How OTT became the “fifth member” of the Aegean Airlines team
How OTT became the “fifth member” of the Aegean Airlines team
Aegean Airlines is one of OTT’s longest standing travel partners. The airline has made full use of the platform’s features to ensure its Aegean Experts course is consistently ranked within the travel agents’ top ten favourite courses.
Aegean and OTT celebrated their long standing partnership in September 2018, with a joint 10thbirthday party in London. Aegean commemorated 10 years of operating flights from the UK to Greece, while OTT celebrated a decade as the world’s leading online training platform for the travel trade.
Aegean started working with OTT in 2011, using the course as part of a marketing strategy encompassing both online and face-to-face interactions. Following an initial roll out in the UK, a second course was devised for the French market in 2012, followed by a Belgian edition.
With a UK sales team consisting of just four people and flights operating out of five UK airports, OTT is described by Aegean Airlines’ UK Business Development Manager Victoria Bray as being like a “virtual fifth member of the team.” Aegean’s course is constantly evolving with information added regularly on new routes, flights and seasonal offers.
She explains how Aegean’s online course fits into the airline’s marketing activities: “Our core objective is to educate the travel trade about all things Aegean using the OTT platform to raise brand and product awareness.”
“We have been working with OTT for nearly eight years now, therefore it is important to come up with new and exciting ways to engage both our existing audience and those new to the OTT platform, while ensuring we are seeing a measurable return on investment by keeping those course pass numbers rolling in!”
Read on to find out how OTT helps Aegean Airlines to:
- Reach more agents by acting as a “virtual fifth member” of the UK sales team
- Keep course content fresh using insights from OTT’s data and report functionalities
- Boost online and offline engagement with agents
- Provide a GDPR compliant platform which gives greater insight into behavioural data and more efficient email communications
OTT helps Aegean Airlines reach more agents by acting as a “virtual fifth member” of the UK sales team
Aegean’s UK sales team consists of just four people but the airline has flights operating from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Edinburgh and Dublin airports.
“You can imagine how stretched we can be when trying to reach the travel trade across Britain and the Republic of Ireland,” says Victoria. “The biggest success for us is using the OTT platform like a virtual fifth member of our team to support us in reaching those areas we may not be able to get to as often as we would like to in person.”
Aegean Airlines keeps its course content fresh using insight from OTT’s course data and report functionalities
OTT courses provide measurable data on all course elements enabling partners to make insight-based changes and adjustments to their course content. It’s an approach which pays dividends for Aegean – their course is consistently ranked by travel agents as being within the top 10 OTT courses to be taken or passed.
Victoria explains: “Being able to pull reports whenever suits and segmenting data how I wish provides me with invaluable information about who is taking our course, where they are geographically situated, what sector of the travel industry they are from and how many passes we achieved over a certain time period. We can also see which activities have worked and what can we learn from what has not worked. Being in possession of this data also helps us to plan for the future.”
Victoria says gaining insight into course users is an important factor when investing budget into OTT. As well as providing a valuable source of information, knowing agents likes and dislikes means that Aegean can create an enjoyable - and memorable - learning experience for travel professionals: “It goes to show if you have fun, interesting course content and maximise the opportunities that having a course on the OTT platform offers you, there are many successes to be had.”
Aegean Airlines uses OTT as part of an integrated online and offline engagement strategy
Aegean uses OTT within a marketing strategy which encompasses both online and face-to-face interactions. In 2017, the airline launched its new Edinburgh to Athens route and held a party for the Scottish travel trade to celebrate.
Aegean used both the online and face-to-face elements of the party to promote their course. As Victoria explains: “On the invitation we shared the link www.aegeanexperts.com (the dedicated Aegean OTT URL) and encouraged attendees to complete and pass the course. Those who completed the course and brought their pass certificate were automatically entered into a prize draw to win flights that evening.”
She adds: “We add OTT Course completion targets as part of our annual Service Management Agreements with travel trade partners, this guarantees support and participation throughout the year. To support these targets, I often arrange a dedicated month long incentive exclusively for a travel trade partner. An example of this is ‘For every 10 course passes during the month of June, we will provide the reward of an Aegean goody bag/shopping vouchers.’ The prizes don’t have to be huge, but adding competitive and fun elements to learning do boost the course pass numbers….and who doesn’t love a prize!”
Aegean ensures its dedicated URL www.aegeanexperts.com is included on all travel trade marketing collateral whichis used during Sales Blitzes and events. The URL also features within all of the Aegean sales staff’s email signatures.
OTT helps Aegean Airlines look to the future, providing a GDPR compliant platform which offers greater insight through behavioural data, plus more efficient email communications
OTT has recently enhanced the capabilities of its course platform in conjunction with GDPR compliant marketing automation specialists Force24. The new approach provides better signposting at each point of the agents’ learning journey - emails are created and automatically sent on welcome, course abandonment and course completion.
Enhanced technology will mean partners can track user’s engagement with their courses even more efficiently and gain deeper insight through behavioural data. This can be used to further enrich the experiences for both travel partners and travel agents.
Victoria was an attendee at one of OTT’s regular seminars, held in conjunction with Force24. This included a presentation on the extended capabilities of the platform. “I’m keen to get familiar with it and use it to seek out some new opportunities!” says Victoria.
Over the past eight years, Aegean’s course has been transformed as the OTT platform has developed. Victoria says it is now significantly easier to use, edit and update the airline’s course.
“But one thing has remained consistent - that’s the excellent support from the OTT team whenever I have required it - and that has been a fair few times!” she says. “I also love the OTT platform is now mobile friendly, which is a necessity in this day and age.”