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LOYALTY BLINKS The Travel Playbook: Enhancing Customer Engagement

Globally, the travel sector has rebounded after a pandemic-induced hiatus. A December 2023 IATA forecast indicated that 4.7 billion people are expected to travel in 2024, exceeding the pre-pandemic level of 4.5 billion in 2019. Even in the midst of the pandemic, research revealed that while economic challenges loomed, travel remained robust: consumers said they would rather give up dining at restaurants, gym memberships and streaming services than reduce their travel budgets.

When it comes to brand loyalty today, the resilience of travel’s value means it remains a significant influence on behaviour – especially when presented in the form of travel rewards and benefits. As Collinson’s report – The New Rules of Engagement: Customer Expectations Revealed – highlighted, 93% of respondents say the availability of travel-related rewards is what encourages them to engage regularly with brands.

With strong consumer sentiment and corresponding industry growth trajectory, travel presents a great opportunity for brands to deepen engagement with their customers. Leading the trend are financial services brands that have enabled travel rewards and travel-related services in their customer proposition. What’s different today, is that these brands are leveraging travel as a key competitive advantage.

For example, JPMorgan Chase Bank (Chase) in the United States launched a full-service travel business aimed at the ‘premier leisure traveller’. With its new offerings, Chase believes it could capture US$15 billion in travel sales volume in 2025, up from US$8 billion in 2022

Building an effective travel playbook

While travel remains a key revenue and margin driver for financial services brands, the battleground for travel-related rewards and benefits remains hotly contested. 

To help you capitalise on this opportunity, we’ve identified three key components required when building an effective travel playbook:

  1. Clearly define your ambitions and objectives, and outline the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help keep you aligned with these objectives. 
  1. Develop your core consumer value proposition by considering your customers’ entire travel journey. An effective proposition should either solve a pain-point or create benefits; it is unique, differentiated, and relevant.
  1. Data-driven insights are critical to empower decision-making and enable experiences at scale. Effective communication with consumers at every stage of their engagement with your brand can help optimise your travel strategy.

A travel playbook is an essential go-to-market tool for brands that wish to leverage travel as a key competitive advantage – and in the process, extract the most value from their investments in travel.

Read the full article here.

Rohan Bhalla
Author: Rohan Bhalla

Vice President, Business Solutions, Asia Pacific - Collinson

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