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Let's Get Personal: Using Beacons to Deliver Tailored and Timely Communications

Shilo Thomas-OracleShilo Thomas-Oracle Posts: 1 Employee
edited December 2015 in Social Groups

Are you traveling this holiday season? Approx. 5-6% of travel this holiday season will be via air according to the US Department of Transportation. This may seem like a small fraction to us time and tech conscious “frequents”. However, our additional companions will have varying levels of flying experience. Navigating an airport can be daunting—imagine thousands of additional, anxious holiday travelers.

An Airport Grounded

Recently, I had the opportunity to work with an airport on their customer engagement strategy. With customers (primarily airline passengers) continuously moving from one point to the next, the airport wanted to

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offer them a better way to navigate airport facilities using mobile devices and beacon technology. Further, in the process of doing so, not only would that mean an enhanced experience in the airport resulting in happier passengers, they also saw this as an opportunity to reach customers “on-the-move” with targeted offers to drive incremental non-aeronautical revenue for the airport and concessionaires alike.

However, the airport faced a major obstacle in taking the next step: they didn’t know who their customers were. In other words, they don’t have any profile information on these millions of people passing through their facility.

Turning Unknown Audiences into Customers

Before orchestrating a 1:1 engagement strategy, the airport needed to first identify and understand their customers. They started by identifying the different sources of customer data that could be used for outreach. In doing so, they uncovered a list of customers who used the airport’s Free Wi-Fi during their passage at the airport.

After analyzing the list, they further found that a large number of customers using the Free Wi-Fi are located regionally. With this knowledge, the airport considered – what if we could reach out to these customers to promote discounted parking this holiday season and drive them to use a mobile app? If the airport can get customers to use their mobile app, they can begin communicating with customers no matter where they are in the airport, and start building customer profiles and segment their audience.

With this new profile information, the airport can begin designing the journey and align the proper messaging at every step to match the targeted persona. A campaign was developed to entice customers to use a mobile app for discounted valet parking services this holiday season. The targeted customers will receive a personalized email that directs them to a landing page. The personalized landing page will promote the benefits of the valet service and encourage downloading the mobile app.

CityAirport OMC Flow.pngBy converting customers into mobile app users, the airport can unlock the opportunity to reach customers wherever they are within the facility and truly transform their journey.

My Virtual Mobile Concierge


The airport has installed beacons throughout the facility. Beacons are signaling devices that enable the airport to detect passenger mobile devices throughout the airport.

The airport can detect the presence of those customers that have downloaded the app as they pass by a beacon. When they do reach one of these, the customers will receive a push notification of a targeted offer, traveler tips and more. The specific message that is pushed at that point in time is determined by the beacon, the passenger profile, and the journey that has been orchestrated.

Now, the airport can leverage the power of marketing and mobile together to reach the customer with the right message, at the right time, at the right location. Beacons enable the airport to become the customer’s virtual concierge, helping them to navigate the airport based on their terms.

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Building the Next Generation Passenger Experience with Beacons

There are four main components the airport will implement to enable these experiences.

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Marketing Automation – orchestrated campaigns designed based on the customer persona, behavior and interests.
beacon bullet.pngBeacons – devices strategically placed in and around the airport to detect the customer’s presence.
beacon bullet.pngMobile Framework – integrated framework that ties together the various disparate data sources which feed the mobile app.
beacon bullet.pngMobile Application – end user mobile interface to enable two-way dialogue between the customer and the airport.


To Infinity and Beyond

The airport can leverage this same framework and guiding principles as they begin designing an engagement strategy with other types of customers, concessionaires and community partners. Additionally, the airport has the opportunity to help spark economic development by promoting the products and services of small businesses within their community. For instance, upon returning from a business trip, a passenger can opt to have their car returned washed and cleaned. Marketing orchestration serves as the foundation to do this.

So next time you’re in the airport, look around… you might sense the beacons!  They’ll surely sense your presence and send you an enticing offer…

OMC Academy Modules that inspired the initiative:

  • RPM: Targeting & Segmentation
  • Eloqua 10: Advanced Segmentation
  • Eloqua 10: System Integration
  • Oracle Content Marketing: Basic Administration (WBT)
  • Eloqua 10: Personalizing Campaigns
  • Eloqua 10: Program Builder Overview (WBT)
  • Eloqua 10: Effective Marketing with Custom Objects
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