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Winning with digital engagement in travel retail

Caroline MacIntosh, digital marketing manager for Pernod Ricard Travel Retail Europe, discusses how brands can use the digital sphere to win in travel retail

Caroline MacIntosh Pernod Ricard

What are the key launches being supported by digital in travel retail during the festive season?

For the 2015/2016 holiday season we have extended our digital engagement along the travel trail into hotels, highlighting Chivas Regal’s limited edition Globetrotter tin as the perfect gift option. With Pernod Ricard's vast network of European hotel partners, travel retail digital has been able to play a pivotal role in driving brand recall from hotel to brand choice in our retailers' stores.

This project sees PRTRE and Chivas Regal partner with four and five star airport hotels in Heathrow, Schiphol and Frankfurt where we have sponsored the guest Wi-Fi. For example, the hotel guests at the Sheraton in Schiphol will be given the Chivas Regal brand experience as soon as they enter their room to provide brand education and inspiration for gifting in the form of the Chivas Regal Globetrotter gift tin. When consumers log into the hotel wifi on mobile or desktop they are taken to a multi-media hosted webpage that incorporates a click through to a branded video or share their email address for further information from the brand. 

Given over five million duty free whisky Google searches are made during the festive period and  81% of European travel consumers plan their purchase pre airport arrival, it is the perfect time to showcase our global travel retail limited editions by engaging with consumers in an interactive way.

What would you say are the key factors for engaging consumers and standing out from competitors, particularly during the busy holiday period?

The strength of Pernod Ricard's Global Travel Trail means that we are engaging the travel consumer with the most relevant content (whether that is an offer, gift, or experience) for them at the right moment in their journey from the moment they seek pre-booking inspiration right through to their journey home. With a number of successful digital activations in store e.g. Jameson St Patrick’s Day #dublinwave, Ballantine’s Blending Experience and Beefeater Gin London Sounds, the use of digital communications such as live tweeting and live video streaming have enabled us to cut through the competition in store to constantly learn and continue to improve the consumer's experience. 

In 2016, we will be working closely with our retailers, using both new and existing technologies, to drive footfall into the physical store or traffic to online for pre-order. Our research has shown that 65% of European travel consumers recall one of our brands at the time of booking their trip, so our goal is to convert this recall into purchase in the Travel Retail space.  

What are the digital engagement trends that you are noticing at present? How do you plan to take advantage of them?

Connectivity and the Internet of Things are climbing higher and higher up the agenda of a number of European airports. In 2016, we will build on the success we achieved with the smart beacons that we installed in Charles de Gaulle for #Martell300 and the in mobile vouchers for Ballantine's Sky Reward in Asian airports. Our focus will be on understanding  more about how we can deliver further valuable services and memorable experiences to the ‘digitally connected traveller’ in partnership with our retailers. 

In your opinion, what key factors are imperative to success for a brand using digital in the travel retail space? 

Understanding your consumer is vital for digital success in travel retail. For example, millennial travellers who have a very high potential to buy in the channel (42% of them visiting the alcohol section and 57% converting to sale, a European average of 53%) are looking for genuine moments of interaction. If we win with millennials now, like we have done with the award-winning Beefeater Gin Spirit of London digital campaign, we can learn how to keep our brands at the forefront of their minds as they get older and start to seek new brands and products in line with their developing tastes.

21 December 2015