When marketers talk about the need to un-silo the vast troves of data they collect, they describe an ideal world in which data flows back and forth among the right channels, fully connected and streamlined so their teams can create a 360-degree view of each customer.
Yet the reality is somewhat disconnected from that need as marketers are still hosting disparate, data-driven campaigns on different channels – email, in-store, point-of-sale, loyalty program, direct mail, SMS and so on.
One airline's venture into mobile marketing, however, is boosting its ability to connect with customers across mobile and other channels – and defying the above marketing challenge.
Ryanair, one of the world's largest carriers, is leveraging mobile data to extend the airline brand's value across all of its marketing channels. With 55% of traffic to Ryanair.com originating from mobile devices, the airline's digital team worked with Swrve to refine the mobile channel so it could meet passengers' expectations and to "push the boundaries of what we could do for our customer base," according to Dara Brady, Ryanair's head of data and CRM.
The travel context: an always-there mobile connection
In today's travel environment, the mobile channel serves as a great connector between the customer and the brand, whether it’s an airline, hotel, travel retailer or other travel category.
That’s because smartphones rarely leave travelers' sides; surveys indicate that up to 90% of passengers fly with at least one smartphone or mobile device in hand. During the traveler experience, the smartphone functions as a trusted companion and tool. A lost boarding pass can be quickly replaced from an airline’s app and scanned at the gate, while flight updates, upgrades, or frequent flyer information can be accessed easily from a mobile device or app.
Ryanair: the mobile-powered passenger survey
Ryanair's goal was to fully leverage the mobile channel's capabilities, so whether a passenger is at home or work, en-route to the airport, heading to the lounge or gate, or arriving at their destination, the brand is continually connected.
One of Ryanair's first initiatives was a mobile-based passenger survey. Using geo-targeting capabilities and pre-cached surveys, the airline sent push notifications to all passengers as soon as they touched down, inviting them to rate their experience on the app-hosted survey.
Over the course of two months, more than 8,800 passengers used the app to provide real-time survey feedback– part of the airline's "Always Getting Better" customer experience initiative. The "rate my flight" results? Nearly 70% of passengers engaged with the survey, and almost 90% rated their trips as positive.
"If you were using other channels to try and do that, (data would be available) maybe be a week later, or it wouldn't be forefront of your mind," according to Dara Brady, head of digital and CRM for Ryanair. "With mobile, we can get into customers' hands at the exact time that they're ready to say, 'yeah, I had a good trip.' And I think that's where we've been able to really make advancements in terms of delivering on our customers' expectations."
Using mobile interactions to connect data
When a brand's mobile channel is connected to other marketing initiatives, it’s able to log, track and provide 24/7 activity in real-time, delivering insights into what consumers do or don't do, how and what they engage with and ignore, and when they interact. Did they respond to a push notification urging them to sign up for a new frequent flyer program or redemption offer? Did they activate a mobile coupon for free lounge access? Did they interact with the airline on social media? Did they connect with a customer service agent via the call center or app?
Ideally, the underlying marketing platform enables all of this data to pass back-and-forth bilaterally from channel to channel, able to be triggered in real time contextually and with relevance. And the traveler's smartphone functions as the ideal mobile entry point that connects all of the marketing channels being deployed.
The way Ryanair sees it, the mobile channel serves as “the ideal tool to connect with passengers on the go," Brady says, enabling them to do what they want, when they want, wherever they are, while also giving marketers a 360-degree view of the customer and insights into other marketing initiatives.
Want to learn more about Ryanair's mobile strategy success with Swrve? Visit our customer showcase.