In my first job after college, the fax machine ruled. Almost everything was done via fax, with the rest done through overnight delivery or traditional U.S. Postal Service. I even remember the first time I heard the term “World Wide Web”—I was at a board meeting of the North Carolina School of Science and Math Alumni Association, and I thought “I’ve got dial-up e-mail, but what are these people talking about?”
Now really, I don’t feel any older now than I did then. And I’m even driving the same car—(umm, I work for an airline!). But the way customers today do business, connect with others, buy goods, and carry out our daily lives has changed dramatically since I purchased my 1993 Honda del Sol.
Forrester Research recently reported at this year’s TravelCom conference in Chicago that 52% of U.S. households have Broadband, up from only 15% just five years ago. By 2012, they are projecting Broadband penetration to rise to 68% of the population. This has enabled today’s consumer to share experiences, plans, pictures, videos, and reviews with others—totally impacting the purchase decisions we make.
At the same conference, Forrester also reported that 19% of leisure travelers are reading traveler-written ratings or reviews monthly. Ten percent are reading travel related online forums with nearly as many (8%) visiting travel related social networking sites. Personally, I’ve had my own blog chronicling my travels since 2005, and a day doesn’t go by that I’m not on a social networking site, seeing what my friends are up to. They, in turn, can see where I’ve been, and what my favorite destinations are.
These facts are not going unnoticed by corporations. Recently, Financial Week ran an article entitled “Does Your Company Need a Corporate Blogger?” reporting that 11% of Fortune 500 companies now have Blogs, nearly tripling from just a couple of years ago. If you’re interested, you can find a list of Corporate Blogs here.
Of course, Delta has our Blog—allowing our customers and potential customers to look in behind the scenes—but also opening up that two way street, allowing you to give us your feedback.
The truth is we can use the Internet to simply sell tickets. But we can also use it to help you learn, plan, and dream about the places you want to go. For example, hopefully, you’ll be able to see video from my trip to Mexico City on the Blog soon. (That’s if my footage was any good—stay tuned!)
So let us know: how do you use the Internet for travel? How do you shop? Make plans? Organize with travel companions? Share your memories? And most importantly, what can we at Delta do to make the process easier for you?
Customer Insights & Analytics