Collabo… what?

There was an excellent research report doing the rounds recently that looks at the future role of the travel industry and what needs to happen for it to succeed in such a dynamic environment.

The good news, according to the IBM report (Click here), is that there’s a gap for professionals willing to help travellers navigate the confusing, time-consuming undifferentiated online travel landscape.

The bad news is that you’re actually going to have to collaborate with your industry partners to do it. The report says members of the travel industry must learn to work closely together and share information to get a more complete view of what customers want so they can match what they’re offering with how buyers behave. And unfortunately “no single party in the distribution channel can assemble a complete view of the customer on its own”.

Apparently by working together to assess and evaluate our mutual customers, travel companies can develop more precisely targeted products, promotions and offers to attract and retain customers. Rocket-science? I think not…

And it’s not all about price. The report says in an online travel environment, we’ve done very little but focus travellers on price. We’ve become our own worse enemies, displaying price most prominently on our websites and in our marketing collateral.

Personalisation is important. Online shoppers have become used to companies speeding up the process of selecting products and services that meet their needs based on their previous buying patterns. Travel agents should be allowing their customers to customise what information they want and how they want to receive it. And if you fail to capture their attention, you’ll likely not succeed.

Words to remember and hopefully not just another report we file under the pile of daily reading and forget about…