NO FEWER THAN thirty of British Airways’ customer databases have been consolidated into a massive master file containing lifestyle and travel information on millions of travellers worldwide. Constructed by an inhouse team over three years, the newly integrated system codenamed Ocean Wave is fully relational and drives a segmentation programme enabling BA to customise mailings across the world to virtually every person who has travelled with the airline in recent years.

According to business marketing manager Chris Hale, further enhancements to Ocean Wave over the next three years will allow BA to distribute personalised news and offers via the internet and loyalty magazines. The system is already generating a series of bi-monthly Executive Club magazines, each targeting different segments of the frequent flyer base. Says Hale: 'BA’s direct marketing will be refined to give travellers information reflecting their ticket type, routes taken, frequency of trips, even airports travelled from. It’s about splitting cells, so there is the potential for more business from BA for direct marketing agencies.'