On Tuesday, November 14, the Illinois Limousine and Bus Association (ILLBA) hosted the latest edition of their Coffee With the ILLBA midmorning webinar series. Free and open to operators around the country, these sessions offer exclusive educational opportunities and content. This month’s webinar, featuring guest speaker Maren Graham of MJGraham Visual Solutions, welcomed more than 30 attendees spanning the country for a discussion about digital marketing trends in 2024.
ILLBA President Tracy Raimer of Windy City Limousine & Bus kicked off the Zoom event by welcoming the operators, vendors, and guests in attendance, making note of several new faces who were taking part. Next the ILLBA Board of Directors was introduced, followed by an introduction of the guest presenter. With more than 20 years of working with transportation operators, Graham pulled from her experience to deliver a timely and useful session entitled Are You Ready to Leap? 2024 Marketing Trends That Your Business Cannot Ignore. The chief items covered included data collection and using AI to expand your marketing reach.
According to Graham, the more data you collect—whether it comes from your website, surveys, email, or other places—the more accurate a picture you have of your customer base. And when you collect that information, it’s integral that you make the data work for you using a CDP (customer data platform), which collects and unifies this information. The CDP will allow you to hyper-personalize your targeted marketing and will provide a “fuel source” for AI.
With AI now easily available to small business owners, Graham said that AI will enable operators to understand their audience, boost customer satisfaction, increase productivity, and improve ROI. Examples of emails from major retailers were presented, including targeted advertising from companies like Amazon. Furthermore, samples of how AI is also revolutionizing customer support in our industry were also shared, particularly by way of chatbots and 24/7 quote inquiries. Graham also pointed out how AI can be used for content creation, namely SEO, blogs, email, and social media. Regarding social media, she made a point of recommending that business owners and social media managers “pause before they post,” particularly in the face of a contentious election year when consumer sensitivity is highest.
Following Graham’s engaging web presentation—which will be made available to ILLBA members—questions were fielded by Raimer and ILLBA Executive Director Paula DiBiasi of Chicago Coachworks. Topics discussed included the importance of backing up your digital data and recommendations for CDP tools. The meeting closed with a brief discussion of Chicagoland news, especially the situation at O’Hare and Midway Airports. While stings are currently underway to curb illegal operators at both airports, DiBiasi encouraged ILLBA members to report all “hustlers” via the appropriate channels and not engage them on site.
A recording of this month’s Coffee With ILLBA will be made available on the ILLBA YouTube channel, along with past webinars, which can be accessed by clicking here. The next webinar is scheduled to be held on December 19, and all operators are invited to take part.
Visit illba.org for more information.