Customer Reality Check: SAS vs. Norwegian

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UserTribe has initiated reality checks of various businesses to investigate how well they align with their customers and how they can improve their products and services. Our tribe’s findings will be published in Dansk Markedsføring each month.

This month we have been testing SAS and Norwegian's presence on social media. Social media decreases the span between customer and business by offering a platform for customers to interact directly with a company and each other. For the same reason, social media is the ideal place to emphasize the value you can create for your customers.

SAS is the large, experienced and state-owned airline company with essential connections such as London Heathrow and Frankfurt. In comparison, Norwegian is the younger successful upstart with vacation destinations all over Europe and across the Atlantic. UserTribe's customer reality check looked into their social media presence and uncovered what their potential customers found valuable.

Videos and pictures must inspire

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Our tribe concluded that SAS’ presence on social media was more apparent than Norwegian, and, furthermore, that SAS was better at inspiring their potential customers. The potential customers in our tribe made it clear that especially images and videos would catch their attention. SAS offered a large variety of those sorts of posts that inspired customers to travel and seek exotic experiences. Norwegian’s posts were, on the other hand, more focused on the journey itself (airport facilities, plane conveniences, professional staff) or on projects they have been a part of (e.g. with UNICEF). From a marketing perspective, nothing is wrong with either type of blog post, however, as UserTribe’s software revealed, this is not the type of content that makes potential customers want to buy.

Overall impression affected by which social media were more apparent

Norwegian FB 2.pngWhen asked to check out SAS and Norwegian on social media, all customers used Facebook as their main platform. Some customers, however, also looked at Twitter and Instagram. What is interesting here is that our tribe in Norwegian’s case were especially led to Twitter when googling or moving from Facebook to another platform. In SAS’ case, however, besides from Facebook, customers especially moved towards SAS' Instagram profile - and did not even cast Twitter a glance. This could have influenced customers’ overall impression of respectively SAS and Norwegian, because Norwegian’s twitter profile is mainly used for public press purposes, whereas SAS’ Instagram profile is used for inspirational vacation photos. This means that in the overall picture, when potential customers browsed through their social media profiles, they were more inspired to buy by SAS than by Norwegian.

So, to sum up: Besides from showing what type of content potential customers found valuable on SAS and Norwegian’s social media profiles, our tribe also uncovered the presence (searchability and clickability) of their respective social media pages - and what that presence meant for the overall impression potential customers had.

Challenge: Inspiration does not convert directly into sales

The most interesting finding from UserTribe’s software was, however, that inspiration on social media does not lead directly into sales. When potential customers want to buy a ticket, they will browse Google or a travel search engine to find the flight that best suit their needs. Potential customers use social media as an inspiration for their travel plans, but not as a link in the buying process.

But why have a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account then? If it does not lead directly into sales is it a waste of resources? As the results showed, social media have a very important role in the preliminary processes before customers buy their ticket. Social media can be used to remind customers why they should book their next flight at SAS or Norwegian, and to inspire them into planning their next trip. Therefore, social media are important for warming up leads - and are, for the same reason, not a waste of resources.

Next steps: How should SAS and Norwegian move on from here?

So, what should SAS and Norwegian do from here? Next steps for Norwegian are quite obvious: More inspirational content. However, SAS and Norwegian could also

  • Start looking at the flow of their website – what arguments will convince customers to buy a ticket and is the navigation intuitive?
  • Further improvement of omnichannels – e.g. Google Adwords. What buzzwords do customers use? Do their expectations from Google’s search results match with the content on the respective websites?

 

Remember, 70% of all marketing campaigns fail because they are never tested on the target group and thus fail to target the right people. After conducting 15.000 customer sessions, UserTribe has experienced firsthand the effectiveness of customer involvement. Avoid failure in your projects and business. Click the button below to learn more.

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Topics: Dansk Markedsføring, SAS, Customer Reality Check, Norwegian, customer engagement