Southwest Airlines is the largest domestic air carrier in the U.S and employs over 60,00 people. The company was founded in 1976 with the goal to “democratize the skies” and make air travel affordable for everyone. Today, the brand differentiates itself through its customer service and fare transparency. Because customer experience is central to Southwest’s value proposition, it’s essential for their marketing team to understand what their audience wants and needs.
Before 2018, it was challenging for Southwest Airlines’ marketing team members to find customer insights, often taking employees between 30 minutes and two hours to find the information they needed. Additionally, the different marketing teams were siloed, and employees were often hesitant to share ideas across teams.
Southwest realized they needed to make it easier for team members to find and leverage customer insights so that they could continue innovating and delivering the exceptional experiences customers associate with their brand. They needed a tool that would allow them to centralize their customer insights so that their marketing team could easily find and leverage this information.
Southwest Airlines’ first step in improving their insights and knowledge sharing was adopting Bloomfire, which they used to democratize research and insights across their marketing department. They identified a team of “Knowledge Ambassadors” to act as change agents as the company rolled out Bloomfire. These ambassadors were responsible for answering questions from marketing employees and identifying the knowledge from their team that should be included in the Bloomfire platform.
The team also promoted a culture of knowledge and insights engagement by hosting a Bloomfire launch party, setting expectations for using the tool to achieve department goals, and modeling the knowledge engagement behavior they wanted to see across the department.
Bloomfire helped Southwest Airlines establish a single source of truth for their marketing department to find information related to customers. The platform also helped break down silos between teams and encouraged marketing team members to share their work and ask questions about others’ work. “It has people thinking in a new way and thinking outside the box,” said Sydney Leonard, Associate Manager of Knowledge Management.