P&O Cruises Launches First Mate Program to Help Agents Attract More First Time Cruisers

P&O Cruises has announced an innovative new web marketing program to help travel agents create their own online advertising campaigns and attract more first time cruisers.

Unveiling details of the First Mate program, P&O Cruises Senior Vice President Tammy Marshall said it included four exciting initiatives - a local online advertising tool, a branded flyer wizard, a new trackable EDM developer and an online financial reporting tool.  The suite will also give businesses the chance to leverage P&O Cruises’ campaigns within a defined geographical area close to their business.  

Using the online advertising tool, agents can choose an ad format, include their details and specify their target demographic as well as their campaign length and budget.

First Mate includes a flyer wizard to help agents create branded PDF flyers as well as an electronic direct marketing (EDM) tool to enable agents to create their own trackable EDMs for their customer database to complement P&O Cruises’ existing marketing campaign.

Ms Marshall said the new program was designed to give agents access to more resources to help them build their share of the growing cruise market.

She said research commissioned by the cruise line showed that only 7 per cent of Australians holidaying for one week or longer chose to take a cruise.

“While cruising is booming, clearly the market potential is still enormous. We estimate that about one million ‘new to cruise’ Australian passengers have taken to the seas over the past five years and we predict that number will double over the next five years. 

“We want to help agents find more ‘new to cruise’ customers by giving them these tools.  The idea of First Mate is to provide agents with a virtual marketing assistant in their office,” Ms Marshall said.

Access to First Mate will be free, with the program to be rolled out from October via www.myccs.com.au.

Ms Marshall said its launch coincided with a new online financial reporting tool for agents which would give agents deeper insights into their business performance.

The new system will allow agents to examine sales by passenger and revenue, analyse booking channels and view the Academy training status of staff.