A new referral marketing platform that promises to improve brand visibility and gain prospects for customer acquisition by reaching out to friends, families and followers of existing customers on different social networks has been launched.

Published: 27 Aug 2010

A new referral marketing platform that promises to improve brand visibility and gain prospects for customer acquisition by reaching out to friends, families and followers of existing customers on different social networks has been launched.

Called rumbido, this new offering would allow hotels, airlines and OTAs to expand their reach on social media channels and convert buzz to sales, according to travel technology company RateGain.

RateGain has emphasised that rumbido allows businesses to engage and reward their customers as they emerge into brand ambassadors and open up a new and cost efficient channel of distribution.

The launch of rumbido coincides with its first client partnership with Holidaynights.

For its part, On Holiday Group, the parent company of Holidaynights, shared that it has developed a new technology called “Google Bypass”.

The group plans to use this to eliminate the “click costs” it pays to Google, as it estimates that each time it sells a holiday via Google, it receives 75% of commission costs, reported ttglive. So rather than paying Google in click costs, it wants to reward the loyalty of anyone that circulates its holidaynights.co.uk website on social networks and via email.

It has emailed a unique referrer ID to each of its existing customers, prompting them to spread the word on social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, and emails. It will then pay individuals £25, via PayPal, each time one of their referrals leads to a booking on holidaynights.co.uk.

Steve Endacott, On Holiday Group chief executive, reportedly claimed that “Google Bypass” was the UK’s first “personal affiliate scheme”.

Endacott highlighted that the power of personal recommendation is a proven concept within the Internet.

“Who could be better advocates for your brand than your customers? Rumbido allows Holidaynights to take the money it normally pay Google for clicks and give it to customers who’s recommendation result in sales. Hence it’s a triple win solution with customers, their friends and Holidaynights all gaining something from the process, be it a great value hotel or a exciting new distribution tool,” he said.

The money will be paid to customers via PayPal. OHG said it had carried out user group research and found the scheme to be the preferred method of payment.

Trend

The travel industry believes that social media has a lot of untapped potential in planning and travel booking. Social media has radically changed the landscape to the benefit of consumers and the industry has at times found it difficult to keep pace and understand how best to use it.

New initiatives are being taken to bank on the potential of social media. Recently, Delta Air Lines and Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Alvenda “officially launched the travel industry’s first ecommerce capability on Facebook”. Facebook users will now be able to book flights with their friends directly on Facebook.

At this juncture, it is being felt that the power of social media and the capabilities of the traditional online travel booking and planning channels will co-exist. As consumers move through the travel cycle to be inspired, shop, book, travel and share, they use a variety of sites to meet their travel needs. Social media is one of the many tools consumers use

In a recent interview with EyeforTravel’s Ritesh Gupta, Doug Miller, Global VP, Media Solutions, Expedia, said, “I don’t believe that social media will “nudge ahead” of travel booking and planning channels. Rather, search, social and commerce channels will become more and more complementary, and new partnerships will form, as intention signals accelerate to fuel online media and commerce. The signals of “here’s the travel I want” and “here are the people I know” will find new ways of working together to improve travel planning and booking. Travellers get more relevant offers and travel marketers will discover new opportunities. These models are coming around the corner.”

 
 
 

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