Back in February of 2008, I printed out a Delta boarding pass for a flight from SFO to Atlanta and discovered banner ads along useful weather and restaurant information on the pass. I located the company, Sojern, and immediately invited them to E-Tourism Summit that year to introduce their concept to our attendees. Now, three years later and back in SF, we caught up with Steven Stein, General Manager of the tourism division (and a sponsor of ETS), for a brief chat to discuss a new product that they will be unveiling at ETS.
Q: Can you give us the 30 second elevator pitch about Sojern?A:Sojern has been quietly building the largest travel media platform in the world and we will be revealing details at E-Tourism Summit about our tourism offering. Our focus has been on delivering large scale travel audiences by aggregating the comprehensive and precise data on travelers while they are in the process of booking their flights and throughout the entire travel continuum.
Q: How did Sojern begin and what is the core business?
A:Sojern was founded by a serial entrepreneur who wanted to provide advertisers with a way to connect with highly valuable customers as they experienced their business and leisure trips. His initial vision was targeting travelers on their check-in boarding passes. The concept was shared and exclusive, equity partnerships were established with 6 of the largest US airlines (American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, US Airways and United Airlines). Since inception in 2007, we have expanded beyond the boarding pass and now allow advertisers to reach targeted audience segments as they are making decisions about their selection of destinations.
Q: What makes your data different?
A:Simple, it’s real – not inferred. Since we partner directly with the airlines we are collecting our data from “bookers, not lookers”. We can gather, segment, target, track and report on the travelers that have searched and traveled to any destination. Because the equity relationships we have with the carriers are unique, no other company can provide the insights that we can for marketers.
Q: Can you give us a sneak preview of what you will be featuring at E-Tourism Summit?
A: Sojern is gearing up to introduce a unique product specifically for destination marketers. Stay tuned!