Direct News: Virgin to step up CRM focus

Virgin Atlantic is to boost its emphasis on customer relationship management following its appointment of loyalty marketing specialists ICLP.

The airline has been seeking an agency to bolster its CRM capabilities since June (Marketing, 15 June).

ICLP, which was appointed following a competitive pitch against several undisclosed agencies, will handle e-communications and campaign management for the airline. It will also use Virgin Atlantic's customer database to deliver more targeted communications.

The CRM focus comes as Virgin Atlantic faces greater competition from UK and US carriers for its core transatlantic business. To counter this, it has added routes this year, including several to the Far East.

ICLP already has an existing relationship with Virgin Atlantic in the Asia Pacific region where it has implemented a programme to manage Virgin's Flying Club, including membership, administration and fulfilment.

ICLP also works with airline group Star Alliance and for several independent carriers including Cathay Pacific, Air New Zealand and Qatar Airways. None of these relationships will be affected by the agency's appointment.

Virgin Atlantic's relationships with incumbent direct agency Start Creative, advertising agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R and digital agency Glue will also be unaffected.

At the start of this year, Virgin Atlantic launched a 'free flights for life' competition as part of a viral campaign to drive traffic to its relaunched website.

Entrants were incentivised to forward details of the competition to friends by being offered the chance to win two free flights for themselves.


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