Deals, discounts, sale, offers – all fairly common terms for us as buyers, be it a walk into the nearest convenience store or the new car you might be booking after researching for over 3 months. In fact higher the price you are willing to pay better the deal you expect for your money. Deals are a great way to attract buyer attention to a product, thereby enticing them to use it and in the future maybe pay for it directly. Deals are not uncommon in the online world; in fact you can find similar or even better deals in e-stores of various brands.

We have discussed previously how brands need to be proactive in dealing with their customer on social media and the importance of one-on-one engagement. For you as a brand it is most important to establish trust when conversing with a customer by providing them the right information at the right time, one that can help them make a decision. How do you know if a customer is happy with the information you provide? Simple. They ask more questions :)

@saishah @myth_ila Glad we were the first ones that came to your mind ;-) Will make sure to run an offer soon with free flight tickets! ✈ ✈

— (@makemytrip) October 2, 2013

One-on-one engagement of this sort affords you some interesting possibilities. For one it affords you the chance to become intrinsic to the customer’s decision making process, indirectly affecting your brand recall and recommendation value.

Of all the types of businesses that stand to benefit from this, the most interesting opportunities are for travel brands. Consider that travelers are looking for answers for many different things at different points in time before, during and after their travel. Some of these might be:

  1. Lowest possible fares
  2. Local transport solutions in a city
  3. Last minute hotel bookings
  4. Must see sights and places
  5. Good restaurants

to name a few. Now, suppose you are a flight booking service offering the best deals on return flights and are dealing with one such customer, and it is likely that flight tickets make up the bulk of her trip expense. However, your engagement duration with the customer is the shortest part of the entire trip.

Engagement opportunities
Missed engagement opportunities?

By the way, all these are separate transactions. It is a good thing if the customer interacts with you only for a few minutes to book her flight tickets, that’s efficiency! But think of how much impact it could have on your brand recall and recommendation if you were to utilize more opportunities to engage with a customer, without necessarily selling your own brand all the time?

You could utilize this as an opportunity to up sell partners, and let your customers know of partner services they can avail of for any of their requirements like hotels, car pickups and more. In fact a study by Cognizant highlights how the marketing and sales of ancillary products is impact Airlines’ ticket sales in a credible way. To highlight just one statistic:

More than 20% of travelers want airlines to assist them throughout the travel ribbon which includes flight checklist, vacation recommendations, in-destination activity offers and transportation.

This number will only grow as the traveling population continues to evolve in their online habits and starts relying on the convenience of such services.

Are you as a brand giving your partner brands enough of a shout out on social media? If you recognize that value co-creation is the way to grow then maybe it is time you start.

Photo Credit: Di’s Free Range Fotos via Compfight cc