• Rahmi Atalay

MarTech Thoughts | Richard De Villa


What are the key priorities for a MarTech stack optimisation strategy to achieve? - Increase marketing ROI.

What would your company use AI the most for? - Build AI Bots to drive customer engagement.

- Create scaled hyper-personalised content.

- Develop data-led marketing campaigns.


What are the major roadblocks in trialling the new innovations in marketing technologies? - Integration.

How important is data in making marketing decisions and engaging customers? - Very important - I always leverage data 100% of the time.

As mobile and internet use rapidly expands; how do you track customer behaviour change?

- Continually improving your organisation's attribution models across all your touchpoints remains vital to track any changes in customer behaviour. It is then crucial to effectively make use of this data to adapt any strategy accordingly.

With the exponential rise of technology, is there still room for offline marketing? - 100%. Customers will always continue to engage with different forms of offline platforms in their daily lives from magazines and newspapers to live events and endless visual inputs when they leave their homes. Having the right attribution models through technological advancements will allow for a more effective ROI and targeting for various offline platforms.

How do you balance experimenting with new technologies vs investing in current technologies that you already utilise? - It comes down to utilisation, necessity, budget and time. What we have seen across most industries as a result of the pandemic is hyper digitalisation and acceleration of development within organisations. Plenty of companies have sped up the adoption and improvement of new and existing digital technologies. What would have taken 2-3 years has been implemented in a matter of months. The pandemic has provided organisations with a reason to assess this question, and do it at speed, which is a practice that would likely remain for the long term.


How do you connect, engage and build a persistent relationship with your customers? - The past couple of months have shown us at Malaysia Airlines that is it crucial to continue engaging with your customers with the right message and frequency. We continue to track customer behaviour from their interaction across our multiple touchpoints to find out what exactly they want to hear from us, including our Covid safety measures, different country travel restrictions, inspirational destination content and our latest product offerings to name a few. We have taken these insights to continue to develop products that are exactly what our customers are looking for, one example is 'Economy Flex', launched in June 2020 which offers customers a range of benefits including the ability to refund and change their flights without any fees. As a result, we have seen immediate adoption/uptake of these products as soon as customers were ready to book.

With the advancement of AR & VR, how do you see these being utilised in digital storytelling? - I've already seen some excellent preliminary examples of these in the travel industry. With the borders of our favourite destinations continuing to remain closed, it is even more of a necessity to bring customers there digitally. One of the key activities in the travel industry is familiarisation trips; bringing travel agents to the destination to give them a first-hand experience to be able to sell it to their customers. Advancements in AR&VR will allow suppliers from airlines/tourism boards/hotels to bring these experiences to travel agents and direct to customers who crave destination content. We already ran an example of this on our training portal for travel agents (mhexpert.co.uk) on Online Travel Training (OTT) 2 years ago offering travel agents a narrated 360 walk-through of our Airbus A350 allowing them to describe the layout and features to their prospective customers. Digital storytelling will only continue to improve as the technology becomes more accessible and immersive.