Don’t target BMW of machine learning when you start with personalization

2nd September, 2019

#MegaAPAC, Kuala Lumpur

 

How can data make a loyal traveller feel more valued? Where do airlines stand in the journey of personalization and in delighting their passengers by recognizing them, plus anticipating and delivering what they are looking for?

No denying that passenger loyalty has become an ever more complex discipline, especially with travellers expecting something more than just a transactional relationship. Airlines have no option, but to live up to such expectations. There is no reason why airlines should be lagging behind the likes of Facebook and other tech companies when one thinks of personalization, asserts airline loyalty and big data expert, Mark Ross-Smith.

Algorithmic optimization isn’t an overnight phenomena; it entails a layered development of ever-increasing complexity. Plus, machine learning isn’t a magic bullet, capitalizing on its prowess demands diligence and a methodical approach. It one of the many building blocks that lays foundation for an astute loyalty initiative. In the initial stages, don’t target BMW of machine learning, recommends Mark. Rather than thinking of AI, focus on simple things. For example, first target simple areas like identifying and addressing a traveller. “How to address someone in the right way at the right time,” he points out. A connection between a brand and its customers will build over time, deepening with each gratifying interaction.

Citing the example of Delta, Mark says the investment in the right areas of data, analytics, CRM etc. makes their loyalty program stand out. It reflects on the performance of the airline, pinned by “good leadership, good technology and apt vision towards marketing”.

In this video interview hear from Mark about personalization and why he equates loyalty programs with market intelligence machines.

 

Mark Ross-Smith was a speaker at the Mega Event Asia Pacific (#MegaAPAC) held recently in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

 

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