Munich, 2010/06/25 - The prestigious German Market Research Prize has for the second time been awarded to L'TUR, Europe's market leader in last minute travel, and Vocatus, a market research institute based in Munich. The two companies were jointly successful in this year's 'Best Study' category with their innovative and unorthodox idea of a universally accessible tool that compares L'TUR's prices with those of its competitors - regardless of whether L'TUR has the least expensive offer. This tool has been hugely successful in Germany, leading to a significant boost in bookings.
This year's jury rewarded an unorthodox concept with the German market research industry's most coveted prize: the winner in the 'Best Study of 2010' category is a web-based price comparison tool that shows L'TUR customers what other competitors are offering just before they book their package deal, even if these offers are actually cheaper.
'A bold idea, albeit paradoxical at first sight,' said Rainer Valentin, Vice-President (Marketing Intelligence) at Japan Tobacco International, in his speech at the award ceremony on June 17 in Bonn. The jury had been very impressed 'that this is a case where market research has assisted the breakthrough of a very unusual and at first sight paradoxical business idea'. Moreover, the study had been creative, unique, and professionally executed, thus allowing one to correctly predict customers' decision behaviour. 'It is vitally important to have market research that makes an impact,' he concluded.
The price comparison tool shortens the customer's search process, thereby benefiting L'TUR and leading to a significant increase in bookings. This innovation was based on a comprehensive multi-stage market research project that L'TUR conducted in conjunction with Vocatus. The three project stages comprised a detailed exploration of customers' decision-making processes, objective monitoring and subjective questioning of travel bookers and non-bookers, and a post-test to empirically validate the results and measure the performance of the price comparison tool.
As Vocatus Board Member Florian Bauer explained, the reason for the price comparison tool's success lies in pricing psychology factors that influence how consumers behave: 'Even though customers want to save money, they usually don't want to spend hours finding the cheapest offer.' Instead, motivations such as trust, reliability, or convenience often play a crucial role. Vocatus analysed these different motivations with the help of its so-called GRIPS typology, which had already been nominated for the 2008 German Market Research Prize.
'In a cut-throat market, we want to demonstrate transparency and create trust', said L'TUR CEO Markus Orth said. 'Our price comparison tool means our customers can be sure they're getting the best offer - and they can book it too. They appreciate this.'
Outstanding Market Research
L'TUR and Vocatus had already jointly won the German Market Research Prize in 2005 for their study entitled 'How L'TUR came up with MOPS'. MOPS is a motive-oriented search tool that finds suitable travel deals based on individual needs rather than technical information such as the destination airport or precise departure dates.
L'TUR is Europe's market leader for last minute travel; it had 832,000 customers in 2009, and a turnover of 360 million euros. TUI Travel PLC has a 70% stake in L'TUR, whilst L'TUR founder Karlheinz Kögel holds 30%. Last minute travel can be booked until just a few hours before departure, and can be up to 50% cheaper than in the brochure. More than two million offers of around 10,000 hotels and 130 airlines such as Lufthansa, TUIfly, Condor, Air Berlin, and Germanwings are available every day. L'TUR is the official travel partner of the DeutschlandCard bonus scheme. Travel can be booked in 169 L'TUR shops, by phone (00 800/21 21 21 00), and by going to www.ltur.de