The Drum Live: Air New Zealand sets aside NZ$5m for mobile development
Mobile, big data and real time bidding (RTB) were identified as the three key areas Air New Zealand will be looking at over the next twelve months by its online channel manager, Chris Allison, with NZ$5m allocated to mobile alone.
Speaking at The Drum Live, Allison revealed that the next year will see their airline address being one of the 45 per cent of businesses that do not have a mobile optimised experience: a concern that has come from none other than Air New Zealand's CEO, Christopher Luxon.
The next six months marks a crucial point in Air New Zealand's mobile strategy as it embarks in what Allison calls an "accelerated programme costing NZ$5m " as mobile is the "only platform that allows customers to be connected with a brand all the time if they chose to, and is the only platform that connects brands throughout the customer journey."
Speaking of Air New Zealand's relationship with its customers Allison told The Drum Live audience that it's "all about placing customers at the core of the business" adding that though it may seem "stupid to vocalise" too many businesses simply say it and do not execute it.
Part of Air New Zealand's plans for putting customers at the heart of its business is understanding big data - a topic which Allison described as something "people love it, hate it, and don't understand it" adding "to me it's [big data] not new, we just have more of it from more sources, it's not revolutionary to marketers - we've always worked with data and having more of it is great. Data should inform decisions better, sometimes people just get lost in the volume of data available." Allison advised the audience that to "unlock the power of your data you need a specific goal".
Over the next year Air New Zealand is embarking on a huge project to marry its "five or six significant data sets" and will also be bringing all of its data in house to "make it easier to manage and provide a sense of security for the brand."
"For us one of the biggest opportunities coming up is how RTB is evolving into the TV space. One such innovation we're keeping an eye on is Sky ad smart, which is taking RTB out of the traditional online world and into the TV world, opening up the TV space that hasn't previously been accessible to us. Targeting provides a real opportunity for us to justify entering that space," explained Allison.
Despite the brand's interest in RTB Allison explained that Air New Zealand would be unlikely to enter the space any time soon as "as with new things there are always things to work out and competitors to watch".
According to Allison in the brands research not one travel brand is successfully doing everything well on mobile and one emerging area of connecting customers to travel brands is in-flight Wi-Fi. Allison commented: "When customers are in the air they are immersed in the brand and what better way to experience the brands products and services to the fullest?"
Allison concluded with a look at Air New Zealand's content strategy which in recent years has seen the brand's in-flight safety videos and marketing campaigns gain online notoriety, "at the end of the day content ultimately plays a part in our purchase funnel, great content drives engagement and can lead to sales."