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  1. 1. Welcome Holidays Jon Cockerill
  2. 2. The Castlemaine Questions <ul><li>Who the XXXX are Welcome Holidays? </li></ul><ul><li>What XXXX relevance do cottage holidays have to my business? </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Case Study <ul><li>The Welcome story, and why we do things differently </li></ul><ul><li>The challenge that the web posed to us </li></ul><ul><li>The mistakes we made </li></ul><ul><li>The principles we believe in </li></ul><ul><li>Why you should obsess about virgins! </li></ul>
  4. 4. Our Burning Issues <ul><li>Where has all the response to on-the-page advertising gone? </li></ul><ul><li>In May 2001, 31% of those who responded to our advertising called direct, while 69% went to our web site </li></ul><ul><li>How do we persuade more people visiting the web site to hand over their money? </li></ul><ul><li>By studying the effectiveness of 100’s of changes </li></ul>
  5. 5. Welcome Holidays <ul><li>A direct marketing company, which specialises in travel </li></ul><ul><li>A direct marketing laboratory designed to test and retest the fundamentals of the buying process for holidays </li></ul><ul><li>From 8 to 260 staff in 7 years </li></ul><ul><li>All organic growth, selling 240,000 holidays, turnover £25m,always profitable </li></ul>
  6. 7. A Favourable Sector? <ul><li>“ Letting of UK holiday properties was adversely affected by poor weather” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Continuing poor weather and strong pound adversely affected domestic tourism including our UK Holiday Cottages Business” </li></ul><ul><li>Thomson Travel Group Annual Reports 1998 & 1999 </li></ul>
  7. 8. Software Development <ul><li>Administering bookings is important . . . </li></ul><ul><li>Recording all the demand data for those who “tried to buy but failed” is vital </li></ul><ul><li>We obsess about the people who look but don’t buy </li></ul><ul><li>Developed our own res sytem - MARS </li></ul>
  8. 9. Prospect Relationship Management - PRM <ul><li>What were they looking for? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where? Party size? Date? Price point? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><li>We can track exactly where the buying process broke down </li></ul><ul><li>We can recruit bed stock and price it to match unfulfilled demand </li></ul><ul><li>We know that in 2001 over 64,000 households have already “tried to buy from us but failed” </li></ul>
  9. 11. Then came the Web . . . <ul><li>It’s going to change commercial life . . . </li></ul><ul><li>But we’re doing alright already . . . </li></ul><ul><li>And we are intermediaries . . . </li></ul><ul><li>So we must be doomed - right? </li></ul>
  10. 12. Our conclusion . . . <ul><li>In the age of disintermediation, the intermediary who adds most value </li></ul><ul><li>- at no extra cost to the consumer - </li></ul><ul><li>gets to rule the market </li></ul>
  11. 13. The Challenge <ul><li>To add value at no cost to the consumer and lowest possible cost to us </li></ul><ul><li>To open new markets by making the buying process easier </li></ul><ul><li>To achieve 100% trackability of all responses from advertising and direct mailing </li></ul><ul><li>To replace the prospect data lost by moving to a self-service on-line model </li></ul>
  12. 14. Web Sites - Sales Prevention Tools! <ul><li>On design, everyone has an opinion </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone is always wrong! </li></ul><ul><li>Obsess about virgins </li></ul><ul><li>Remember More information = more reasons not to buy </li></ul><ul><li>Only the customer’s behaviour while inside your website counts </li></ul>
  13. 15. Our Scar Tissue <ul><li>Traffic on your site is like people window shopping </li></ul><ul><li>Give them benefits to keep them there - anticipate every question. Offer data capture as a benefit, not a penalty </li></ul><ul><li>Only offering a “book-on-line” option (without a “call our call centre” option) reduces holidays sold by over 50%. Keep offering the phone number! </li></ul><ul><li>1 in 3 changes to our web-site actually reduced the number of holidays being sold </li></ul>
  14. 16. Our Strategy <ul><li>Keep changing the web site to get more and more people using it to call </li></ul><ul><li>Constantly monitor new user reactions </li></ul><ul><li>Track individual user behaviour on- and off- line </li></ul><ul><li>Collect information on what they are looking for – especially those who don’t buy </li></ul><ul><li>Use the information to refine product and pricing – which gets ever more people to buy (currently 52% of all households who call us buy a holiday) </li></ul>
  15. 17. The Future <ul><li>Over 50,000 parties will buy through our web platform this year (70% of total holidays sold) </li></ul><ul><li>Every 1% improvement in our call centre call handling brings 1,500 extra holiday sales. (Improvement year 2000 versus 2001 = +6% or 9,000 extra sales for same marketing expenditure) </li></ul><ul><li>Direct sell holiday companies that do not have 100% trackability for both on-line and off-line will become paralysed because they can only track the 31% of households (and declining) who respond by phoning for a brochure </li></ul>
  16. 18. Think Virgins and Nets Success is Inevitable