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The surprising power of email, as told by the numbers [Infographic]

Those who believe email marketing is dying in the age of social media are probably just doing it wrong. In fact, the numbers prove that email marketing can be much more effective than social, despite the latter’s growing popularity.

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E-Commerce 3.0

​Contextual selling will dominate​. Third generation online retail – what is it, and why is it the future that will reduce waste and turn customer needs into profits. ​The second generation of e-commerce evolved with the merging of offline and online retail. This is led by titans like Etsy, eBay, Amazon, and many others. These sites rely heavily on recommendation engines that claim to learn your tastes and are arguably one of the trendiest uses of data science​.​

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Customer Expectations are Increasing

​Consumers are more connected, vocal and demanding than ever before. What they want, above all, is a personalized experience; they want retailers to know them, without being intrusive. This is a time of instant gratification, and ongoing technological innovation is increasing customer expectations and as a result, they demand exemplary service and more relevant experiences across all channels.

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What are travelers spending money on?​​

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) recently release​d data on the spending habits of tourists in 2014, which put $1.2 trillion back into the global economy — an increase of $48 billion from the previous year. The same report revealed that receipts from international visitors spending on accommodation, food and drink, entertainment, shopping and other services and goods reached an estimated US$ 1,245 billion (euro 937 billion) in 2014, an increase of 3.7%.

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$6 Billion Being Poured Down the Digital Marketing Drain

​In a recent article I read in VentureBeat, Jim Spanfeller, the ex-CEO of Forbes.com and former publisher of Yahoo Internet Life discusses how advertisers are paying $10 per thousand impressions while publishers may only get a dollar. On ad exchanges, there is no control over who is on the exchanges. Sellers do not know who is buying the ads space and purchasers are unaware of the actual impressions that they are purchasing. There is a level of anonymity that violates the transparency that exchanges promise.​

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Long tail ancillaries: a $280B opportunity or an elusive dream?

​Aviation Festival in London is an industry event where senior executives from airlines and airports across the world gather annually to network and share ideas on latest trends and to design the future of global airlines. This year’s focus was on growing ancillary revenue. 

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Travelers have a spending mindset

Airports may put potential shoppers right in the midst of stores and restaurants, but there are other considerations when it comes to capturing the dollars of today’s travelers to win them over. Unlike malls, airports already have a built-in user base, and a captive audience. Once you've gone through security, you're stuck with whatever services, amenities, and retail options that the airport provides. 

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Are Airports the Shopping Malls of the Future?

In the latter half of the 20th century, the world experienced a love affair with enclosed shopping malls and shopping centers, which popped up all over the United States and Europe. The shopping mall was the mecca of baby boomer consumerism; a symbol as much as a place to shop, as can be seen in any number of teen movies from decades past.  

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Less jam, more conversion

​As cited in a BDC Con​sumer Trends study, reports have shown that by reducing complexity and choices for consumers, companies can improve their sales up to 40% and reduce cost as much as 35%. Procter & Gamble saw sales increase by 10% when it simply reduced its Head & Shoulders shampoo variations.​

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The Marketing Waste Epidemic.
Part 2

​Customers today prefer (actually expect) that brands deliver individualized experiences that match their needs in the present moment. The solution to eliminating marketing waste is to utilize the most appropriate communications to deliver a personalized customer experience, based on time, place, and the most recent understanding of unique customer intent.

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The Marketing Waste Epidemic.
Part 1

​There is a new epidemic and no business, industry or consumer is immune. It is called ‘marketing waste’ and it is costing companies in more than just profits. Marketing waste can be defined as irrelevant marketing, messaging and offers that are impersonal, lack context - and therefore are ineffective, intrusive, deleted and ignored.

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Rescue Your Brand from Captivity

​Escape the prison that your brand storytelling is trapped in and reach customers direct. Our world is an amalgamation of stories, worldviews and beliefs, and our current industrial model was created to manufacture wants and needs. Since the first days of commerce, brands have been investing oceans of energy and resources to build substance and meaning to their offering using storytelling and to promote those benefits.​

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What is the Epteca Marketplace Ecosystem? Part 3

​Part 3: Going from Selling to Fulfilling Needs. We know from other areas of retail that good recommendations in the right place and time are important. If a waiter knows how to recommend a good wine with your meal, wine sales and revenues increase. 

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What is the Epteca Marketplace Ecosystem? Part 2

​​Part 2: Customer experience and context-optimization in a multi-channel world. The modern consumer’s engagement with digital is absolutely transformative from a retail perspective with a perpetual ‘connection’ means the consumer is, in some sense, always ‘on’ and always ‘shopping’.

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What is the Epteca Marketplace Ecosystem? Part 1

​​Part 1: Bringing together an interconnected community made up of the three main players. The travel ecosystem seems destined for a fundamental shift, given the connectivity blooming among buyers, suppliers, travelers and travel companies working together to differentiate their services for an enhanced customer experience.

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Ridding the World of Irrelevant Content

Everywhere you turn, you’re being sold something and for many, these marketing messages seemingly fall on deaf ears. Customers are bombarded daily with (mostly) irrelevant and un-timely content.
Content is everywhere but contex​​t is nowhere to be found.

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Big data - transforming the travel industry for the benefit of all

​​Big data is arguably the biggest opportunity in a generation for travel businesses to embrace the changing structure of data and maximize its use. It offers the potential for a vast shift for all travel companies, empowering them to enhance both the business and experience of travel. As with any generational shift in technology, however, the opportunities arrive hand-in-hand with the potential for significant disruption, which naturally bring many challenges.

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Successful marketers will ditch "last click" and target audiences

​​Travel marketers need to stop thinking about channels in isolation and should target audiences, regardless of which channel they are using.  Although 93% to 94% of advertisers are still using a last click wins attribution model, which works for search but not for social, new technologies were opening up alternative strategies.

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Don’t sell me a suitcase after a trip... Why context really matters!

​​Advertisers crafting contextual advertising campaigns based on literal keyword search-based actions or past guest actions are losing the war in what I’m calling “moments that matter”. The movement toward real contextual, more humanized advertising is still much in its infancy and most advertisers just haven’t grasped or mastered its true potential.

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What Is The Average Conversion Rate For PPC?

​​The average conversion rate of PPC, is an exponential function of the context in which the PPC is achieved. Get the context right, and PPC (well even the banner or paper adds) become a sustainable way to invest to drive sales.

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10 New Examples of Marketing So Useful, You’d Pay For It

​​Smart companies and marketers are all about helping their audience — not hyping their products. It is marketing with so much intrinsic and inherent value that people actually want to be exposed to it.

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Aisle seat, special meals, lounge access - and tickets to a musical?

​​Ancillary Revenues are THE topic in the industry. And all are struggling to find and implement solutions: The battle highlights how crucial fees from add-ons are to a struggling industry that is being squeezed by high fuel costs and a global economic slowdown.

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The Trouble With Ancillaries

​​Ancillary charges have been around for about ten years. It was mainly low cost carriers which made use of this wheeze as a way of increasing revenue without putting up its fares. This enabled it to claim that the fare from London to some secondary airport in the middle of nowhere was £1 while when the extras were added in, the final cost was considerably more.

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Personality Crisis: Am I an Airline or a Travel Retailer?

​​In the white label camp are those airlines that are unwilling to take what they see as a business risk of understanding and managing any products other than flights. They don’t know hotels or car rental, and they let someone else sell them. They are essentially selling advertising space or renting out part of their shop front or brand. The white label travel providers step in, happy to take the bulk of the sales margin, own the customer engagement, and have the revenue up front.

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Third-party ancillary revenue to grow 10 times faster than general sales!

​​Third-party services are to deliver an improved passenger experience and greater revenues for airlines, hotels, cruise and rail providers. Revenues from third-party services are set to grow 10 times faster than general travel industry sales, accounting for 2.5% of total revenue for travel providers by 2015.

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Passengers prefer to buy ancillaries after the initial booking

​​Isango measured effectiveness by the likelihood of passengers making a purchase from a given touch point. The baseline for the study was an offer on a tab placed on the travel company’s website which clients had to navigate to. When the offer was inserted in the final purchasing page Isango found the process to be 50% more effective than the tab alone.

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Ancillary Revenue Booming

​Travel agents could boost airline ancillary revenue threefold via technology being integrated by the global distribution systems and other airline system suppliers. The IdeaWorks ‘ABCs of EMDs’ report estimates airline ancillary revenue could grow to $100 billion annually through travel agent involvement.

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Contextual Selling of Ancillaries in Travel

​​The travel industry is blessed with a growing customer base (even without actually having to do anything to grow that base), and offering a positive emotional experience to customers. But all the industry talks about, and focuses 99% of the energy and spending on is the content (more hotels, more flights, more of everything) and the technology to manage, organize, market and sell all that content.

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