Mark Foster / Copywriter

Making the most of our digital world

Venue-based organisations like yours have many opportunities for additional revenue streams. One of the most effective ways to take advantage of them is by using primary demand channels, in other words ‘piggy backing’ existing methods of digital distribution.

For instance, an airport could achieve this by integrating and offering direct airport products such as executive lounge facilities into the booking flow of an airline’s website. Or a parking operator can offer parking to all those that buy tickets from a cinema chain’s website.

Now is certainly the time to increase your presence online. There’s been a vast increase in on-line shopping, with 12% of retail sales in the UK now being made over the internet. This has been fuelled by pure convenience as well as the growth in ownership of tablets and smartphones, which allows customers to browse for offers in a wireless environment.

Creating a shop window
Using primary demand channels puts you in the ideal position to create a shop window for a wide range of products and services, such as retail offers, parking and travel. The beauty of this is that you have a captive audience ready to embrace v-commerce (venue-commerce). You can cross sell and up sell to customers who are already there for the site’s primary purpose, which might be booking a flight or a film.

This is becoming a more and more effective way to do business as consumers are becoming increasingly digital savvy. However it shouldn’t be used in isolation, but as part of a wider digital strategy.

Building customer trust
A natural follow on from re-acquainting yourself with customers, is to build a relationship with them, get them to trust you and enhance their loyalty to your brand. This is where CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is so vital.

When you back up your shop window with a CRM system the sales process becomes self-perpetuating. You can use the data you gather from customer sales to build relationships, which allows you to communicate better with your customers and offer them more relevant products. The result? Additional sales, which provide more data, which mean more sales … and the cycle goes on.

Like the best marketing approaches this relies on offering customers something that they value. They’ll get as much out of the relationship as you will, because you’ll be providing simple access to products and services that they genuinely need.