Background

Asia Pacific’s leading online travel company ZUJI puts the world of travel right at travellers’ fingertips. Based in Singapore for operations throughout the Asia Pacific Region, ZUJI is owned by 15 airlines and Travelocity, and operates travel booking web sites in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, Korea and New Zealand.

ZUJI offers travel content options from more than 300 airlines, 56,000 hotels, 50 car hire companies, and 3,000 activities and attractions. Priding itself as a one-stop site for booking travel online in each of its markets, ZUJI gives to customers a unique value proposition from each of its country-specific travel portals: Choice, convenience and control, as well as giving travellers great prices and unique travel deals online.

ZUJI Singapore, MSN Singapore’s alliance partner, is regularly recognised as the Number One Travel Agency Web Site in Singapore (www.zuji.com.sg) by Hitwise and other web-tracking independent sources.

Challenge

Hailed as the ‘online travel guru’, ZUJI has a network of online travel partners which have been selected to work with ZUJI as an alliance partner. This allows ZUJI to reach new or niche online communities in each market, supplementing ZUJI’s direct-to-ZUJI site community. The challenge for ZUJI is to work with an online alliance partner in each market to reach out to new customer groups.

ZUJI’s business model is centred around increasing its scale regionally by reaching new online traveller audiences. Ultimately, the goal is for ZUJI to be top of mind for people when they think of booking a trip.

MSN Singapore, known to have one of the highest reach on the Internet (with more than 2.8 million unique users going on its main msn.com.sg site), was chosen on March 2004 as an online media avenue partner of choice to help achieve this objective.

Primary Target

Net-savvy working adults in Singapore who travel

Secondary Target

High household income

Professionals, Expatriates and Niche audience groups such as Small and Medium Enterprise travellers

Goals behind partnership

Increase ZUJI’s online sales via non-direct avenues

Reach out to, and serve, a greater number of customers and potential customers to achieve a wider audience of users, including various niche groups of travellers who use msn.com.sg

Create and enhance maximum awareness of, and trust in ZUJI’s brand

The Guru’s Journey

In Singapore, ZUJI (www.zuji.com.sg) decided to work with MSN Singapore to extend ZUJI’s reach to the net-savvy Singapore customers. The ability to reach over 520,000 MSN Messenger users, 852,000 hotmail users and 2.8 million unique users on the msn.com.sg web site each month, to offer them relevant and competitive travel deals, is a very compelling proposition.

ZUJI employed two MSN Singapore channels: the travel channel and the main MSN SG Portal including a tab on MSN Messenger to run its online services. Instead of using e-banners that look like advertisements, ZUJI chose to use quads and text links on MSN’s homepage. The quads are usually positioned right below the editorial area of the homepage, specially designed to look more like MSN editorial content.

This creative use of quads and text links have cultivated a browsing habit amongst visitors to return to the same placement on the website to check the latest airfare deals and offers. Thus, transactions increased during pre-holiday season in May and September to October as a result of clicks from previous months. (See chart Fig 1 below)

Fig. 1

Dynamic banners, which automatically respond with best fare searches when MSN Sin-gapore site browsers enter a destination, are highly innovative. These creative executions maximise conversions from an MSN looker to become a ZUJI booker.

Besides quads and text links, ZUJI also used Banners and rich media Over-The-Page*.

MSN customers can now access all of ZUJI’s travel deals on flights, hotels, car rental and activities, from the MSN travel channel (http://www.msn.com.sg/travel). In addition, MSN customers can now access exclusive members-only travel deals by signing up for free membership.

A travelling success

ZUJI’s successful experience with MSN as one of their online travel partners in Singapore continues to be an important part of ZUJI’s sales strategy. In October 2004 (see chart Fig. 2 below),

Fig. 2

Transactions grew by 93%

Cost per transactions decreased by 50%

Brand awareness grew by 30%

These figures are, in part, due to MSN’s role as a ZUJI Travel Partner.

“ZUJI is very focused on using the online medium to promote the ZUJI brand, and ZUJI’s travel deals. With the customer demand for booking travel online growing at a significant rate in Singapore, ZUJI’s partnership with MSN Singa-pore allows both parties to serve consumers who are looking to find and book travel from convenient and trusted online channel brands,” said Sean Seah, Marketing Manager of ZUJI Singapore.

(*Rich media features four of the most popular advertising tools on the Web today. These rich media opportunities use the latest technology to attract targeted audience. They include Point.Roll, Unicast, Doubleclick, and Eyeblaster.)