Back when I covered the airports beat, I always enjoyed getting story pitches from Dallas/Fort Wort International Airport. Their pitches were always well thought out, they always got you access to the executives you needed to speak with and, most importantly, they respected a deadline.
Last week I got a pitch via Twitter on a new marketing campaign designed to offer travelers discounts at the airport’s food/beverage and retail outlets using Microsoft Tags. Megan Bozarth, DFW’s manager of consumer marketing, says the airport found that passengers were getting there earlier because they weren’t sure about the timing for ticket and security checkpoint lines.
“We saw a lot of people sitting at gates on their smartphones,” Bozarth recalled. “So we did some marketing research and found that 85% of passengers at DFW use smartphones. We wanted to figure out how to utilize that technology and provide information to passengers in a non-intrusive way.”
DFW did the research and chose Microsoft Tags over QR Codes or other tag technology, said Bozarth. “We knew there was a lot available. For us, tags are highly customizable and use colors, while QR codes are pretty standard,” she states. “And tags provided us the most robust analytics, including where passengers scan the tags, what offers they loaded and if they redeemed them.”
The information DFW is providing through the scans that are non intrusive, says Bozarth. ” Passengers can be in control of the information they want by scanning the tags,” she explained. “They get offers from the concessionaires near their gates. We see it as an unexpected gift for DFW holiday travelers and a way to spread holiday cheer.”
DFW has 270 concession outlets and currently, 50 are participating in the tag program, says Bozarth. Vendors include Starbucks, Auntie Anne’s, Papcitos, the FOX News Channel news stand and the La Bodega winery, one of my personal favorite airport outlets ( my review of it, posted on Jan. 18, is here).
The current offers will last through the end of the year, says Bozarth. “Then we’ll ask concessionaires again when we do our next campaign in 2012.”