Sabre Airline Solutions has released a new whitepaper highlighting the business challenges faced by airlines in the area of customer data, retailing, and personalization. Brand differentiation and personalized sales and service are becoming increasingly strategic areas for leading airlines due to their market share and profit potential. In the whitepaper, Sabre discusses the unique complexities in the industry, analyzes new findings about revenue potential, and discusses ideal solutions for these problems in the market place.

Travelers’ expectations about their air-travel experience are changing. They have been for some time now. The gold standard for a consistent, personalized customer experience has been established by many other industries that customers interact with on a daily basis. Financial services, retail, dining, sporting events, consumer electronics and others have invested significant resources in the engagement and understanding of their customers. The real potential in this heightened level of engagement is the trail of data customers leave behind, and smart retailers are more than happy to utilize this data to improve their offering.

Today, airlines are sitting on a gold mine of valuable information about their customers. If used correctly, this wealth of data can empower airlines to better market their products and serve each individual customer within the proper context of their journey and present status. Many airlines struggle with consistency of experience and understanding customer trends below the macro- (or market-) level. To create an end-to-end journey experience for an individual customer, data must be captured, analyzed and aggregated into a unified view of the customer’s history, behaviors, preferences, level of satisfaction and other helpful attributes.

These highly strategic undertakings are easier said than done, however. Customer data comes in different sizes, formats, speeds, languages, systems and levels of structure. Not only do airlines house terabytes of data already, but new customer data is flowing in all the time. Most airlines simply do not have the technology infrastructure or skillsets needed to execute their ideal data and analytics strategy.

There is a clear window of opportunity in the industry today for a group of innovative airlines to lead the global marketplace with data-driven personalization. Organizations with a data-first strategic focus have the opportunity to generate significant incremental ancillary revenue, cut service costs and establish sustainable loyalty from both their most valuable customers and those newly acquired. The challenges and complexities in executing this strategy are many, but they pale in comparison to the likely returns.

To read the rest of the story, download the full whitepaper!