Two-Thirds of Enterprise
Conferencing Deployments Fail to Reduce Travel Spend
Main Reasons Include Lack of Coordinated
Travel Policies, Training
May 18, 2012, Washington, DC – While interest in video- and
web-conferencing as travel alternatives continues to grow, only 30% of
corporate travel departments report actually reducing travel expense in
the year following a major conferencing technology deployment. This was
the finding of a global survey
of 200 corporate travel managers conducted in early 2012 by the
Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) in collaboration with
Kotler Marketing Group.
The survey found interest and investment in conferencing technologies both remain strong:
of all conferencing technologies – from web-conferencing to
video-conferencing, and web-cams to telepresence – has increased since
2009, the study found.
- Furthermore, travel managers are still
attracted to the cost-saving potential of these technologies. To hit
their 2012 cost-containment targets, 54% will rely more on the use of
electronic travel alternatives.
Yet when asked about their
largest deployment of electronic travel alternatives to-date, less than
a third of travel managers said they were able to reduce overall travel
spend in the first year of deployment.
The results are
only marginally better for internal travel. This category of travel
includes team meetings and internal trainings, and is often the primary
target for substituting with electronic travel alternatives. Yet only
half of travel managers reported reducing annual internal travel spend
following their conferencing deployments.
So what accounts
for this widespread failure to realize travel savings? The study looked
at more than 20 company characteristics including conferencing
technologies deployed, travel patterns, and managerial practices. While
some factors, such as company growth, are out of the control of travel
and IT managers, the study found that the biggest impacts came from
factors well within managerial control. It found that the biggest
drivers of travel spend reduction following conferencing deployment lie
in three areas:
- Demand-management policies;
- Organizational and leadership issues; and
- User training approaches.
these success factors are often neglected. For example, the study found
a pervasive lack of coordination between IT and travel departments.
This is illustrated by the fact that most travel managers have no
involvement in managing conferencing technology’s use as a replacement
“We often see companies build their business
case for conferencing on travel savings,” noted Reuben Silvers, a study
co-author and Kotler Marketing Group Practice Lead. “These ‘hard
savings’ somehow seem more predictable to many managers. But our survey
found that if they don’t have their managerial ducks in a row, the
real-world travel savings are likely to disappoint.”
other hand, the study provides compelling evidence that conferencing
technology can and does meet expectations for reducing corporate travel
spend when it is introduced in tandem with training, internal
communication and supporting travel policy.
seeing travel spend reductions savings of 20% were not uncommon. With
corporate travel budgets often running into the tens of millions of
dollars, the payoff is huge for firms that figure out how to
effectively use conferencing technologies as travel alternatives.
Further details about the study including purchase information are available at http://www.kotlermarketing.com/travel_savings_2012.shtml.
The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE)
represents the global business travel industry through its
international advocacy efforts, executive level educational programs,
and independent industry research. ACTE's membership consists of senior
travel industry executives from 82 countries representing the €463
billion business travel industry. Our members serve more than 12
million business travellers worldwide. With the support of sponsors
from every major segment of the business travel industry, ACTE develops
and delivers educational programs in key business centers throughout
the world. ACTE has representation in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Canada,
Europe, Latin America, Middle East and the United States. For more
information on ACTE, please go to www.acte.org.
About Kotler Marketing Group
Marketing Group is a global consulting, research and training firm,
specializing in solving sales and marketing challenges. Our philosophy
is based on the work of Philip Kotler, the world's leading strategic
marketer. For more on Kotler Marketing Group, please go to www.kotlermarketing.com
For more information, contact:
Kotler Marketing Group