There was a call with Jim Hornthal on 17th February. We were all very excited about his thoughts on travel inspiration. There was a lot of excitement about what we would hear from Jim on our idea of lead generation for the big players like Expedia and Travelocity. The call was very fruitful in terms of all the useful information that we got about how the current model of partnerships works. We took away a couple of key takeaways
1. Current model (with Travelocity) – The commission on the leads is on a cost per acquisition basis and not on a cost per customer basis. This leads a very low percentage of commission and is not sustainable as the lone source of revenue.
2. Cookie cutters – The cookies stored by browsers have an expiry time limit of 30 days. There is also an attribution trouble in that the last cookie stored before actual booking is attributed with the sale. These would seem to suggest that cookies are not very friendly as the current source of revenue.
3. Experts and Friends – Jim was of a very firm opinion that people rely more on experts (whose job it is to write and review places) than they do on their own friends circle. Jim feels that we are limited by our friends and that experts are the way to go.
4. Travel History – Jim also told us that there was very little pre-emptive work that we can do on future travels by basing it on our past travel history.
He also suggested and hinted towards a dark side pivot that we had been considering a week back (To connect the travel agents who Google cannot find). He pointed us towards http://www.viaworld.in/bdo