Sunday, 17 November 2013

Ryanair & it's New Digital Strategy - 2013

This autumn Ryanair issued its first profit warning in nearly 10 years at the start of the month as the number of people booking flights for the autumn fell. Ryanair also came bottom in Which?’s customer service survey, performing the worst out of the UK’s 100 biggest brands. It scored just 54 per cent, well below the two next worst performers, TalkTalk and NPower, both of which scored 59 per cent.

This is the story how Ryanair did not have any marketing strategy and how in the autumn of 2013 they re-considered their business objectives and switched to imprive their digital presence.

Everyone knows the company called Ryanair. Everyone hates Ryanair. However, people continue flying Ryanair. Why? Because it's cheap, because it flies to some popular and non-so-popular destinations so that sometimes it's one and only company that actually flies there. Obviously, this is an exaggeration, but admit it - it's cheap and affordable. Customer service is shite, the whole journey experience is shite - but you shouldn't be expecting to be served a meal for such low cost and such a low duration of the flight. There's the difference between short- and long-haul flights. 

So Ryanair's reputation is bad. Michael O’Leary is called everything from ‘arrogant pif’ to ‘messiah’, ‘irritating and arrogant chief’ that has an abrasive style has only served to annoy the commissioner. Bad reputation also comes from the misleading image – Ryanair is advertising ‘Lyon’ airport that in reality is called ‘St Etienne airport’ and the on-board ancillary costs are described as ‘Just another reason not to fly Ryanair’.

Before, Michael O’Leary admitted that ‘Ryanair is noisy, full and we are always trying to sell you something. If you want a quiet flight, use another airline’. Therefore, it clearly showed his unwillingness to invest in a brand image. 

However, THINGS HAVE CHANGED. Somewhere in September I've heard rumors, that Ryanair finally wants to invest in...the brand image. Surprise, surprise.

The airline has identified its website, mobile platform and social media presence as three of the key areas it needs to improve. The revamp will be backed up by a new digital marketing strategy that will see Ryanair invest more in new media such as mobile and social media.

Mobile Platform
Previously, if you wanted to download Ryanair's mobile app you needed to pay €3. What a joke. They promised that from 1st October it will become available for everyone for no cost. And... they did what they said - you can now download Ryanair's mobile app!

They promised to change it and...finally they made it happen!
The new-look website offers a less cluttered homepage and simpler booking process, cutting down the number of clicks necessary to book a flight from 17 to 5. Ryanair has already removed features such as Recaptcha and is planning further updates including a passenger registration service and fare finder feature as it looks to make it easier and faster for customers to complete bookings.

Social Media
Yes, it has also changed. Now,apart from the famous 'ihateryanair' accounts, there's a proper Ryanair twitter account. It also seems like they've actually developed a nice social media strategy. Have a look at this (below).I wouldn't mind winning a free flight too!

However, they still do not have a proper Facebook account. Would be interested to find out why and if they're planning to change it?

It looks like they've actually changed their digital strategy and trying to do something to change their brand perception. Well, obviously if the number of revenue did not fell then they wouldn't consider doing anything. But so far so good. What's next? They're also planning to setting up a team to respond to emails and putting an end to hefty fines for customers whose carry-on baggage is slightly too big. I guess we can only wait and see how far will they go... 

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