One of Cruise Week’s key takeaways from Celebrity’s
recent executive road trip visiting top agencies and agency groups in North
America was how President &CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo made sure it wasn’t only
the people regularly interacting with agents who participated.
Celebrity brought along team members representing areas from finance to web
marketing – people who stood to benefit from better understanding agent
contributions to the business.
At the end of the trip Cruise Week asked one such participant, Michael
Delgado - who joined Celebrity earlier this year as V.P. Digital/Web - what he
learned from interacting with the agents and agent leaders during the meetings.
“This trip exposed me to some of the best minds in the travel agency
community,” he responded. “As one example, we were speaking to Alex Sharpe of
Signature about all the different pieces that go into building a vacation
package and got me thinking of ways we can get together at the starting point
of the customer’s journey.”
That starting point is crucial, he says, because a big part of the success of a
website comes from better identifying the customers who visit.
Both retailer and supplier benefit by knowing more about the consumer from the
get-go, Delgado says. “The more we know about them, the better we can tailor
the beginning of their journey. So if we see the demographic and household
income we know they have a budget for a $10,000 to $15,000 cruise.”
The next step is to use the website to increase the chance of an overall
booking. As Delgado says, “I don’t want to market Alaska to someone who has 2
kids and wants to go to the Caribbean.”
In this vein, he references the videos on Celebrity’s YouTube channel. “Before
I started at Celebrity, we had these beautiful videos on YouTube, and they
talked about the destination, they talked about the ship, etc. But once the
video would end, you’d be done.”
That wasn’t enough. “We put links on all of our YouTube videos, and once the
video ends you can ‘click here to learn more,’” he says. “It takes you back to
a landing page on our site that is in line with the topics covered on the
video.” That’s smart thinking, as it makes the entire experience more
targeted and interactive.
Delgado says it’s part of the bigger picture of creating loyalty.
“So it’s all about starting the customer on the journey
by giving them a best in class tour. If we give them the best cruise experience
from the start to finish, they are going to come back and they are going to
cruise with us again.”
Loyalty is crucial to long term success, and helps steer the conversation away
from a price focus.
“In this industry, the customer is
comparatively very loyal to a brand, a destination, a core product. The
customer has a relationship with the crew, and they have a relationship with