Host agency Largay Travel, which has about 120 independent contractors under its umbrella, showed off a new tool at Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas in August: Its “content experience platform,” official name TBD. The portal of pre-built, white-labeled content can be instantly co-branded and shared by advisors with their clients through a partnership with Approach Guides and the implementation of artificial intelligence.
The content experiences are powered by technology from Approach Guides, a content optimization platform for travel brands; Largay uses Approach Guides’ solution to design multimedia content experiences that offer insights into destinations and showcase suppliers, on-location experiences, luxury travel tips and more. The experiences can subsequently be shared with advisors who—with a single click—co-brand, message and share with their traveler clients.
The system, says Scott Largay, director of marketing for Largay Travel, was two years in the making. It was designed from a need to create a customizable website and marketing that suppliers could recognize as Largay Travel but that advisors could make their own, as their clients would know their brands. Previously, having to customize all marketing for each IC’s business would take a lot of manpower on Largay Travel’s side. Now, everything is handled with one click. The hub contains content from Largay’s team and Approach Guides, current offers with preferred partners, a content calendar and more.
The service is available to all advisors on Largay Travel’s advisor content portal and, in all, includes more than 300 Largay Travel-exclusive curated destination and experience-based sharable content pieces in addition to Approach Guides’ vast portfolio of inspirational and educational content. By bringing all of this under one roof, it allows advisors to be more proactive in their business, according to Largay. With the content calendar, advisors can see upcoming offers from Largay Travel’s supplier and consortia partners, allowing them to, further in advance, build a business and marketing strategy. Should an advisor who, for instance, sells safaris see that Largay Travel has an offer with African Travel, Micato Safaris or whoever else in November, they can begin planning their marketing strategy to target specific clients.
This works to the benefit of advisors who already sell safaris (to continue the example) and those who are looking to develop that side of their business more. According to Largay, the content experience platform is intended to work for new-to-business advisors, seasoned advisors, those with too much business and those in need of new leads—“wherever you are in your own business.”
But the aggregation of content is only part of it. Once the IC has found something they find useful or insightful, through artificial intelligence, they can “take any piece of content that they find and instantly brand it and send it out in a personalized approach, whether on social media or with an email,” says Largay.
“We hear time and again from our advisors about the pitfalls of over-saturation associated with mass email and social marketing to clients, the frustrations and time it takes to create and share this type of content in the ways they would like it shared, and then trying to take it a step further and adjust it to ‘make it their own’ that more and more advisors were saying 'no' to any forms of marketing rather than saying 'yes'—and that is a huge problem not only for us but for all of the travel suppliers we work with,” adds Largay.
So, to do away with the canned mass email marketing, Largay Travel implemented an artificial intelligence tool that could write a customized social media post or email—tailored to the style of the advisor and to the client—with the click of a button. Should the advisor approve of the copy, one more click and the content is posted. Should they want to alter the copy, they can do it right in the hub. “It makes you look like an all-star in seconds,” says Largay.
Having the content experience hub live by Virtuoso Travel Week was important for Largay Travel. It gave the agency the chance to show to suppliers how it can benefit them. One positive for the agency’s partners: “Our preferred partners actually are going to each have their own access point,” says Largay. This allows the suppliers to upload their own content and deals—say, an upcoming Black Friday offer—cutting out the previously necessary back and forth between agency and supplier.
When new content is available—whether from the Largay Travel team, Approach Guides or a supplier—ICs will get a push notification, alerting them.
An additional feature of the AI: As it’s used more and more by Largay Travel’s advisors, the better it will get at its job. “Now that we have more users and now that the partners are getting in, it's learning and learning and learning. So, the content's just getting better and better and better,” says Largay.