1. Tell us a little bit about your business and what you do?
We have the interesting position right now of being in the travel industry and for the last two years, it has been a pretty rough place to be. But we have managed to do reasonably well and hold our ground simply because of our technology side of the company. We really are a company that does advertising for travel suppliers names you would recognize like cruise lines and travel companies, and then we built websites and technologies for travel agents – the travel agency side of things remarkably has been very stable and advertising took a bit of a dip. But it has been an interesting time at the last stage of my career, I seem to be back in school, I’m learning a lot.
2. How were you doing your marketing before you came to Brainstorm Automate?
Well our marketing has always been largely based on email and social media. So to give you an example – we probably sent out somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 million pieces of email last year. We have a pretty sizable spend on Facebook and Instagram and so that’s been the primary way, we’ve got about 50000 followers on Facebook, we have a database of travel agents of roughly 80000 and so between those two platforms, we’ve managed to build the company over the past 15 years.
3. Before you came to Brainstorm Automate, what were some of the frustrations that you had with your current setup with the other tool or software that you were using?
It’s always difficult to know what your ROI is when you talk about social media and so the more ways you have of monitoring and developing access to the metrics the better off you are. Email was a little bit different in that the ROI on email was pretty evident and easy to discern so they’re almost at two opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of the ability to easily understand and access metrics so I would say that was probably the primary thing. The other thing I would say is that a lot of the technologies that we were utilizing were probably not as advanced as they needed to be and there were some always chronic weak spots in the course of using any software from beginning to end.
4. In speaking to the chronic weak spots that you used with the software before you came to Brainstorm Automate – was there a particular event or incident that really motivated you guys to start looking for something different to get help aligned with your business?
Well it in many ways what we’re doing with Brainstorm Automate is different from what we’ve done in the past. We certainly are utilizing Brainstorm Automate’s tools for our own purposes internally but we are also building applications around Brainstorm Automate. So we’re making extensive use of your API and we are developing but is essentially software-as-a-service using a lot of your technology so we’re putting you to use in a way that we have never really done before in the past and to see what the eventual evolution there might be.
5. What is your experience switching over to Brainstorm Automate compared to what you were working with before?
I think the biggest difference is the tools are excellent and they have served us well and we have what I would say to be a pretty intimate knowledge of them since we’re digging into the API so that is certainly evident that the product is evolving in keeping up and in some instances far ahead of what we’re seeing in the market. We have used several other products in the past including some of our own. I would say the biggest difference with regard to Brainstorm Automate is the support. The support has been excellent, the onboarding was excellent, the ability to reach out and access the support team has been tremendous and in our position where we are both the customer and the supplier to other customers, the concept of customer service is very important. For us, it’s almost an ethic and I see the same type of thing reflected back to me from Brainstorm Automate. The technology’s good as you would expect but the customer service is equally as important and it has been exemplary.
6. How are things different with your business today than how they were before? And now that you have a clearly defined outline of where your business is heading, where do you see the future with your business processes in place?
We have an entire year in development so we are on the verge of launching a new product that we have built with your API so it’s all uphill – There’s no doubt that we are impressed with the product and that’s a good sign. I’ve always had a pretty good gut instinct for our projects and how I think they’ll do and if I don’t have that gut Instinct then I’ll back off. We have pretty bulldogged through all of the COVID mess for the past year because it’s a good product and I want to see what it does turn into.
7. How can people reach out to your business?
The best way to reach us right now is probably through our company Travel Research Online and that can be found at travelresearchonline.com. The website for Voyager Social is almost finished and that will be Voyagersocial.io and we would anticipate having that up in the next two weeks.
Courtesy of VBOUT