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A New Way to Target the Airline Traveler

If you have ever had to target the business or leisure traveler, you know how hard they are to reach. You may have grown frustrated with the current marketing methods.  Standard media vehicles such as airline magazines and advertisements in airport concourses are simply not engaging enough. In many cases we need to get promotional materials directly into the hands of travelers when they are in the mindset of traveling.  Recently, TopRight partnered with a major airline to create the Direct ConnectTM program. The program helps marketers in the hospitality, casino, attraction, convention, and other travel-related industries better connect with their potential customers.

The program relies on over 5,000 aviation employees to distribute promotional materials in the form of luggage tags placed on checked bags.  The key with this vehicle, as with any promotional program, is to make the offers relevant and actionable.  These luggage tags can contain any number of special travel-related offers such as free checked bags, airline miles, or promotions on travel-related products and services.  The tags can even come in the form of die-cut pieces or product samples; pieces which are simply too expensive for direct mail or print distribution.

The advertisements can also include bar codes, dedicated landing pages, and/or QR codes that can work with mobile phones to bring potential customers directly to marketers’ websites.  Once on the website, marketers engage with travelers and collect valuable customer information.  There is even potential to leverage geo-caching technology to further target by the individual and specific location.  The tags have the ability to easily integrate into an existing promotional campaign, acting as a bridge between traditional and digital media, allowing marketers to not only initiate the conversation but also allow travelers to redeem coupons instantly by using QR codes, dedicated landing pages, apps, or as bar coded-coupons at brick and mortar locations.

To better reach the right traveler, the program can target promotions by the traveler’s origin or destination city, the day or time of flight, airline, or traveler’s airline status.  Currently, the Direct Connect program can cover travelers in over 85% of U.S. airports.

Direct Connect officially launches this week, but pilot programs have already been launched with American Express, Delta Vacations and Samsonite Luggage.  After their inaugural program run of 1 million pieces, American Express increased the program to 4 million promotional pieces.  The program now represents a key component within their fully integrated marketing campaign for acquisition of card members.

This is clearly a unique and innovative advertising channel and has already garnered significant interest among our clients and partners. We would love to hear your thoughts on this new advertising platform, so please share your comment today!

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