Flux was officially incorporated in May 2020. Just two months after the pandemic had revealed its global severity, and slap bang in the middle of a hard lockdown in Cape Town, South Africa, where Flux’s offices are now located. A year ago many considered it loopy to form a startup servicing luxury travel as a market niche. From a less impassioned, objective viewpoint, I would most probably have agreed with them. However, that would have gone against everything Flux was created to do – to bring travel brands into the digital world, and help them achieve more sustainable client acquisition (even in the leanest of market conditions). More than that, it would have meant abandoning our mission as a business and our fellow industry peers during the travel industry’s darkest hour.
Instead we decided to double-down on our mission and fast forward to a year later, it is with a tremendous sense of pride and gratitude that we find ourselves still growing, innovating, and poised to launch some exciting new features that will ensure our clients thrive in a slowly recovering travel market.
One of our early tenets repeated throughout the past year is “we’re our own best client use-case”. Meaning everything Flux did for its own brand equity and digital maturity, from strategy, to brand development, web development, copywriting, performance marketing, or analytics was first stress tested on Flux before introducing it to clients. Part of that stress testing was to allow for a safe sandbox environment for continuous innovation, and if a new product or service passed quality control, it would be rolled out to our clients depending on their service type
It is by the same tenet that Flux recently put our designers and developers through their paces to release an all new Flux brand, and website. Not only are we excited to introduce new website component features, designs, and user behavioral tweaks we’ve gleaned from our own website’s new “facelift”– but it’s allowed us to trial new tools and platforms that have created better insight into the questions most lodge, hotel, or tour operator key stakeholders want answers to.
Questions like “who is my true customer?” and “how do I most effectively reach my customer in the most cost effective way?”. It’s been a black box for many travel brands, particularly those reliant on traditional distribution channels where lead tracking and attribution is near impossible with multiple intermediaries involved. These are the same questions we have aimed to answer and demystify, and our objective over the past year was to not only answer these questions, but do so whilst empowering our clients, by giving them full data access via real-time reporting and delving deeper into their key customer personas and source markets.
In order to achieve our objective, we created robust data structures with industry-leading analytics tools that made sense for our technology stack. We then designed and built a custom client dashboard that would not only answer age-old questions in travel around guest/customer insights, but also create a far deeper understanding for our clients around which of their online channels were proving the best return on advertising spend and where opportunities existed. To top it off, we added a client ticketing system and sales operations manual to go full circle on the best possible client experience when navigating the Flux Client Dashboard*.
*Keep a look out for our CTO, Taahir Isaacs, post on the full breakdown of the Flux Client Dashboard and its future product roadmap in the coming months.
Although we have come a long way over the past year in terms of reporting and analytics, we still recognize how crucial the sales and human engagement element is in not only converting leads into bookings, but also turning guests (or travellers) into repeat guests (or travellers). A more recent focus that affords us opportunity for better communication in this respect has been the introduction of a customer relationship management (CRM) tool. It addresses a key phase in the customer lifecycle, that of “customer retention”, and one we have toiled over in sourcing the right tool for both ourselves (speaking once again to our tenet that we are our clients best use-case) and our clients.
After much deliberation, Flux chose to partner with Hubspot due to its portability, ease of adoption for clients, and importantly, data management and security features. We are incredibly excited by this partnership and what introducing an effective CRM tool will mean for all our clients – from improved lead conversion rates, to implementation of sales operations best practice, better insight into customers with end-to-end tracking, and consequently improved repeat and referral business. Better yet, the team at Flux have also adopted Hubspot CRM as our own, which means our clients themselves can expect faster and more efficient service from their account catalyst and the new ticket resolution from their Flux Client Dashboard.*
*Keep a look out for Seton, our Head of Marketing’s next update on the rollout progress of Hubspot CRM and the difference it’s making to all of our clients.
One of the most rewarding experiences over the past year has been the ability to welcome more people to the Flux team as we collectively strive to deliver on the mission and vision of the company. Not only are these individuals exceptionally talented in their respective fields (take a look at some of the new faces on our new Culture page), but they are all committed to making Flux an “ecosystem of impact” as our Manifesto proudly declares. Whether that be positively impacting our clients, our freelance community, or our natural world.
And on the latter, our 1 year anniversary marks a year since Flux registering for 1% for the Planet, whereby Flux donates 1% of it’s achieved revenue toward highly vetted nonprofit organizations that are part of the 1% for the Planet network. The team are overjoyed to share that we will be making our donation to causes dear to our hearts, in African Parks, and the 9 Miles project (for more info, visit 1%4TP or our Culture page).
A year in and it’s passed in the blink of an eye. It’s been both exceptionally challenging and rewarding, and I can’t express the extent of my gratitude toward the Flux team, clients, and freelance community for their ongoing trust and contributions.
Here’s to another remarkable year as we bring travel and hospitality brands of meaning and impact into the digital world.