Business travelers have more autonomy than ever. So, it’s more important than ever to engage and influence them, nudging them toward smart buying decisions on the road.
Sounds simple, right? But it isn’t—as travel managers have come to understand. Their corporate travel teams know travel. Their marketing agencies know communications and engagement. How do they connect the two? And, if they figure that out, how do they measure success?
Advito, the consulting arm of BCD Travel, understands both travel and engagement and has built an entire practice around bringing the two together. Its traveler engagement group is peopled with communications experts who understand business travel. They work with clients—among them global pharmaceutical, consumer goods and chemical giants—to build traveler engagement strategies around specific company goals.
“Traveler engagement has been the aspiration of many companies moving away from the heavily mandated travel policies of the past,” said Lesley O’Bryan, senior director and leader of Advito’s traveler engagement practice. “We guide them through the transition from mandates to influence by drawing on our dual expertise in travel and engagement.
“We understand the corporate goals behind the desire to engage travelers—greater online adoption, more preferred supplier bookings and more savings. And we shape programs that target companies’ specific goals,” she said.
Here’s how Advito’s traveler engagement process works. It starts with a two-day workshop to assess the client’s program, define goals and set an engagement strategy that aligns with those goals.
Next, Advito guides the client through an internal assessment of available staff and existing technology tools. If the client has the right resources, Advito designs a campaign road map and coaches them through the campaign. If internal resources aren’t available, Advito’s own marketing and engagement experts step in and run the campaign on the client’s behalf—from idea to analysis.
“During analysis, we gauge success of the campaign—an exercise that always surprises clients because they view ‘marketing’ as tough to measure,” O’Bryan said. “But a traveler engagement campaign is completely measurable; you just have to know the metrics.”
Measuring engagement, and the success of an engagement campaign goes beyond a basic return-on-investment calculation, she explained. “It’s not just about ROI. In fact, there are three ‘I’s to consider: investment, intelligence and influence. Investment is money spent on an engagement campaign. Intelligence is actionable traveler data collected from that campaign. And influence is the desired change in behavior.”
But measurement isn’t something a company does only once during a traveler engagement campaign, O’Bryan said. “There’s a lot of value in using these metrics to gauge whether a campaign is working early, midway through and at the end,” she said. “That way, you can adjust and ensure you’re maximizing your opportunities for engagement.”
Ask your account manager how Advito can help you engage travelers to influence their behavior and generate more savings. And check out BCD Travel’s white paper, Traveler Management: How to Influence Your Employees to Plan, Book and Travel Smarter.