e-Media: Web-based customer service and marketing solutions

IONOS and goHow Airport: is a multi-channel airport platform that delivers real-time travel and airport information personalized to the traveler throughout the entire journey. It drives messaging simultaneously across an airport’s web, mobile, and digital signage channels from a single authoritative source.

• Christina Cassotis, vice president at SH&E, has been focusing her team on revenue generation for airports and airport systems worldwide. Comments Cassotis, “We have seen the unbundling of pricing, and we’ve seen ancillary revenue become increasingly important for carriers; that’s not going away anytime soon.

“Part of our interest has been in responding to the current crisis and looking at the revolution of the airport business model.”

Primary goals in this regard, explains Cassotis, are to incorporate technology to improve customer service and wayfinding, and to increase non-airline revenue.

“We feel very strongly that the more we give the traveler command and control over their environment, the more we can reach them and give them the kind of information that will allow them to spend happily at your airport,” remarks Cassotis.

“We looked at extending the engagement with the traveler from the airport’s perspective in order to realize incremental revenue. We wanted to focus on establishing the airport’s voice, brand, and identity as the voice that gets passengers all the way through their journey.” Enter IONOS and goHow Airport.

SH&E, in partnership with SapientNitro, created a real-time user-friendly platform solution that was rolled out at Denver International last April. Minneapolis is coming on board, as well as a number of additional airports, relates Cassotis. The idea is to include all of the world’s airports.

The platform concept ties in the airport’s website, a mobile platform, and digital wayfinding signage — and monotizes it all with the intention of improving customer service and wayfinding, and providing an opportunity to increase revenue with ad space.

“We have incorporated advertising into the website platform in a very non-obtrusive kind of way,” says Cassotis. “The ads are rotated throughout the platform randomly. The majority of the time, an advertiser can buy a specific time slot that is auction-based; nobody can own more than 30 percent of the market.

“We paid attention to what travelers wanted on the iPhone application, and you know what they don’t want? An application for each airport. They want one application that moves around.”

All of this is tied to a central content management system, says Cassotis. “So from the perspective of the airport, you’re working with one system that’s pushing content out to multiple communication channels — website, mobile, and wayfinding signage.

“We are offering airports a way of improving customer service by giving passengers more information.”

In terms of the payment structure for airports, Cassotis says it really depends; it has everything to do with the size of the airport.

“In every single case the service is paying for itself at least four to five-fold in the first year,” she relates. “It’s incumbent on the airport to pay for it; we don’t want the passengers paying for anything.”