that are based around the personalisation of deals to specific customers will be the most effective for firms trying to monetise their social media presence.

John McQuillan, president of Irish travel technology supplier OpenJaw, told the Travel Technology Initiative Autumn Conference that too many firms were “shoe-horning” traditional campaigns into a social media format.

“A number of people are trying to engage in social media to promote their brand or in many cases to defend the brand.

“But we should also be looking at it from the point of view of how can we use it to generate sales and convert sales. I think we can do more with it.

“Social media is viral; what you are trying to do is engage with it from the point of view of it being viral.

“If you look at the demographics of who uses social media there are certainly people considered influencers who have a big circle of friends and who have a lot of people who listen to them.

“Quite often the peer reviews come from a smallish number of people. The first thing you must do is engage with those people ad provide a mechanism so those people can take your products viral.”

“I do not think anyone is doing this [viral] particularly well at the moment.”

McQuillan said firms are likely to need to have a cache of prices and deals to ensure speed and to cope with slower legacy systems.

And he said all firms should allow the ability for customers to share deals with their friends and social networks.

“Beyond that what you should be thinking about is actually personalising the offer. You can actually start to discover what the interests of the particular users are.”

McQuillan added the OpenJaw platform works along four key principles: inspire, differentiate, personalise and convert.