5 ways media can work for airlines

Airlines have typically shied away from deploying media as an ancillary. One of the main concerns is compromising conversions and user experience. But airlines can make media work.

The right use of technology can remove concerns around conversions and user experience. Airlines have a huge amount of user data, and when it’s used the right way, a personalized experience can be applied to each individual site visitor. This is a million miles from aimlessly serving ads to every user.

We’ve provided the top 5 principles to make media work for airlines. Continue reading to learn more.

The most important input for an advertiser is knowing who is watching the ad. – Matt Stoller, Open Markets Institute

1. Think like a retailer

Airline.com is a sales channel. But that’s just one of its roles. It’s one component of a complex travel ecosystem. Somewhere that would-be passengers come to just browse and shop around.

Transactions are not the be-all and end-all for the user, and neither should they be for the airline. The monetary value of airline.com goes way beyond just conversions – this premise should be front of mind for airlines.

2. Choose the right partners: Quality, not quantity

On-board advertising is fair game for media and has been for decades – this year Emirates announced that its earnings from in-flight advertising had grown over 35% year-on-year, in no small part thanks to working with the right partners.

The same should be true of digital space. The difference is that in some circumstances, that can mean businesses that airlines would consider competitors.

We took a snapshot sample of media on expedia.com; during a five-day period there were 259 different ads being shown across the site, with the top three advertisers TripAdvisor (48 different ads), BookingBuddy (16) and Air China (10). It’s a telling insight into the way OTAs understand how travelers shop. Conversion is essential – but so is carefully crafted UX. Media is part of that.

rpp rpv chart

3. Use all the data you can get

A significant proportion of this will inevitably come from Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon (GAFA). But there are other possibilities – both third-party and collaborative. Cooperating within your vertical means leveling the playing field with your partners to some extent. The advantage you gain over any business not working with you will likely be far greater than any you might have alone.

4. Diversify KPIs

Revenue per passenger is and should be a fundamental reporting metric for any airline. But so should revenue per visitor (RPV). Not only will this encourage that essential shift in mindset needed to understand media as an important ancillary; RPV can also help build a business case for any ancillary professional grappling with internal buy-in.

5. Use predictive intelligence

By applying machine learning to comprehensive data points to understand every visitor to a site, you can distinguish between users who are likely to convert and those who aren’t. In other words, those who should be served media.

It’s not a case of driving potential customers off your site. When you profile a visitor and establish that they’re not going to book anyway, the safest source of revenue is to monetize them using a tailored ad that you know will appeal.

Knowing who will and won’t be served an ad is extremely valuable for a publisher. This is why data is such a crucial part of making media work, and making it as profitable for publishers as possible; targeted media is a more valuable product.

Want to learn more? Download the ebook to understand how airlines can incorporate media into their ancillary strategy

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The untapped potential of media revenue for airlines

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