Royal Caribbean has spent the past six months working on a segmentation project, which it claims will help it “truly crack the challenge of finding more new-to-cruise customers”.

The project has “married” recent research with UK census and historical sales data to give the line a “more granular level of detail” about its customers, and potential customers.

Insights director Stuart Byron said: “If we are to crack the challenge of finding more new-to-cruise customers, we need a more detailed view. It was a bit broad before, but now we have the most robust view of UK cruise potential yet.”

Byron said the challenge was now “bringing the data to life” through promotional strategies on radio, TV and other channels. He said it also helped the sales team “engage better with the trade”.

Sales director Martin MacKinnon said: “With Wave [period] coming up, the sales team will be able to use this info to [provide] relevant tools and marketing plans, and not just swamp them with everything they have.

“It will help us spend our marketing money more effectively and use our sales resource more efficiently, so we get to the right guest with the right product,” said MacKinnon.

“This isn’t the mindset that we need to split the atom. But it is being able to tangibly put some science behind our sales strategy. It’s about taking away the blinkers. Making everything more relevant for each consumer, and then driving more demand.”

Switch rewards cards go digital

Instead of giving all 10,000 agent members plastic cards, onto which they can load money based on the cruises they sell, from 2020 agents can download a new Club Royal app (right). When they make a booking, money will be credited automatically.

Sales director Martin MacKinnon said: “This fits in perfectly with the sustainable development desires of the business, and those of our travel agent partners. They want to be more environmentally conscious. It is in response to agent’s growing appetite to introduce sustainable initiatives within their own businesses.”

Royal Caribbean Club Rewards

He said digital cards were more convenient as “agents won’t have to get in touch and fill a form in if they need a new one”and that the initiative was “an industry first”.

Anthem offers ‘brilliant opportunity’

Royal Caribbean believes next year offers UK agents a brilliant opportunity in Europe with Quantum-class ship Anthem of the Seas sailing out of Southampton and Oasis-class ship Allure of the Seas sailing out of Barcelona.

Anthem coming back to the UK is generating real excitement,” said sales director Martin MacKinnon. “And Allure, following a $165 million amplification programme, is also really appealing. We’ve got an amazing ship sailing from our doorstep, and if people would rather fly down to Europe, then we’ve got the best, most technically-advanced ship down there.”
Royal also has Rhapsody in Venice and Explorer in Rome, completing the line’s European programme.

Anthem of the Seas

MacKinnon said the Caribbean was also “flying”, with itineraries to the line’s private island Perfect Day at Coco Cay the most popular. Royal has introduced more three and four-night sailings which call at Coco Cay, instead of all seven-night options.