Revolutionizing ancillary revenue
As we look in the rear-view mirror and leave behind an industry ravaged by the pandemic, we move forward to new beginnings with a focus on finding innovative ways of doing things that will offer a silver lining to all that has transpired.
With aviation recovery focusing on sustainability as well as profitability to pay the piper for debts incurred during the pandemic, some airlines may continue to sacrifice their entertainment budgets. Innovation, creativity, and imagination are key factors in rebuilding and forging new paths in the inflight entertainment space, which is no longer just about the customer experience. This is where West Entertainment can step in offering creative solutions born from true out-of-the-box thinking, providing airlines the ability to generate ancillary revenues in innovative ways to offset the costs of acquiring the latest entertainment content. Through a new partnership West Entertainment and Exploro (formerly Global Destination Explorer) deliver value and benefits to airlines through a paradigm shift in advertising and entertainment.
A value network through inflight entertainment
Moving away from typical customer nickel and dime sales and commission-based ancillary revenue models with complex revenue share structures, West Entertainment has partnered with Exploro to offer a digital platform that empowers airlines to unlock their brand value through partnerships that offer boutique hotel, restaurant, and destination experiences for passengers. No longer will airlines be limited to a handful of major advertising partnerships that only generate commissions once a service is booked. Rather, a global network of local providers subscribes to the Exploro platform enabling them to showcase their offers, which can be accessed as a standalone microsite, app or an integrated portal in the aircraft entertainment system.
Removing the complexities of traditional performance reporting and tracking of sales commissions, the Exploro subscription-based model simplifies the relationship between the airline and providers with an upfront fee at a per-aircraft. It makes an airline’s iconic brand accessible to partners who otherwise would not have had access. This is not just any kind of partnership, but one of carefully curated providers with user-generated content that is created to engage and educate passengers on the products and services across the airline’s network. The key differentiating factor from traditional advertising is the use of authentic storytelling through the eyes of travel and lifestyle influencers.
Making purchase decisions under the influence
With the rise of influencer marketing, particularly in the travel industry, and the impact influencers can have on building brand awareness and trust, there are tangible benefits of carefully vetted influencers who have creative storytelling abilities and a mastery of content creation. True user-generated content has a genuine feel that cannot be replicated by big-dollar brand productions. The authenticity of the influencer shines through, giving the passenger a complete, unadulterated view into the experience. In a study by Sideqik published by Forbes, 72% of participants said that in 2021 their trust in influencers increased, with 66% saying their purchase decisions are often driven by influencers.
Using advertainment and gamification to increase engagement
Curating a value network of hotel, restaurant and destination providers that is showcased by local influencers brings an advertainment strategy to life that marries well with the overall entertainment experience.
Offering new ways to distribute relevant user-generated content Exploro promotes provider products and services to passengers without seemingly interrupting the entertainment experience. Engaging the customer with trending content that authentically tells the story of a brand while creating a reality television feel makes the experience stimulating and on par with the latest blockbuster movie on the inflight entertainment system.
Enabling the Exploro gamification option augments the customers experience through geo-based elements by opening doors to educate and advertain the airline partner’s route network. At the Digital Marketing World Forum conference in 2019, research by Reflect Digital found that 60% of consumers said they would be more likely to buy from a brand if they enjoyed playing a game with it. Gamification with unique brand tie-ins help to inspire future travel possibilities while offering prizes and rewards such as travel discounts or even valuable loyalty miles.
The sky is not the limit
Expanding the Exploro platform beyond the cabin to other areas of the airline’s digital ecosystem on ground provides the ability to tap into the airlines customer loyalty programs and airline operational systems. This offers the opportunity to personalize the customer experience through tailored products and offers that will drive greater engagement. The increased exposure and wider scope of the value network throughout the airlines air and ground digital ecosystem allows airlines to increase revenue through higher subscriptions as well as achieving greater brand consistency across the customer touchpoints.
Through Exploro, West Entertainment leverages the power of influencer marketing, gamification, and experienced entertainment curation to continue bringing their airline partners value and options for offering their passengers the ultimate entertainment experience.
Get in touch with West and find out more about how we are revolutionizing ancillary revenue!