Ryanair CMO Talks Mobile and Social Media

Discount airlines and live entertainment have more in common than you might think. The desire to keep a customer happy and returning often certainly applies to both industries, and once a flight takes off or a curtain goes up you’ve lost the ability to make money on a seat. So with that in mind, there’s plenty we can learn from each other when it comes to marketing.

Recently, Skift.com interviewed the CMO of Ryanair, Kenny Jacobs. You can read the full interview here, and see what he had to say on a few topics that are particularly relevant to live entertainment below:

Skift: What failures did you identify in 2015? What would you do differently?

Kenny Jacobs: I think we could have done more on mobile, and we tried to move faster on mobile.

The trend that we see there is incredible. If I had my time again, I would have doubled our efforts in this area. I think that’s the same for everyone because everyone under-calls the move to mobile across the European market. Other things I would do would be in the content and social area.

I think having our own mobile, having more content and social would be something that I would like to have made more progress on in 2015. We will in 2016.

Skift: Where do you believe market trends in digital marketing campaigns are headed for the airline industry? How is Ryanair positioning itself to be ahead of or match competitors as digital media grows?

Jacobs: I think all airlines have done the token effort. They’ve launched updates. They’ve launched on Facebook. They’ve launched on a few other social media. They’ve integrated some more of the sales content.

That’s kind of the basic stuff to say, “We’re on social and we’re doing content.”

In terms of how you make it different, and have your content be different, that’s something that I wish I had done that last year: having more user-generated content, turning content to mobile.

That consumer with the mobile app in hand they want 90 second video content, 200 90-second video destination guides.

Skift: You had a bit of an altercation with Aer Lingus on Twitter last year, which was genuine, spontaneous, and, frankly, funny. But do you think that helped or hindered the brand image? Do you encourage this sort of free-form rapid-fire expression on Twitter or are you trying to tone that down a bit?

Jacobs: I’m not coming out of my office going “guys, guys, you can’t say that about Aer Lingus.” If anything, I’m coming out and doing the opposite. I’m saying, “Let’s do this. Let’s do that.” I’m trying to get my social team to be a little bit more edgy and ballsy so they do more stuff like that. It makes us interesting and we’ve never been uninteresting as a brand and we won’t become uninteresting as a brand.

Ryanair listening to customers and Ryanair being digital and smart doesn’t mean that we want to become uninteresting.

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