Do more with less. See how Flight Centre reduced costs by 65%.

Find out how Flight Centre has reduced costs, increased productivity, and grown its digital business.


Flight Centre is the flagship brand of Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG), one of the top five largest travel agencies in the world with more than 30 leisure, corporate and wholesale businesses. The group operates under multiple names in Australia, New Zealand, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, South Africa, India, Asia, United Arab Emirates, and Mexico and licenses its names in a further 80 countries.

The Australian-born, international travel company offers flights, accommodation, cruises, and more with the purpose of sustainably opening up the world for those who want to see. The company’s customers have traditionally made an overwhelming majority of their travel bookings by visiting one of its iconic retail stores. However, its digital business is on the rise and presents a growing opportunity to attract new customers and deepen relationships with existing ones.

Flight Centre has connected its global marketing team on Salesforce to make the most of this opportunity.

“Bringing our global marketing team onto Salesforce has increased productivity while reducing costs. It’s also allowed us to apply best practices globally, so we can win in all regions at once.”
Clinton Hearne
Global Head of Marketing, Flight Centre

Builds digital capability and reduces costs with a unified platform for global marketing.

As a mass-market brand, Flight Centre aims to appeal to every customer. To do that effectively, the company needs to engage customers with the right products at the right time. However, it first had to consolidate its technology and data.

In the past, marketing teams operated independently in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Canada. They also used 150 different platforms between them, creating excess costs, fragmented data and limited best practices.

Flight Centre turned to Marketing Cloud to replace several marketing automation tools and up level its digital capabilities. At the same time, it connected customer and transaction data to deliver more personalised experiences.

This has more than halved the number of platforms used by the marketing team and reduced martech spend by 65%. It has also supported a new global structure with standardised and streamlined processes that increase efficiency.

“In addition to saving costs, we’ve set ourselves up to work smarter and scale up to meet ever-growing travel demands,” said Clinton Hearne, Global Head of Marketing, Flight Centre.

reduction in martech spend by consolidating platforms and adopting Marketing Cloud globally

Increases productivity by 71% through collaboration and automation.

Bringing all global marketing onto Marketing Cloud has allowed previously siloed teams to work more collaboratively and leverage best practices across regions. For instance, they can build and test journeys in one region before rolling them out across others. This has helped the company quickly increase its digital touchpoints, customer connectivity and increase its percentage of online sales.

“When I took on this role two years ago, we had one welcome journey and now we have over 40 different journeys live. We can also use automation and Salesforce’s AI capabilities to personalise these journeys which allows us to scale without adding more resources,” said Hearne.

Time spent curating weekly emails and journeys has been reduced by 70% while overall team productivity has increased by 71%. This has given the team more time to test and learn, and deliver more value to the company. As an example, it’s found that customers are nearly 16x more likely to click on targeted SMS campaigns vs non-personalised emails.

“We’ve proven that when the correct deals are surfaced to customers in the right communication channel we can get far better results,” said Hearne.

Automation has helped increase productivity by 71%, allowing marketing to do more with fewer resources

Drives digital growth with more personalised engagement.

Flight Centre is now putting personalisation into practice with what Hearne says is a simple but effective approach to customer engagement. “If a customer is researching Thailand, it just makes sense to show them more content and deals around Thailand. What Marketing Cloud helps us do is provide customers with the most personalised communication we can using the data we have available,” said Hearne.

The company has started by personalising content across its owned channels, including its website. The website now features personalised popups to drive lead acquisition. One of these invites visitors to subscribe and go into a draw to win flights or holidays tailored to their browsing history, increasing subscribers from site by 60%.

Flight Centre has also personalised its homepage with targeted deals on flights and holidays. Deal interactions are up by 43% as a result while the homepage bounce rate has decreased by 28%.

Some of the most impressive results have come from email personalisation. Flight Centre has shared that, on average, emails with targeted deals and recommendations are generating 27% more sales than non-personalised emails.

Personalised emails are generating 27% more sales than non-personalised emails

Gets set to enhance productivity and service with AI.

Flight Centre now plans to further ramp up productivity with the help of AI. For example, using Einstein Bots in tandem with its Knowledge-based help centre, the company will be able to automate responses to customers’ frequently asked questions.

“There’s not a part of the business that’s not exploring or lightly testing AI at the moment, and self-service is an obvious use case. Post-pandemic our customers are asking more questions when it comes to travel and by using AI, we can respond more efficiently and better maintain the one-to-one relationship we have with our customers,” said Hearne.


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