Comment: Online offers need to be more targeted

Comment: Online offers need to be more targeted

The latest Travel Weekly Business Breakfast heard senior figures from Thomas Cook, British Airways, lastminute.com, InterContinental Hotels and Groupon debate their respective brand values.

I was struck by the claim that the average attention span of consumers browsing online has fallen to just eight minutes, 22 seconds.

That is not long to attract potential customers, show them what you offer, tempt them with upsell options and convince them to buy. Unsurprising then, that our panellists agreed sales offers must be targeted.

Deals work well for companies and clients when they are relevant and not merely when they are cheap, and that means brands using knowledge of their customers more cleverly.

There was less agreement about discounting. Our panel was split between those who warned it can undermine and eventually destroy a brand, and those who argued it has its place provided it is used tactically and not too regularly. Thomas Cook’s Mike Hoban put it this way: discounts per se don’t trash brands, bad marketing does.

It is a good point. However, try telling that to the agents we spoke to who are so fed up with a spate of price-slashing cruise offers that have followed recent commission cuts that they are no longer bothering to promote cruise.

Instead, they have chosen to promote holidays where they can add value, earn good commission and find ways to lock in customer loyalty.

All consumers love a deal, but a bespoke one, rather than a blanket money-off message, will protect your brand and customer relationships.

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