Ryanair CMO plans to replace the in-flight magazine with targeted, digital content

Kenny Jacobs: now in third year as Ryanair CMO
Kenny Jacobs: now in third year as Ryanair CMO

Ryanair CMO Kenny Jacobs is planning to scale up the amount of digital content the airline offers its passengers.

"You’ll see us doing a lot more in content this year," Jacobs told Marketing. "We’ve got three content writers at the moment and we’ll be expanding that team."

The change comes as in-flight magazines make way for digital media, with Ryanair trialling Wi-Fi on some of its routes.

"The days of the in-flight magazine are numbered but [we’re thinking about] in-flight digital content served up to targeted customers, whether it’s eight guys heading to Faro on a golf weekend or a young family heading to Spain, through a near-fi network on the aircraft.

"We would do, ideally, user-generated content. So if you’re a mum with two young kids going to Greece you probably want to hear from a similar mum about where to go and what to do.

"We’ve done some good stuff this year with bloggers and vloggers and I’d like to see us scale that up with a well-known Ryanair content writer in our key markets and then have a bunch of customers adding their own content. I can see us incentivising customers to do destination reviews for us."

Jacobs was talking at a press conference alongside Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary, in which the pair were bullish about the airline’s growth prospects and announced it would campaign for Britain to stay in Europe.

Ryanair is nearing the third year of its three-year Always Getting Better (AGB) strategy, otherwise known as O’Leary realising that it was time for Ryanair to stop "pissing customers off", which Jacobs was hired to oversee in January 2014.

Jacobs said the change of strategy contributed to Ryanair being able to do a better job of filling its planes over the past two years and that in January 2016 it carried 20 more passengers per plane than in January 2014.

He added that the third year of AGB, which would be set out in a month’s time, would see the balance switch further away from shrinking the list of things customers don’t like to bringing in innovations.

Asked where Ryanair could go next after completing its ‘being nicer to customers’ repositioning, Jacobs said: "We want to keep improving. It’s not about getting customers to say ‘I love Ryanair’. We’re still delivering a functional thing. We want you to say "I had a great time in Barcelona. I got the lowest fare, the flight was on time and Ryanair did a great effective, functional job of getting me there."

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