Monday, July 21, 2008

No blank spaces

It appears that the airlines are poised to sell advertising space on self-printed boarding passes. Consider the power of knowing exactly who is traveling to Dallas, and when. Based on some fairly easy to see patterns (time of day, number of people traveling together), it's easy to figure out whether that individual is making the trip for business or pleasure. These make for very targetable* groups, with individualized advertisements printed for virtually no incremental cost. Analyzing the data, implementing the targeting, updating the software, and, of course, selling the ad space aren't free. But, once you've done that for one client, it's easy to do it for many.

Who will be the first jump in? Restaurants? Entertainment?
What kind of business will this spawn? Data mining and analysis? Graphics with customizable elements?
Who is going to freak out with so-called privacy concerns? and how will the airlines respond?

No matter what, this is definitely something to keep an eye on, because it will change the nature of travel-oriented marketing. And it will have an impact on the airline industry's top-line performance.

I learned of this on the CRM Daily website, in an article published on July 21, 2008: Airlines to begin selling ads on boarding passes.

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