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SH&E, SapientNitro Create IONOS Communications, Marketing Platform

SH&E, an ICF International company, and Partners SapientNitro, part of Sapient, have launched a new joint venture.

IONOS(TM) is a multi-channel communications and marketing platform that mixes an airport’s real-time travel information with targeted marketing messages for travelers. It uses Website, mobile applications and in-airport digital signage to send relevant information to travelers who are en route to the airport and throughout their airport experience.

“The unique cross-platform approach of IONOS transforms the often confusing and harried consumer travel experience into a seamless and pleasant one,” says Ryan Scott, SapientNitro director and chief architect of the platform. “With IONOS, we focus on two things: establishing command and control for the traveler, and amplifying the authoritative voice of the airport. Delivering information and real-time data across channels helps us bring back to the traveler that often-lost feeling of excitement for the journey ahead.”

IONOS debuted April 23 in a partnership with Denver International (DEN). It features a Web site and corresponding iPhone application called goHow(TM) Airport, which is free at the iTunes store; a BlackBerry application is expected soon. The application allows travelers to track flights, receive real-time flight status alerts directly from the airport data feed, and search and rate airport amenities. The JV is in discussions with more than 50 airports around the world.

“When we began the process of developing a new Web site, we set three criteria: customer service, effective marketing of DEN’s products and services, and increasing revenue,” says

Sally Covington, deputy manager of aviation, marketing and public relations at DEN. “We have successfully met all those criteria with our new FlyDenver.com and the goHow application for mobile devices.”

In airports powered by IONOS, travelers have access to up-to-date information about flight and check-in times; security line wait times; maps of the airport terminals including concessions options; weather information for departure and arrival cities; targeted promotions customized to the traveler’s gate location, time of day and departure/arrival cities; and real-time ratings and reviews of airport concessionaires and facilities, as well as the ability to add their own.

Targeted advertisers include in-airport concessionaires, local travel services such as hotels and transportation companies, local metro businesses and national advertisers. Airports receive a share of advertising revenue through impressions, click-throughs and promotion redemptions.

“The initial reception at Denver International and interest from other airports has been even stronger than we expected,” says Christina Cassotis, vice president and leader of airport services at SH&E. “Airports are increasingly looking for ways to form a trusted relationship with travelers. IONOS provides them with this trusted connection, while also offering interesting new revenue streams per passenger by increasing the flow of foot traffic to retail storefronts and airport concessionaires, and through media sales on the IONOS platform.”

IONOS operates either on a SaaS platform hosted by SapientNitro or installed at the airport.

It leverages content management technology from SDL Tridion and real-time data from industry leader FlightStats.

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