FlixBus puts data in the driver’s seat to build better customer experiences

Anne Verhoeven

Nov 7, 2019

In Adjust’s App Trends report, we reported that mobility apps had some of the highest Growth Scores of any app, but struggled with retention. The data suggests competition is fierce as new companies have been stepping up to the plate to transform the way we travel, and users are fickle — ready to jump ship and use a different ridesharing or travel app whenever the next big thing comes along.

But it’s not just consumers getting excited about this sector. Investors are bullish too — and they’re investing in companies with staying power.

Take, for instance, the €500 million that FlixMobility — a global mobility provider, offering new alternatives for convenient, affordable and environmentally-friendly travel via the FlixBus and FlixTrain brands — was rumored to have raised in Germany’s largest tech funding round in July. Less than a month later, more investors joined in to up the ante even further. So what’s their secret sauce?

Data in the driver’s seat

In the first-ever issue of LTV magazine, we interviewed Cornelia Müller, Teamlead Mobile Marketing, who leads mobile marketing at FlixBus, and Davide Gabriele Croci, Director of Customer Retention. They spoke candidly about their secrets to success in the Mobility app space. We can’t give it away — because for that you need to download the magazine and deep dive into the priceless advice. But we will give you a hint: The ability to excel is linked with how the company maps and tracks data across all touchpoints including mobile and apps.

“We‘re not an app-only business,” Cornelia says in this exclusive interview. “However, a very relevant large portion of our sales comes from apps. When it comes to acquiring customers through our app, the approach has been on performance-based marketing from the start — and it still is. But what has changed is the measurement.” It’s also why Flixbus shifted from last-click attribution to a multi-touch attribution model with a lifetime value view. “Here the focus isn‘t on whether someone bought on the web or in-app, or in our shops,” she continues. ”It‘s about seeing and understanding — ultimately predicting — differences in the lifetime value of the customer based on the platform they are using.”

It’s a given that every marketer strives to be data-driven. But Flixbus tells us putting that ethos into practice isn’t always as simple as it sounds.

“It starts with raw data from Adjust that we feed into our attribution and lifetime value model,” Davide explains. “It‘s a process of modeling and calculation that we take in smaller steps — a lot like developing an MVP. Let‘s say we want to achieve a certain lifetime value throughout 12 months. We ask ourselves: What ROAS do we need after 3, 7, 30 days in our campaigns to achieve that long-term goal? The MVP mindset comes in when we translate our long-term goal into short-term measures. You don‘t have to wait until the business intelligence team has put together the perfect report.”

This commitment to the customer experience is what drives consumers and investors to FlixBus, and keeps the company competitive in an increasingly competitive and volatile vertical.

To learn more about how to enhance customer journeys in the real-world with data journeys, read the entire Q&A in LTV magazine.

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