Expedia works to bed down brand

Expedia works to bed down brand
By admin

Expedia has revealed its marketing spend will grow in 2013 as the online firm cements its position as an established player in the local market.

Although relatively unknown in Australia and New Zealand at the time of its launch in 2005, it now consistently falls within the top five ranking of online travel firms by market research firm Experian Hitwise.

Georg Ruebensal, managing director ANZ, told Travel Today that although it had initially been dependent on international long haul sales on the back of its strength in the US and the UK, it has developed a thriving short haul division as its brand has grown its local presence.

He reported double digit growth in bookings for short breaks last year with a new section of the site created to cater to demand.

"We're still not where the US is but we clearly have the brand awareness now in the market. We're a well-established brand," he said. "But are we the top of mind OTA in this market? No, we are not."

Local competitors still retain a substantial chunk of market share, but Ruebensal insisted Expedia is "encroaching" on them.

"There's a lot of different tactics and strategies that our local competitors are taking up at this time which is a good indication that they're more than noticing us."

He confirmed that the OTA's marketing spend is "growing nicely" with Expedia to follow up its 2012 campaign which promoted its dynamic packages with a campaign to showcase its entire range this year.

"We want people to be able to understand not only who we are but our personality as well," marketing and communications manager Amee Evans said.

The OTA has recently appointed creative agency DDB, known for its work on the latest Tourism Australia campaign, thereby ending a three and a half year relationship with BMF.

"It's important to have an agency that can really support us," Evans said. "We've always got the option of repurposing global work, but we feel strongly that's not the right thing to do."

She stressed that the firm had been happy with BMF's work, but needed a new direction as Expedia continues to bed down its market presence.

"It's all under wraps, but we've got big things in the pipeline. Expect even better things than we've done before," Evans said.

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