Case Study: Royal Caribbean Desktop Messenger

 How Royal Caribbean boosted sales with a Desktop Messenger

Royal Caribbean is UK cruise line that communicating with travel agents. To improve communication company created Desktop Messenger “Cruise Compass” to push instant messages. “Cruise Compass” sends news, offers, deals and product information to the desktop.


• 937 downloads March – September 2009
• Passengers booked to September 2009 increased by 26% year on year
• 59% of respondents were very satisfied with the widget; 41% were fairly satisfied
• 65% of respondents used the widget every day; 35% at least a few times a week

Source:  Utalkmarketing “How Royal Caribbean boosted sales with a Desktop Messenger”

Go above just Facebook & Twitter

Facebook and Twitter There is interesting article recently published in BrandWeek “Winging It Does Not Equal A Social Media Strategy”.

Gannon Hall, Brand Week’s digital marketing columnist, says that many companies choose just Facebook and Twitter presence when it comes to social media marketing. And presence mean that they just hanging here without any particular goal or strategy.

Companies are missing digital marketing strategy. It’s not enough to use just Facebook and Twitter. It has to be a part of whole company’s communication strategy.

Companies are not producing qualitative content. Instead of using social media as part of PR activity they need to focus on producing content that will attract new users and will be most likely shared. It’s more important “what”, rather than “where”.

Gannon says:
“Wherever possible, marketers have to focus on delivering more personalized content to customers and website visitors. Tailoring the message helps drive customer engagement and loyalty to your brand, and it’s crucial to building the types of two-way conversations that result in long term relationships with prospects and customers.”

Getting through the noise

Back to the 19th century there were just few of informational resources: books, newspapers and rumors. Today we have the Internet. We have Websites, E-mail, Blogs, RSS, IMs, Twitter, Facebook. Oh, and we have all these mobile gadgets: phones, smartphones and IPad.

Communication Channels are full of noise information attacking a userWe overloaded with information. There is so much information noise coming that the risk to miss important information is very high. That’s where desktop alerts can help. The purpose of desktop alerts is to push important information. To mark out it from the noise, make it impossible to ignore.

When it comes to pushing important or urgent information desktop alert is the best communication channel. This information is important for person who pushing it. But this information should be important for recipient too. There are many types of information that can be important for us:

  • Specific news (local, companies, niche related)
  • Emergency information
  • Information that affects our business: business critical news
  • Notifications about issues with apps we are using through the day
  • etc

For example: I personally pay attention to my city local news, weather warnings and new products at my favorite photo equipment store.

The problem with other communication channels is that it’s difficult to pick critical information. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have to use all these channels. It’s savvier to combine all channels.

Desktop Marketing

I repost my old post about desktop marketing.

We all heard about email marketing, web marketing, direct marketing and many other names and types of marketing. Desktop marketing is pretty old and new at once. It had been used for a long time since we all got VGA displays and graphical user interfaces. It’s new because it becomes more and more popular nowadays. All kind of marketing catching us everywhere in our mailboxes and e-mailboxes, in mags and newspapers, on TV and radio, on web pages and on billboards along the home-work-home roads. It’s everywhere and fulfils all the blank space in space. I mean on Earth.

Computer desktops still quite silent places. But why they are so delicious for marketers? Desktops have one very unique quality – they are always behind user’s eyes.

I hear a lot of grumbles frequently: “It’s not possible. The users don’t want and won’t allow your brand on their desktops.” Nonsense I must say. We all have Microsoft (or Apple) brand on our desktops, right in the left (sorry for another one pun) corner, on the start button. Look at that, it’s a Windows logo. I have wallpaper with my notebook vendor logo on it. Why? Because it was pre-installed and it looks very nice to me, I like it much more than Windows wallpapers or sort of very widespread photo-wallpapers.

You’ve got the idea! Give the user something he need or like and he put your brand on desktop with appreciate for this kindly gift. I’ll put it without any objections if:

  • This is helpful or nice to me
  • I like it
  • It doesn’t look like a trick

Your own Ding!

DingDo you remember Southwest Airlines Ding ? Yes, that small desktop application that sits on your desktop and sends best deals.

Ding screenThe idea behind SpreadHub is to give ability to build your own Ding-like application. Why? Because Ding was (and still) a huge success. It was launched in February 2005 and in its first two years generated in 130 millions in fares and booking revenue. “45 percent of the flyers who have booked a flight featured on Ding come back for more

“What DING! gives Southwest is something much more valuable than filling seats on its planes. It gives them presence on computer users’ desktops. And that space is priceless.” “An icon on your desktop or in your system tray can be the equivalent of gold. It’s because these applications, services or Web links are constantly top of mind. There they are, all day. Staring at you while you gaze back at your monitor”
The High-Tech Texan Blog

Such desktop applications do more than just deliver news to desktop. It is new way of engagement and interaction with the customer. It brings your brand to the customer’s desktop, always behind their eyes, always delivering valuable information. It can be great addition to your email marketing efforts, solving the problems email has, like:

  • email filtered by SPAM filters

  • delay between delivery and email being read

  • hesitancy in providing personal data like email addresses