So the people with the CIO job who work for the big cruise lines have a bit of a problem on their hands. It turns out that when people are planning on traveling, they generally don’t plan on taking a cruise. Right now less than 4% of Americans take a cruise each year. Worldwide the global cruise industry accounts for just 2% of the world’s hotel rooms. This sure looks like the kind of problem that technology can fix…
Making People Want To Take A Cruise
In order to get more people to take cruises, the cruise companies need to make sure that they get the word out. The first part of doing this is to make sure that they exceed the expectations of the people who are currently cruising with them. The cruise companies believe that there is no greater marking tool than word-of-mouth. At the same time they are making sure that they work with travel agents to make sure that they fully understand cruising. The industry believes that there are a number of myths about cruising that they still have to debunk.
One of the big issues that the cruise lines have to deal with is that their potential customers have a lot of preconceptions about what cruising is. A lot of people think that cruising is just for young people who want to get drunk. They may also think that cruising is just for old people who really don’t have anything else to do with their time. People may have heard stories about long buffet lines, events that were congested, restrictions on what guests could do, etc. One of the biggest problems that the cruise lines have to deal with has been all of the negative news stores that have dealt with people on cruises getting sick. There have been a number of stories about the norovirus; however, the reality is that 6% of the U.S. population can catch this disease while only 0.007% of people taking a cruise can catch it.
This is where the cruise company’s person with the CIO position starts to come in. In order to turn around some of the ways that people wrongly view the cruise industry, they are starting to use social media to get the word out. They want to let people know that they are working to exceed their guests expectations. Once again, the cruise industry understands that if people come and take a cruise and have a good time, they will go home and tell all of their friends that cruising is a good thing to do. The cruise lines have even gone so far as to allow some of their customers to bring their own pets along.
Using Technology To Make A Better Cruise
The cruise line CIOs understand that making the customer’s cruise experience even better has a lot to do with technology. Over at Carnival cruise lines they are starting to experiment with a new technology that they call the Ocean Medallion. The cruise line views this new technology as a way for them to offer their customers a highly personalized travel experience. The Ocean medallion will be worn by each passenger on the cruise. It will make getting on the boat easier for them to do. It will also allow staff to keep track of things that you want to do on the boat and let you know when they are starting or if room has opened up for you to attend.
The Ocean Medallion will also allow customers to have real time delivery of drinks. What this means is that they can go to a bar and order a drink and then walk out onto one of the ship’s decks and your drink will find its way to you. Additionally, if you order a drink in one bar and then you go to another bar, the bartender at the second bar will be able to recognize you by name and know what you ordered at the last bar so that he or she can offer you another one. Security has been built into the Ocean Medallion system so that if a guest loses their Medallion and someone else picks it up, they won’t be able to use it to gain access to the other guest’s room.
In order for the cruise lines to become even more successful, they need to do a better job of getting feedback from their customers. They already collect that feedback; however, with the new Ocean Medallion system they believe that they will be able to do an even better job of getting feedback from guests. They want their guests to give live feedback that will then be noted by the staff. At the same time the cruise lines want to conduct surveys of their customers. They also plan on doing traditional market segmentation surveys outside of the ships and they want to especially focus on people who have never taken a cruise. The cruise lines want to make sure that they can continue to serve their existing customers while at the same time adjusting as their customer’s appetites and preferences change over time.
What All Of This Means For You
The cruise companies have a big problem on their hands, not enough of us think about going on a cruise when we are planning our next travel. The world is filled with places for people to sleep, but sleeping on a boat is only a small part of the total rooms available. Somehow the cruise line company’s CIOs who know about the importance of information technology are going to have to come up with a way to get more people to be willing to go on a boat.
Cruise companies know that they have a responsibility to get the word out about cruising. Among their target market of people who have never been on a cruise before, there are a lot of misconceptions that need to be corrected. CIOs need to be willing to step in and help cruise companies get the word out via social media. If they can get people to cruise, then they’ll go home and tell their friends what a great time that they had. Over at Carnival cruise lines the CIO is getting ready to roll out Ocean Medallions which are electronic devices that passengers can use to order drinks, reserve classes, and gain access to their rooms. Security has been built into these devices. A key way to get more customers to come cruise is to get feedback from the customers that they have. The CIO can help in gathering this data and then adding it to standard marketing data that is collected the normal way.
The cruise industry has an uphill battle ahead of them. They have to get the majority of the people who are not currently customers to consider taking a cruise the next time that they have vacation time. In order to make this happen, they need to make sure that when people do take a cruse they can use technology to have the best time possible using Ocean Medallions. If they can accomplish this, then the people who take cruises will become the people who talk others into filling the boat the next time that it heads out.
Question For You: Do you think that CIOs need to collect information from the cruise customer technology to do better marketing?
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Successful CIO Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a powerful new technology that the person with the CIO job is going to have to learn how to harness because of the importance of information technology. We need to realize that the impact of introducing AI powered applications into our business will not just impact the IT department, but rather will impact the entire company. What this is going to mean is that the person in the CIO position is going to have to prepare the rest of the company for the changes that will be coming their way.