What Travel Money Group did to kickstart real-time engagement

Foreign currency provider details how it's using a combination of Salesforce martech and Google Analytics to create an ability to re-engage customers digitally

It’s a problem most marketing teams now face: How to make real-time engagement a reality and personalised? This past year, Travel Money Group has been doing something about it, and chalked up a 12 per cent lift in email sales as a result.  

“Nine months ago, we were doing zero real-time engagement and also doing extremely limited personalisation,” the foreign currency business’ ecommerce manager, Zoe Jeffrey, told attendees at Salesforce Connections to You event in Sydney. “We were using first name only.”

A big hurdle was identifying and collating where data was coming from, such as customers on the website, or those going into a store and subscribing. Travel Money Group is part of the Flight Centre Group. It would take between 4-10 days to get this data into Salesforce Marketing Cloud, meaning welcome messaging was often 10 days after a customer had signed up. In some instances, these customers were already in destination.

Adding to the complexity of data residing in multiple locations was the fact the group had multiple point-of-sales systems as well as legacy technology silos. This meant there was no way to tie one customer to another and build a more unified customer view. What’s more, with a small marketing team of six - only two focused on data and email - this make addressing the challenges even more difficult.

To get started, Jeffrey said Travel Money Group had to get the analytics foundations right. “While we had Google Analytics on three sites, it was inconsistent and there’d been no new tagging or events on our sites for up to 12 months, so a lot of tagging was broken,” she said. “We hadn’t properly installed our ecommerce tracking either. This wasn’t great for email or our other channels.”  

To help, Travel Money Group hired implementation partner, Deloitte Digital, which helped articulate the analytics transformation required, Jeffrey said. Together, the two teams worked to create Travel Money Group’s first journey.

A key element here was the strategic partnership between Salesforce and Google across the Salesforce Marketing Cloud platform, and Google 360 Analytics, which has resulted in seamless and automated integrations between both. This meant Travel Money Group was able to set up journeys in one platform, and have them immediately accessible and usable in the other.

“Once our analytics were right, we did a deep dive into site behaviours as we could now see them,” Jeffrey explained. “Then because the interface between Marketing Cloud and GA is so simple to use, we’ve been able to implement 30 more journeys since our first a couple of months ago. And it’s all been done in-house.”  

The process is so straightforward, the company’s new marketing automation lead implemented 12 journeys in her second week on the team, Jeffrey said.

Kicking things off was the obvious abandoned cart journey. Travel Money Group built the audience in GA360 in the same way it creates any segment. This was connected into Marketing Cloud, where Jeffrey’s team uses Content Builder tools to build emails, as well as Journey Builder to create journeys.

“These are the same as any journeys you’d build in Marketing Cloud; the only difference being the entry mechanism is a GA360 audience instead of other audience data extensions. Then we activated like normal,” Jeffrey said.  

Seeing strong results, Travel Money extended its approach to journeys based on touchpoints it knew were where customers were on its site were dropping off. The big aim here was re-engagement.

“We changed the way we creating emails campaigns so they have content we know will see customers coming to our site so we know we can re-engage them,” Jeffrey said, adding campaigns are sent on average every two weeks.  

One example is currency information. If it’s clear a prospect has an intent to travel to the US based on behaviour onsite, these individuals are identified via Google Analytics. That audience set is pushed straight back into Marketing Cloud and into a pre-created journey, specific to US travel.

“The goal of that journey is to get them to come back to our site and complete their online budget using our tool,” Jeffreys said. If a customer clicks through an email, comes back to the site and complete the online budget and tool, Travel Money gains additional details, such as whether they’re a budget versus luxury traveller, how long they’re planning to travel, if multiple travellers are involved and more. All information is collated in GA360.

Once a customer has purchased a product, meanwhile, they’re pushed in another audience journey recognising completed purchases, back into Marketing Cloud, aimed at helping secure Travel Money Group online customer reviews. It’s also using these insights for audience suppression in advertising campaigns.

The brand is now trying to activate these audiences via other channels besides email. Jeffrey said the company has signed on to Salesforce Ad Studio and Audiences products as a further step forward.

To date, Travel Money Group has seen a 175 per cent increase in email open rates, 12 per cent increase in email sales, and a nine-fold increase in email clickthrough rate.

Through the process, Jeffrey also cited a 30 per cent saving on Deloitte, money which has been moved to other work. There have also been media reporting efficiencies thanks to having integrated dashboard and Travel Money Group has seen a reduction in its email unsubscribe rates from 0.5 to 0.15 per cent.

“The biggest benefit has been it’s the perfect proof-of-concept to encourage the business to invest in other data projects and why we need to get better at real-time communications,” Jeffrey said. “There’s so much buy-in now, we’re engaging in two large data projects as part of our digital transformation.”  

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