In this behind the scenes interview, we talk to Barbara Tobler, Nicole Schawalder and Luise Rohland from the FAIRTIQ marketing team about what they can do to help our partners boost passenger numbers.
FAIRTIQ: What type of marketing support does FAIRTIQ offer its partners?
Our sizeable transnational partner network means that we can create interregional synergies, learn from real-life cases and take what works well in one region and introduce it in another region. Our in-out technology also opens up a host of new marketing opportunities and lets us adapt our marketing activities by geographical location and specific use cases. It also lets us time these activities as we see fit. FAIRTIQ therefore takes a marketing approach typically found in the digital start-up universe and applies it to the public transport world.
As well as generating maximum impact, our comprehensive marketing instruments (e.g. online and print, personal mailshots and general campaigns) allow us to share our expertise with our partners and carry out highly detailed analyses. We are currently working with our Swiss partners on a campaign to get users back on public transport. As for our partners in Germany and Austria, we have floated the idea of launching a joint digital download campaign.
FAIRTIQ: What does the digital download campaign entail?
Last autumn we identified target groups who downloaded our app more frequently than others. We then used this information to create a user story that would speak to this group and shared it as part of our regional partners' first test campaign. We also ran Google App and Discovery campaigns, including one ad featuring a new FAIRTIQ video. Within four weeks, our conversion rate had doubled (indicate the average rate at which an ad click/ad interaction leads to an install).
FAIRTIQ: FAIRTIQ helps some of its public transport partners design Google Ads campaigns. Why use this channel?
Google Ads allows us to create geotargeting campaigns. In other words, we are able to specify the locations where we want to deliver our ads, for example places of interest or regions chosen by demographic profile.
'Smart Bidding' lets us set our budget and targets in Google Ads. The advanced machine learning behind this feature automatically optimises the ads. Also, bids can be customised on an auction-by-auction basis. This means that limited budgets are used selectively and to maximum effect.
FAIRTIQ: The pandemic has led new and longstanding FAIRTIQ users to stop using public transport.
Indeed. But FAIRTIQ has never had as many active users as it does today. Nonetheless, there are still quite a sizeable set of users – occasional and regular – who are still in 'stand-by mode'. This group has travelled very little over the last year. To win back these customers, we prefer to target them in a highly specific way rather than use Google Ads or general marketing tools.
FAIRTIQ: How do you actually do this?
We test the effectiveness of a wide variety of promotional offers. These can range from small giveaways and public transport vouchers to prize draws and competitions. We are ideally equipped for this type of marketing campaign because our digital channel offers multiple ways for us to reach out to our customers, e.g. via the app or by email. Also, we have more analytical capabilities than our smaller partners. Because of the relationship of trust between FAIRTIQ and its partners, we are able to develop and refine campaigns that start small but can be scaled up. We then help our partners with the wider rollout. This can make a real difference.
Recently, Linz launched an email campaign designed to reactivate inactive users of the local public transport services and the FAIRTIQ app. The targeted content of the email shot generated a reactivation rate of over 10%. This example proves that even small-scale campaigns can be effective provided that they are designed well and deployed at the right time in the customer journey.
FAIRTIQ: What other joint marketing campaigns is FAIRTIQ involved in?
We work regularly with our partners to implement measurable campaigns that are tailored to their specific demands. Recently, Göttingen celebrated the second anniversary of its beeline fare by making public transport free for one day. In spring, public transport users in Vorarlberg could buy a 7-day travel pass for the discounted price of 15 euros during the region's Environment Week. Other partners have opted for the FAIRTIQ bonus to motivate customers to step up their use of public transport or offer them vouchers for their future trips once they have made a given number of journeys on public transport. For this type of campaign, we deal with the programming side and our partners cover the costs of the redeemed vouchers and discounts. We inform the customers in advance about these campaigns via mailshots and send them a push notification at the end of their trip. Direct communication like this is critical.
FAIRTIQ: How can FAIRTIQ's partners benefit from synergies with one another?
By sharing their experiences and running joint campaigns. Not only does this save our partners valuable time and money, it also lets them tap into our marketing campaign ideas, some new, others tried and tested, and receive detailed post-campaign analyses.
Our virtual partner meetings are also extremely popular. Seeing what other regions are doing is a valuable source of inspiration. If needed, we also brainstorm during these sessions and pick up new ideas. Sharing information in this way means that we are able to tailor our efforts precisely to our partners' needs.
Thanks so much for the great interview!
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