Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Seat Review - British Airways World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy)

A family emergency sent me to Berlin. The trip back (which was filled with stress and eventually relief) was on British Airways Premium Economy – branded World Traveller Plus. Due to the circumstances of the trip I was not in a good mood. This almost certainly impacted my attitude toward the flight and the product and therefore this review. That said, it is clear that World Traveller Plus (WTP) is closer to economy than business. It is a product a little above economy but well below business. The problem is that the pricing (absent a deal/special) is mid way between Business and Economy. Therefore without a deal or pricing special then WTP is not worth the money - especially if your frequent flyer status already grants you access to premium check in and lounges.

With that background, the BOOT rating for British Airways World Traveller Plus (International Premium Economy) is a 2 stars out of 6 or "Bad Seat". Here is the detailed review (Details and scoring system for airline seat reviews)

Getting on Board

Score 0

Not sure why and it was not a factor associated with World Traveller Plus, but this was the slowest boarding I have every experienced on a 747. BA was using one door rather than two but even so there was an annoying long delaying in boarding and chaos at the gate. It felt at times like a queue for Space Mountain at Disney land, each time I eventually came around a corner I thought that it would be the last one and I would get a glimpse of the door only to be disappointed and realise there was another stretch of the gate and corner to go around. My mood was also a factor due to the nature of the trip but also because Terminal 4 at Heathrow is an abandoned wasteland with construction, closed shops and poor facilities. The BA lounge is sub-par by any measure (against competitors, against other airports and against BA’s other offering in Terminal 5). On board there is no pre-flight drink or other offering from BA in this class. Combined this contributed to me reaching my seat in an even worse mood.

The Seat

Score 0.5

There is a reason why the product of Premium Economy or World Traveller Plus is tied in its definition to the Economy product. The seat is a step above economy but it is not a leap above. Put another way this is not a product that sits in between the Economy Class and Business Class (Club World) products. Instead it is a noticeable but incremental improvement on economy. The extra seven inches of leg room is nice but not transformative. This means that you are more comfortable but is does not make for an ability to sleep for an entire sector (ie 7-8 hours).

There were also some very annoying parts to the seat. Something (I think either the VOD unit or lifejacket) was placed under the seat in front in such a way that it impeded my ability to freely put my feet under the seat in front. For someone of my size (185 cm) the foot rest is useless (too high) and the leg rest is meaningless (does not come out far enough) so the benefit of the extra leg room comes from the ability to put my feet under the seat in front. This is not as possible in this BA product as it should be. Also annoying is the location of the Entertainment (VOD) remote control. I had this issue on Qantas economy also. The controller is at thy height in the arm rest. Means that each time I moved my legs, I hit the controller which paused, fast forwarded or otherwise messed up the movie I was watching. In the end had to store the controller in the magazine flap in back of the seat in front which was annoying for me and the passenger next to me when she tried to go to the bathroom.

The Service

Score 0.5

The service provided is attentive, punctual and functional but it is also procedural. That means I felt I was on the staff’s timetable with limited flexibility. I would have liked to have received a little more proactive service such as bringing me more drinks and walking around looking for passengers needing help. The trick to long haul Europe to Australia is to stay awake for the first sector and sleep for the second. That way your longest period of sleep ends with the early morning landing into Australia. This means staying awake for 12-13 hours. To do that I need a lot of support in drinks and other care. I feel there could have been more.

I did like the dedicated cabin aspect. Regardless of food, seat and service, having less people fighting for air, toilets and attention is valuable.

The Food

Score 0.0

As with the seat, the food is a step above economy but two or three below business class. It is a one tray service, all packaged and very carbohydrate heavy. The last meal of the trip (breakfast) after 9 hours of flying from Bangkok was a “deli box” – something that should be more at home on a Sydney to Melbourne flight than a meal designed to break a six hour break without food.

The Entertainment

Score 0.5

The Entertainment is solid enough with a fair selection of movies and TV. But BA VOD is a step behind the leaders in this space (Cathay and Singapore). Issues that detract from enjoyment of the system and place it a step below the leaders are:

(1) the delay in starting – 15 minutes after seat belt sign is turned off;

(2) the location of the controller (see above); and

(3) turned off tow soon – 30 minutes before landing.

The BOOT factor

Score 0.5

It my BA Business Class review (Club World) Review I expressed my annoyance that World Traveller Plus is located between door one and two giving WTP passengers a head start off the plane over business class. When in business class this annoyed me. Now I am in WTP, it is a nice bonus. BA’s other WTP twist is their “raid the larder” snack program where business and premium economy passengers can access a mini bar area with drinks, fruit, candy and sandwiches. This used to be one of my favourite parts of the BA premium product experience. But on this flight it was not as good as I remember. It could have been my grumpy mood but it did not look as enticing as previous flights.

Final Score

2.0 - Bad Seat

Details and scoring system for airline seat reviews

thanks to caribb for the photo

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

WebInTravel: Pre-conference Podcast with the BOOT

Only a few weeks to go until the WebInTravel conference in Singapore (Oct 20-23 during ITB). A fifteen minute pre-conference podcast interview of me is now live. You can listen to it here. Themes covered into the interview include
  • EveryYou and developing a recommendation of one;
  • Social networking and the panel I am moderating at WIT called "Taming The Social Media Beast";
  • Three areas of controversy I am expecting to be discussed at WIT on social networking being (1) whether or not there is loyalty in search and social networking (2) whether or not the form of social networking we have now (twitter, facebook) will be the form social networking takes in 5 years time and (3) whether or not you can build a brand through search/social networking;
  • Major changes in the last year and my predictions for the next year; and
  • My love of Singaporean chilli crab.
You can listen to the whole interview here.

Tnooz: first BOOT story on Tnooz live on Augmented Reality, EveryYou and more

My first story for the new Tnooz site is live called "Augmented Reality, mobile, search and (maybe) getting it wrong". As well as touching on Augmented reality and mobile apps I give even more background and analysis on my emerging EveryYou concept. Read the full story here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Why travel companies aren't building top global brands

Interbrand and BusinessWeek have been publishing a list of the top 100 Global Brands for 9 years now. In preparing the the list for 2009 they have set up a hoop or two that a brand has to get through to be considered a global brand. These require more than just name recognition and sales. The test is that the brand

“must derive at least a third of its earnings from outside its home country, be recognizable beyond its base of customers, and have publicly available marketing and financial data.”

As they say in the BW article, this means a lot of big private or nationally contained companies missed out on the list. That said, in the list of 100 brands (topped again by Coca-Cola) there is not one travel company. I might be being narrow in my definition as the list contains Disney at number 10 and American Express at 22 but these are not pure play travel brands like a major US or Euro carrier (American, United, Continental, BA) or a mega chain (Hilton, Starwood, Marriot). I am trying to figure out why that is and what that it means. Despite travel being (by many measures) the largest industry on the planet and despite what feels like every other advertisement I see being from a travel company, according to Interbrand niche but high profile products like Ferrari (88th) and Moet & Chandon (82nd) are more valuable brands than the long list of travel companies that we could all debate as the biggest brands in travel.

We know that travel brands are well known – by that I mean recognised by consumers in prompted and (more importantly) unprompted awareness tests. We also know that there is a degree of brand loyalty in travel as evidenced by frequent flyer programs and flag carrier love ins. Though the first kind of loyalty (frequent flyer programs) is a “bought” loyalty and the second (flag carrier) is often tied to misplaced jingoistic behaviour. The reason for travel being missing from Interbrand’s list is therefore clearly not a “recognition” factor.

The main test in the BusinessWeek/Interbrand survey is the significance of the “earnings derived from the power of the brand…the brands effect on earnings relative to other…assets”. For the travel brand builders this means that BusinessWeek thinks that these 100 brands get dramatically better sales bumps just from their brands than the equally as well known travel brands. That the recognition and awareness of travel brands does not translate as much into sales assistance as for equally as recognisable non-travel brands.

If this conclusion is right, then we need to think about why this is and whether or not this means that travel companies are worse at marketing than we thought. Or - is there something about travel that makes it harder to build a brand that in tech, fast moving consumer goods and luxury brands (the majority of the list).

In analysing this I turned to thinking about the brand battle between Coca-Cola (ranked 1st) and Pepsi (ranked 23rd). Each throws hundreds of millions of dollars at marketing products with subtle but not extreme differences (much - dare I say - like a lot of travel products). One theory is that the travel consumer is more fickle than the cola consumer (as a proxy for most fast moving consumer good) because they have more options to choose from and given the high cost more reason to change supplier. Clearly there is some loyalty within the travel consumers but I consider it more like a “basket of loyalty” rather than a dedicated loyalty. That is, consumers have a basket or collection of brands in their minds and are open to buying any product in that basket. For example I will fly to Europe on any of Qantas, Cathay, Singapore, BA and Virgin. Sure I have one that I would like to fly more than the others but for a specific trip the decision point between these brands is price and schedule. Which one is cheaper and at the right time. With Coke and Pepsi schedule and price are not issues. There is usually no shortage of supply (schedule) and price is usually equal between the two products. In the case of the luxury brands like Ferrari price is still not an issue as people are not choosing based on price and schedule/supply is not an issue (if you want one and can pay for it they will get you one). The question is then, can a travel brand break out of a consumers “basket” such that it can develop the same psychological hold on a consumer that a cola, luxury or soap brand can. A hold that can overcome the price and schedule/availability advantage that another brand has in the basket.

I can’t think of one and therefore understand why there are no travel brands in Interbrand's list of top 100 global brands. Can you?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tnooz: The BOOT joins Tnooz contributor team

Travel industry journalist and uber blogger Kevin May left Travolution in August with a promise of a swift return to online travel , technology and digital media news and opinion. We now know that he is busily working towards the launch of a Tnooz as the new means for informing the industry on what is and is not worth knowing about. Gene Quinn (Chair of PhoCusWright) is joining Kevin as the Tnooz CEO. Dennis Schaal (another online travel blogging A-lister) has signed on as Tnooz Nth American Correspondent.

Tnooz has also signed up a selection of bloggers and industry commentators to join their global contributor team. This group will prepare original Tnooz commentary and analsys content The BOOT has signed on and is ready for action. Does not mean and end to the BOOT - this will still be the home of my writing and rantings. But it does mean that I will be doing dedicated/unique content for the soon to be launched Tnooz along with other industry commentators such as
Alex Bainbridge
Stephan Ekbergh
Jeremy Head
Troy Thompson
Stephen Joyce
Siew Hoon Yeow
Claud Bernard
Charlie Li

Put your name and email into the fields at if you want to know when the launch will be. Also ways to follow on facebook, twitter and linkedin

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Anklet to the BOOT: "Dadda the world has changed colour"

This is what we woke up to in Sydney yesterday morning at dawn care of 100km per hour winds bringing dust from the south west of the state. My daughter (an Anklet in BOOT-speak) stormed into my room to wake me up and share how the world had simply changed colour. In case you don't know the shot is of an iconic but struggling fun pier on Sydney Harbour (think our version of NY's Coney Island).

hat tip to taebeast for the photo and PaddyPlasterer who sent it to me

Sunday, September 20, 2009

EveryYou: Individuation and going beyond the Long Tail theory

This post is part of my developing series on the EveryYou concept– the ability we are developing to create a specific and targeted recommendation of one based on the unique combination of desires, needs and interests of each individual at any moment in time (first post here).

It is Internet marketing heresy to say anything that might contradict the gospel of the Long TailChris Anderson’s now famous 2004 book on how the removal of the constraint of needing to support physical inventory and location (ie moving from stores to sites and physical to bits) has expanded marketing and sales opportunities beyond items that have achieved mass popularity to the niche and obscure. Anderson says this will result in demand shifting shift from the Head (mass popularity) to the Tail (niche products). But in my introduction to the EveryYou concept I said that one of the advantages we now have from the four dimensions of data available to us is that…
“We could kill off the head, body and long tail of sales and replace it with a sale of one, a market of one for the EveryYou.”
It is dangerous to be a heretic in Internet folk law but thankfully I found some support for my blasphemy in a recent article from Knowledge@Wharton called “Rethinking the Long Tail Theory: How to Define 'Hits' and 'Niches'

In this article professor Serguei Netessine and doctoral student Tom F. Tan looked at Netflix data to see whether or not the growth in niche or tail sales was proving that the tail was catching the head. They concluded that
“The presence of the Long Tail effect might be less universal than one may be led to believe."
Instead of seeing the death of the 80:20 rule, Netessine and Tan found that the growth in demand for the top 20% of the movies (ie the head) was faster than the rest (the Tail) (note that the data was comparing 2005 to 2000). One of their conclusions was that the challenge with internet distribution was not the supply side (making digital inventory available on the web) or the traffic side (bringing people to the web) but was the discovery side (getting the people to find the thing they did not know they were looking for). Netessine and Tan say
“product variety has been skyrocketing in the Internet age, and therefore more and more products can be left unnoticed by consumers, or are being discovered very slowly, even though the customer base is also expanding."
This is exactly the point of the EveryYou principle adds value. The Long Tail is based on matching the unconstrained supply of the Internet to niche demand. What is missing is that the niche demand in Long Tail theory is constrained because it depends on knowledge. That is, someone can only demand a niche product if they know about it and believe that they like it (or could like it). For unconstrained niche demand you need to have a systematic and automated means of making trusted and targeted recommendations to someone. This is the EveryYou principle. Using the four dimensions of data we now have on people interacting with our sites (breadth), the different things an individual does on a site (depth), the interrelation between the data we have one person and others (context) and the freely provided data we have unrelated to transactions (community) we can develop a specific and targeted recommendation of one based on the unique combination of desires, needs and interests of each individual at any moment in time.

Without the recommendation part the tail is undiscoverable and therefore demand constrained. Through the EveryYou principle you don’t need to think about a head, body or tail as you can use technology and social change to target each recommendation and individual as a single, individuated marketing activity.

More on EveryYou soon.

PS - thanks to Madame BOOT for sending through the article

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The BOOT's thoughts on Twitter, Blogging and Social media

Darren Cronian of the fantastic Travel Rants Blog has been working on the Travel BlogCamp idea for a number of years now. Just recently he launched a site to house all the content and advice he is collecting. He sent me a few interview questions covering my thoughts on blogging and social media. For the full text of our exchange you will need to visit the Travel BlogCamp site (when the post is live). In the meantime I wanted to share with you the answer relating to my thoughts on Twitter. Darren asked me whether I thought Twitter was having a negative impact on blogs – especially in the area of comments. Here is what I said in return
“I have not yet figured out twitter (anyone who tells you have is lying). But a couple of trends are clear. First - Twitter is a much more powerful a means of generating buzz about a story that email forwarding. If a post I do is a hit on twitter (ie gets RTed a lot) then the traffic I receive will be much greater than any "pre-twitter" story. Second - Twitter lets me participate and share in information around an event unlike anything else. The use of hashtags for sharing information and commentary around a conference or event (whether you are there or not) has added a new dimension for interaction (and site traffic generation). Third - If you use Twitter a lot then you blog less. It gives me a means for making very short pieces of commentary and distribute information that I used to translate into a longer blog post”
More of the interview here
Want to follow me on twitter then I am here. If you just want BOOT posts only on Twitter then here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thank you Qantas

It has been a very difficult week for the BOOT and family. Within moments of turning up for TRAVELtech in Sydney I received a phone call telling me that a close and dear relative had collapsed while on holiday in Berlin, was in a coma and was given a less than 50% chance of living. As you can imagine this was frightening, overwhelming and distressing. Thankfully it is 9 days later and I am on the way home from Berlin to Sydney leaving behind someone who has defied the odds, is in recovery and under the care of fantastic doctors and other family members. With great relief I can now smile and go home.

This is a story for the Business Of Online Travel because there is a travel angle to this harrowing family experience. Within moments of hearing of my relative’s condition I knew I had to get to Berlin fast. I was able – within 60 hours of that first call – to walk into the hospital in Berlin and be a support for my relative and contact for the rest at home all because Qantas did everything they could to be accommodating and helpful. I have been a top tier flyer for Qantas for now 9 years but have also (through this blog) been one of their loudest critics. But when they have come through for me I have also given them praise. This is one of those times. Not only did they get me a points seat on the most convenient flight for me, they we proactive in exploring options and reaching out to me. In addition they were able to deal with my obvious distress and emotional state in a very professional and courteous manner. Thank you Qantas.

I also want to give my thanks to the Department of Foreign Affairs and the consulate in Berlin. They provided support and assistance before and after I arrived in Berlin well beyond any expectation that I had.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Preparing for WebInTravel: Reviewing the BOOT’s predictions for 2009

With TRAVELtech over it now time to prepare for WebInTravel in Singapore October 20-23. organiser Siew Hoon ask to to prepare an article prior to the conference on my thoughts on 2009 so far and beyond. Here is an edited version of submission

Back in January I made six predictions for 2009:
  1. There are more airlines to go bust
  2. Growth in domestic travel growth will surprise us all.
  3. Consolidation is not yet finished:
  4. 2009 will not be the year of mobile for the travel industry:
  5. The dinosaurs (traditional offline travel companies) will screw up and come out of the GFC even weaker: and
  6. The last minute model will come back.

With Q3 about to end, I will use this article as a chance to review each prediction and see how they are tracking:

1. Airlines – the list of grounded airline companies is growing each day. So far in 2009 we have lost Myair, Skyeurope, JetAmerica, East Star Airlines, Air Senegal and many others (thank you Airline Closure blog). Might still lose Frontier but on the bright side (I think) Alitalia was saved. The year is not yet over and there is vulture talk around Air Canada, US Airways, United and BMI;

2. Domestic travel – The Google results for “boom in domestic travel” produce a list of some 186,000 results touting the growth in domestic markets around the world including supplier sites, news site and DMO sites. The mashup word Staycation has entered our vernacular (despite its cringeworthiness);

3. Consolidation – We have not seen the consolidation I expected at the start of the year. There as some tuck-in deals but no multi-hundred million dollar deals to talk about. Instead we have seen no slow down in travel start ups raising funds. The WSJ carries a list of ten of the most notable (including Tripwolf, Dealbase, TVTrip and Yapta);

4. 2009 and mobile: This was my most controversial prediction and many did not agree with me. The argument in favour of my prediction is that bookings of travel via mobile phones apps (outside of Korea and Japan) are still very small and arguably inconsequential to the $150+ billion online travel industry. Arguing against my prediction is the near unstoppable growth of smart phone sales (Blackberry, iPhone, Palm etc) (see Norm Rose’s recent post on this) and the amazing display of augmented reality mobile applications recently captured on Mashable including Nearest Tube and Wikitude;

5. Death of the dinosaurs: In my part of the world Stella Travel is half the company it was a year ago and Flight Centre’s profits have fallen dramatically. But it is not their financial results or size that interest me; it is the continued denial by the leadership of those companies that they need to take the online world seriously. Peter Lacaze of Stella is a known online travel sceptic. He is recently quoted on TravelTrends as saying “not in my lifetime” in response to a question about the internet taking over half the market in Australia (despite the fact that this is already the case in the US). Flight Centre’s Graham Turner spoke at length after his FY09 annual results (see TravelToday pdf here) on how little he was worried about online travel companies and that they were not a threat to his business. Instead of taking the chances offered by a downturn to invest in new areas Lacaze and Turner continue to tell themselves that they don’t need to worry about online; and

6. Lastminute is back: This was the easiest prediction to make and have come true. There is data out there on reductions in lead times but the best form of proof is for you to do a search on any major online hotel player for check in tomorrow night and look at the deals that are available. The piece that surprised me was the parallel strength of the advance purchase side of the market.

There is one other thing I have my eye on for the rest of the year and beyond. It is the work that retail sites (like OTAs), search sites (like meta-search), content sites (like review sites) and discovery and inspiration sites are doing to personalise deals, search results and content streams down to the level of the individual. Much like how my twitter stream is different to every other stream because my follow list is a unique combination. Based on a concept known as individuation, I call this “EveryYou” . Stay turned for more on this topic during my WIT 2009 presentation and in later posts on the Business Of Online Travel.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

EveryYou: using Individuation in travel to target a recommendation of one

I have just finished presenting at TRAVELtech 2009 on trends in social media, mobile and my new concept of EveryYou.

There is a concept from psychology, economics and demographics called Individuation. I will dodge the Carl Jung and Neitzche inspired definitions and give you the short one – Individuation is the process in which individuals become differentiated from each other. I am seeing the theories of individuation coming into the mobile and social media space in travel and I predict that we will all have to come to term with this notion as we develop means for capturing consumer attention.

In a recent article in Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science (Sep2009, Vol. 10 Issue 5) called "Individuation: the N = 1 revolution" by P Hancock, G Hancock and J Warm say that...
"a continuing increase in computational power and associated memory storage capacities will lead to circumstances in which each and every single person can be coded as, and treated as, a separate individual and therefore not necessarily as a representative part of any group, sample or population"
This is the concept of Individuation that the travel industry can now embrace to target consumers on an individual level rather than through representative group samples.

In the past we have undertaken consumer planning through analysis of the average behaviour of a group of consumers. Individuation in this context says that once we have the right matching of technology and social trends we can move from tracking the average, generic profiles or demographic groups to at scale analysis of what Hanckock et al call “specific instances of momentary behaviour of one single individual”. This already exists in psychology, neuro science and molecular genetics where the combination of data, technology and social preparedness allows those sciences to be able to track and understand for the first time “how specific individuals perform their own personal and very complex acts of cognition” (Hancock et al again) rather than rely on averages.

In travel we can use these same techniques to classify and recommend at a level of EveryYou rather than Everyone. The reasons I am attracted to this concept have arisen through the technology capabilities that we now have and the community/social environment we are now in. Let me explain how this happened and why you should care.

In the early days of online travel we revelled in the data we were able to collect from customers but really we were only able to see that data in two dimensions – Breadth and Depth. By breadth I mean that we were able to use and collect data on more than one person interacting with the site and sometimes other sites. By depth I mean that we were able to track the different things that consumers did on the site. This allowed us to manage our sort orders. To bias the display based on consumer behaviour to help generate what we think are the best result for a basket of consumers.

In the last few years we have improved on this and added a third dimension to our data collection and analysis. We have added Context. The ability to see the inter relationship between the data we have on one person and the data we have on others. Through our actions, those of the consumer and other consumers we can link previously unrelated data based on the relationship between different people and past collective behaviour rather than one off activity. We have seen this in the complex CRM systems we have all bought and use every day.

The common theme with the first three dimensions is that we have collected the data from consumers “without their knowledge”. That is not as sinister as it sounds because we have regularly asked for consent. The fourth dimension is Community – which is data that is freely given to us by the consumer. Often unrelated to a particular purchase. And not necessarily for a tangible gain. Though there is very often an intangible gain. What are examples – writing reviews, forwarding links to friends, making recommendations to strangers, building online profiles, contributing to forums, writing a blog etc. The combination of these four dimensions of data can result in an individuated experience. An experience in online media, retail, or community that is unique to an individual but also part of a group experience.

We have seen this individuation in media already. Your twitter feed, facebook newstream and RSS reader list is different to any other anywhere. As the Digital Deliverance group said in their post "What are Individuated Media (What are the New Media)?"
"...the most widely used Individuated Media vehicle today is Facebook. Its more than 200 million consumers give it a mass reach that very few of the world’s Mass Media can equal, yet each of those consumers see different content than one another
Collecting four dimensions of data is not easy. It requires technology leaps in bandwidth and computer processing power - which we now have. The technology needed to allow us to capture and process the data is now matched with the desire of internet users to seek answers to open ended questions and contribute into a community process.

For us as marketers, retailers and media people it means we no longer have to be constrained to gear our marketing to EveryOne. Sure we developed demographic cuts and installed CRM systems to improved the targeting but we were still marketing to EveryOne in the hope of catching the individual. Now with the matching up of technology and social desire we can seek to market to the EveryYou.

The four dimensions of data and technology now allows us to do away with 30 years of econometric dependence on distribution, central tendency and variation – you know bell curves – and instead we can envisage the ability to research an individual at scale rather than rely on measuring their responses as part of a group or sample. Instead of seeing individual behaviour as a “variance” or “outlier”, we can aim to target Every combination of individuals. The EveryYou rather than EveryOne.

Here is my definition of EveryYou:
“The development of a specific and targeted recommendation of one based on the unique combination of desires, needs and interests of each individual at any moment in time”
The EveryYou concept I am working on says that technology and social change put us in a place where we can work on a recommendation of one rather than relying solely on generalisations.

EveryYou marketing and planning approaches are now available to us because of new developments in:
  • Social trends that favour online interaction;
  • technology innovations that provide organisations with the four dimensions of data; and
  • scalability.
In the travel industry, EveryYou means we can answer the question “where should I go next” with a specific answer. We can answer the question which hotel should I stay in "Rome" with an answer that references past purchase behaviour, past reviews written, friends on facebook, people trusted, media read etc. That takes into account that human beings are a mess of contradictions in the things that they like and want. For instance I love the blues, Byzantine mosaics, bad zombie movies and body surfing. No bell curve can market to that.

Companies can treat users as co-researchers in developing a bespoke solution for their individual requirements. The user's needs are met by conjoining the company's expertise in travel and the user's expertise of themselves, thereby creating a tailored travel solution for one. Consumers are and will be willing to provide information on the understanding that it will eventually be deployed to their benefit.

If we use the technological capabilities and social trends available to their fullest potential then we can conceive of a day where we do away with general principles and customisation for the group and instead market to the apparent contradictions in consumer behaviour and aim for the delivery of specific, unique and targeted answers. We could kill off the head, body and long tail of sales and replace it with a sale of one, a market of one for the EveryYou.

Want to hear more? Stay turned to the BOOT as this will be the major area of analysis and work for me on the blog. You can also see me speak on this at WebInTravel October 20-23 in Singapore.

BTW - sorry to get all proprietary but this concept of EveryYou has been put together by me and all in the IP including copyright in it is mine.

Update - thanks to Paul Baron for a photo of me speaking

pic of @timothychughes at #traveltech - talking bout triporat... on Twitpic

PS - anyone know how to turn it the right way round?

Monday, September 07, 2009

TRAVELTech 2009: Tomorrow in Sydney. BOOT to present on new concept for customer profiling and data collection

TRAVELtech 2009 is on tomorrow (Sept 8) in Sydney. I will be presenting under the topic "What’s Hot – Mobile and Social Media". I am going to present on a new concept I have been working on a how technology and social change have come together to give us a new way of profiling and marketing to consumers. If my own technology works I will post my new idea at the same time as the conference. If you are attending the conference please come by and say hi. My presentation is at 3.05pm. Will be posting throughout the day and twittering via #traveltech.