Travellers from Britain, China, India, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa region, Russia, and the US form the vast majority of the MENA region’s travel industry’s customer base. Our leisure and business travellers utilize digital platforms to independently plan and visualise their itineraries, search for deals, book services, seek directions, solicit recommendations, and utilise translation services; all while on the move. Social media networks host or intersect with a significant percentage of this activity.
Our travellers also deploy social media networks to actively update family and friends, share experiences, provide reviews, and influence each other’s decisions. To market to this widespread customer base that lives online requires content strategy, real time social engagement and the ability to efficiently manage these critical tasks.
It drove us crazy. We had to use too many tools to market, communicate and interact with our diverse customers. There was a lot of lost productivity and extremely low visibility on returns. But we chose not to lose our head and instead sought out a solution.
That solution is Starkey.
Starkey was founded by three hospitality and travel industry veterans who grew tired of not having a social management tool that served our region and understood its needs. We saw our colleagues struggle to find solutions to manage social marketing, customer support and client relations for too long and decided to do something about it.
Over the past year, we built a small team to deliver this solution. We know our ADRs, RevPARs, RPKs and ASKs, but knew close to nothing about PHP, MVC and APIs. So, we approached some incredible talent, shared our vision with them and they jumped on board.
The fruit of our labour is Starkey. We spent too many late nights developing Starkey and for many of us the music that kept us going was invariably scored by the Beatles. We shortlisted our favourites and Octopus’s Garden won the internal vote. (The vote was heavily influenced by our head of design who had already won our hearts with the lovable logo you see beside the company name). We chose Starkey as small homage to a legend who got to write just two songs for the Beatles: Octopus’s Garden and Don’t Pass Me By. One features in our logo, the other we’ll use as our battle cry.
We were thrilled to present Starkey at April’s Arabian Travel Mart in Dubai. After introducing ourselves, talking about Starkey, and showing off some of the incredible things it does, we were heartened by the emphatic response and particularly blown away by the number of companies that signed on as early adopters.
We can’t wait to bring it to the market and are excited that we’re nearly there.