Take a look at Carcloud Web to see how leading brands are using it to improve their online marketing, or continue reading below.
A couple of years ago, I wrote this as a post on our blog. I’ve now updated this with some of the things we’ve since learned.
Many of the features discussed are now available in our Carcloud Web platform by default and used by corporates and licensees including Hertz, Thrifty, Dollar, Avis, Budget, National.
In 2012 we were featured on Auto Rental News for the global launch of what I then called car rental marketing and sales products – Carcloud Kiosk and Carcloud Mobile. So what happened to our touchscreen kiosks?
I used to spend a of time talking about our lightweight car rental kiosks (we also produced a couple of videos). The original vision was that these kiosks could help promote your car rental brand and increase your revenue – renters could make reservations at your partner locations.
The reality is a little different. Putting these into airports as stand-alone devices is very highly expensive (I met with major airports and discovered how much they’d want to charge).
One airport exec explained to me that they already generate large amounts of income from car rental companies – and if they were to offer this as an option it would reduce the car rental company’s spend in other areas. The airports were more interested in how they could generate more money from new markets.
Putting devices into hotels is potentially easier – but presents different challenges. Whenever you’re dealing with a digital device in a location you don’t control you’re going to come across some problems.
I still believe in use of touchscreens/tablets at locations you own (and use of these have since become widespread) but there are easier ways for you to generate money than putting these at 3rd party locations.
So where do you look to increase your market share? Online still holds many opportunities. Of course you’re already marketing online but what does that mean to you between the mix of:
With a growing number of consumer channels available, your customer’s expectations are constantly increasing. Does your car rental marketing plan engage your customers over their preferred channels? Do you know what your customers preferred channels are?
The reality is that social media isn’t effective for most car rental companies. Some have been successful (especially campervan companies, which are selling a different vision and are able to build a greater bond with their target demographic). If you haven’t allocated ongoing budget to managing social channels (Facebook, Twitter) then don’t bother using them. An account that has gone “dead” is worse than not having one in the first place.
The key to sustainable online success is growing your direct business – the customers you don’t have to pay commission for. The easiest way to do this is through repeat rentals (you don’t need a loyalty program to generate loyalty) and technology has a big part to play here.
So what exactly is car rental marketing technology? It’s the technology you already have at your fingertips – you just need to make sure you’re using it in the best way:
Car rental eCommerce provides the ability to increase your scale – but it also gives you the ability to measure almost everything. Make sure you’re spending your money in the right places.
If you are measuring effectively you can increase efficiency. If your cost-of-sale is lower than similarly-priced competitors, you can out-play them at every turn.
Take a look at Carcloud Web to see how leading brands are using it to improve their online marketing.