Interview: Divya Ramaswamy VP, Digital Marketing at Wego
Wego is a Singapore based travel service which lets consumers search over 700 travel sites to compare and book flights, hotels and activities. VP, Digital Marketing at Wego Divya Ramaswamy describes the challenges facing travel marketers in the region.
The interview is part of Kenshoo’s newly released paper called “Digital Travel Transformation Improving Your Marketing in Southeast Asia’s Travel and Leisure Landscape”.
- Why do you believe Southeast Asia in particular is a great place to be a travel marketer? Southeast Asia as a region is a fascinating and exciting place to be at any time, and the travel market continues to grow exponentially. Some of these countries are experiencing huge changes in the number of people who travel, which is also facilitated by proximity and intense competition between hotels and airlines, especially low-cost-carriers (LCCs). Asia has the largest LCC network in the world and both domestic and international travel activity continues to climb. As a marketer, it’s important to differentiate and customise the Wego user experience to suit each country, as each has unique languages, travel trends, and tastes. It’s a great challenge to not only cater to, but connect and engage with, such a diversity of travel audiences.
- What are the biggest challenges you encounter with your digital marketing strategies?The digital space is intensely competitive and continues to be the world over. Each channel requires a unique approach, in a landscape that seems to evolve every day. The most important factor is to remain creative and evolve with it. It’s important to deliver messages in a unique and uncluttered manner, which requires marketers to be extremely clever. There is no one formula that works for all, which adds to the challenge for marketers to remain fresh and flexible.
- What are some steps or best practices you can share on how marketers can make data a bigger part of what informs their marketing strategy? There are so many businesses supplying first and third party data, and it’s important that it’s used effectively. It’s necessary to understand how that data is beneficial to you, and in what situations it can be applied. At Wego, data helps us to make strategic and informed decisions in all our marketing approaches. There are a variety of market segments in the travel business, and we need to know the path in which different travellers take online, and understand why. For instance, business and leisure travel intentions are completely different, along with age groups, target country, and origin. Data provides us with an ability to better understand each of our markets so we can deliver relevant marketing messages to them.
- What’s next for the travel industry? How will this affect your digital marketing strategies?Online travel is the one space that will continue to grow and expand in scope. Users’ expectations are also changing and evolving. The focus is on unique experiences, with the social and sharing aspects assuming unprecedented importance, and solo travel is becoming popular again. The travel industry is required to provide more than just booking facilities or act as information providers. Brands need to differentiate themselves, either with value added services, offering the best prices, providing tailored itineraries to suit different preferences, or combining different modes of transport to offer the most cost effective trip. It’s about being creative and providing great service. Digital marketing however is likely to follow a more personalised route. We now have more understanding of our users through data than ever before, so it follows that we continue to deliver more relevant and useful communications to our users, and efficiently meet their needs.
For the full interview download the report today
Lauren Evans is the Regional Marketing Partner, APJ, Kenshoo which is a corporate member of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit. Members contribute their expertise and insights to Which-50 for the benefit of our senior executive audience. Membership fees apply.