Technology

How to convert would-be travellers into customers

Paul Korber

This opinion piece by Paul Korber, from Marin Software, breaks down Facebook’s Dynamic Ads feature, outlining how it can help travel and tourism brands extend their reach and improve the booking experience for customers.

More World Travel and Mobile Shopping

Since 2008, the amount of Australians travelling overseas has exceeded the amount of tourists coming into Australia year on year, and these travel purchases are increasingly being made on mobile devices.

Because consumers are more commonly purchasing travel products via their phones, travel advertisers have been steadily shifting their ad spend away from desktop and tablets, opting instead to invest more in smartphone advertising.

By way of example, findings in our State of Travel Advertising report showed that in the span of a year, mobile spend jumped from under 10 per cent of search budgets to almost 30 per cent. That was in 2015.

Today, 70 per cent of advertisers invest search spend into mobile, which is almost as high as the number of advertisers that invest in desktop search.

It’s all well and good to allocate budget to mobile search—however, the ever-evolving nature of smartphone technology means it’s sometimes a tricky beast to keep track of.

Our research indicates that digital campaigns are bound to evolve in the next 12 months as advertisers become more familiar with the online behaviours of their target consumers.

Dynamic Ads for Travel

Facebook Dynamic Ads for Travel (DAT) has certainly opened up a breadth of new mobile search opportunities for travel marketers.

With DAT, travel and tourism brands can now automatically deliver ads at a product level from their hotel and destination catalogs, with unique creative based on a person’s click events on their website. This has improved campaign performance across relevancy, automated delivery, targeting, and scale.

For example, you could dynamically deliver ads across all hotel destinations with imagery specific to the location that people are searching for. People who searched for hotels in Sydney on your website and didn’t convert would be delivered a differentiated offer from those who searched for, say, hotels in Singapore.

One brand that has used this technology particularly well is Meliá Hotels International, a global hotel chain with 16 locations in the APAC region. Meliá was one of the first large hotel brands to utilise DAT for remarketing through Marin Software’s platform.

Meliá wanted to use DAT to remarket to potential customers with product-specific offers across Facebook’s ad network, with the aim of delivering relevant deals to audiences based on click events.

By utilising DAT through Marin Software’s platform, Meliá was able to automatically generate custom audiences on Facebook based on the keywords people searched for on Google. From

this, Meliá experienced a 6.7 times increase in ROI and a 79 per cent decrease in the overall cost per acquisition (CPA).

Unique Opportunities for the Travel Industry

As we all know, for a travel business the definition of a ‘product’ is very different from what it is for a retailer or e-commerce advertiser. Thousands of variables come into play for our customers, which makes remarketing a complex exercise by any marketer’s standard.

Whether it’s the destination, check-in date, check-out date, currency, origin airport, departure airport, region, city, country, preferences, or party size, the travel industry needs to implement automated solutions that make a customer’s journey as easy as possible—both in purchasing and their travels.

 

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