The cruise industry has become a top vacation attraction for all ages. Consumers are flocking to bigger, more technically advanced ships to escape and relax on the water. Cruise companies are neck-to-neck with their competitors vying for consumer business. The following case study details how our team collaborated and guided an emerging/leading cruise organization to more effectively promote their value and increase overall consumer experience.
When consumers are on vacation, any glitch or issue with their plans can, unfortunately, result in negative perceptions and negative reviews. The cruise industry knows this and has been working to continually improve the customer experience from booking to onboard and throughout their travels. Although the cruise industry is very cutting-edge for its vertical, we found numerous gaps in the customer journey that could potentially impact the experience. We also found booking experience issues (across the industry) that decreased the chances of consumers finalizing their purchase. Ultimately, these gaps need to be continually analyzed to ensure the experience is optimized, resulting in increased business.
Our team collaborated extensively with our client to analyze and document current vs ideal user experience workflows. What we found, although basic on the surface, was tied to personalization to specific age groups and demographics. Persona development is a huge component to effective marketing and experience design. A booking journey for a young adult is drastically different than a booking journey for a retired couple. The way information is presented, the approach to retargeting, the incentives and offers, are all different. By understanding the needs of each persona, we were able to help our client build unique, more targeted journeys to increase bookings. We leveraged a dynamic content management system called Magnolia (Java/open-source technology) to power personalization to targeted audiences. We leveraged integration with other best-of-breed products to build a “resume” of interests for each consumer that visited our client's site. Now, the more information we collect, the more targeted experience we can provide them.
Personalization and consumer data have drastically changed the outlook and future changes for IT and marketing. Now that data is available, our client is able to make smarter decisions on how to attract and interact with consumers. This has decreased overall marketing efforts and expenses as our client is able to see what is most effective.