Episode 293: Building Successful Brand Messaging for Enterprise Travelers Post COVID-19 with Liam Moroney of Rocketrip

Episode Summary

Liam Moroney is no stranger to the ups and downs of startup life.

“[T]here’s enormous risk that comes along with working at a startup, you don’t have the stability or predictability that a lot of big companies have,” says Liam who is VP of Marketing at Rocketrip, which helps enterprise companies reduce travel costs through employee award incentives. Rocketrip is Liam’s fourth startup.

It’s a good thing that Liam can handle riding a professional roller coaster — doing marketing for a travel-related startup in the age of COVID-19 is tricky.

In this episode, Liam discusses his tactics for changing the game for the travel rewards industry through content marketing, including the importance of updating Rocketrip’s messaging and the overall go-to-market strategy, with the understanding that there will be new concerns for travelers post-COVID.

“There are anxieties. There are going to be challenges. There are going to be stresses when it comes to travel,” Liam acknowledges. “So we want to make sure that we’re leaning into that because we don’t want people to travel more than they need to, or more than they’re comfortable to.”

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Key Insights

Episode Highlights

“The way that we built our program was to make sure that it didn’t follow that path. We wanted to make sure that the rewards that we’re offering are things that are personal and meaningful. We have built out a complete reward store – there’s hundreds of different options in there. You can do very simple shopping ones where you could book an Amazon gift card. You could do Visa cards, but there’s also everything from clothing to food. There’s travel experiences. You can donate to charity.”
“What I will say is that since COVID-19 has really kicked in, it forced us to really think a lot about changing all of our messaging and our go-to-market strategy and one of the reasons is actually one that was probably inevitably coming, but really forced us to accelerate it, which is that our messaging — prior to me arriving — was very much focused on cost savings … we were leaning very heavily into the benefits, but we weren’t really leaning into the why of what we actually deliver and that’s the cultural impact, that’s the personal rewards.”
“Partners have always been one of those areas where — if you’re aligned with them and if their sales team knows how you impact their upsells or cross sells, or even in some markets where they may not have as much presence — that’s where you can build a lot of camaraderie. So we built a partner channel, we built out a partner team. We spent a lot of time on that and we invested a lot of time with them.”
“You can get someone interested with that fun, cool branding — flashy marketing statements, all the quick little bar charts — but when you get them in the door and you really start to talk about what that means, and they really dig into the tech, you have to prove that out really quickly and upfront. And then there’s going back to the rest of their team. … It’s about winning over that first person, and then getting all the other dominoes to fall with them.”
“[T]here’s this interesting thing you see with content marketing, where people think of it as an editorial journalistic type of a strategy where it’s not meant to talk about yourself. It’s to talk about the industry … but it doesn’t mean that you can’t use content to talk about what you’re an expert in. A good example of this is we [Rocketrip] know that one of our strengths is the complexity of our algorithm. Our algorithm has been developed over years and trying to build an algorithm that can predict behavior is very difficult. We have competitors who have tried. We even have partners who have tried themselves at certain points, and it’s very, very difficult and it comes up in the sales process a lot.”
“Often one of the things that our salespeople will lean into and say, ‘Well, we’ve got the algorithm that is this level of accuracy, and we’re able to predict to this degree of complexity,’ but they don’t really have something that helps them in the sales process beyond one sheeters. That’s where, when we have a data analytics team who worked very hard on this … I want to shine a light on those people and have them start to write content like, ‘Why is it so difficult to actually generate an algorithm for this? What are the things you have to factor in?’ Without giving away the secret sauce, we want to be able to try and highlight that … We want to use it as a way for the salespeople to say, ‘Well, if you’re talking to any of our competition, are they doing these things?”

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