By Rob Webster, CSO, Crimtan
One of the major challenges for travel marketing directors is that most consumers will compare prices from a range of suppliers before buying. So while your creative message needs to be compelling enough to grab their attention, it also needs to build brand loyalty.
Consumers respond to personalised messages, but they need to be heavily A/B and multivariate tested to deliver the results your campaigns need. By combining data and creative you can test different messages to find out which ads resonate most with consumers and achieve real engagement and loyalty.
Programmatic systems will automatically learn which copy is most effective for which offers, for different consumer groups at any given point in time.
Here are four ways you can use data and creative tactics to drive improve your campaign performance.
1) Use route targeting
This is the ability to personalise messages to include destinations and departure locations that are relevant to the customer. The data used to indicate this can come from online searches, social media shares, site browsing and in, particular, blogs and niche websites specific to different destinations.
As well as using explicit destination data, destinations can often be inferred from signals such as age and other demographic data, lifestyle and where in the country people live. For example, people looking to travel to party resorts in the summer – such as Ibiza and Magaluf – have a similar age and lifestyle profile. With a known or inferred destination, specific offers, specific copy and relevant imagery can be included in the ad.
This takes destination targeting one step further and is really important for flights and holidays. When we know where a customer lives, we can predict their preferred departure point (airport, train station, port etc.). Showing potential travellers the most convenient departure point for them has a big impact on engagement and ultimately conversion rate.
This is done by knowing the location of the user, understanding whether they are at home or work, and then indexing that against how likely that location is to book an offer from a given departure point. This data can then be applied to select relevant offers and copy to show in the message.
Travellers are much more engaged by creative showing relevant routes – especially if they hadn’t previously associated the brand with that route.
2) Get your timing right
Consumer demand for travel changes dramatically for events like festivals and sporting fixtures, and for fixed calendar items like school and bank holidays. Travel offers at these times are often oversubscribed and need less marketing activity – making campaign timing an important tactical consideration.
This is why it’s vital to use data to understand who is in-market and whether they are likely to want to travel at these specific times. This can come from demographic data (indicating families with school age children), from web behaviour (providing data on interests and purchase intent), social sharing, search keywords and more.
3) Keep your customers
Existing customer data is hugely valuable to programmatic display campaigns. It provides real insight into the routes and times the customer likes to travel. And because the customer will already have traveled with you this increases the chance of new bookings.
The big challenge in travel is that customers engage with travel brands over a long period, so relying on cookies is problematic as it’s is likely that between booking trips a customer has cleared their cookies.
With a first party DMP, email on-boarding can fill in the missing gaps and, although this might sound difficult, it’s easily achieved if you have the right expertise available.
4) Make the most of upsell opportunities
We’ve all seen it – too many display campaigns continue to retarget consumers with products after they purchase. Instead of wasting marketing budget and annoying your customers, this is the time to switch the message to upsell complementary products.
By doing this, the customer has a far better brand experience and additional services can be sold. A simple process of customer segmentation will allow you to automatically switch from promoting holidays or flights to delivering display messages about car hire, travel insurance, extra experiences or upgrades.
WANT TO GET EVEN MORE FROM YOUR DIGITAL BUDGET?
This is just one small excerpt from our comprehensive travel whitepaper. In it we explain:
- The three biggest mistakes travel marketers are making
- How to get retargeting right
- Why last click attribution doesn’t work in travel
- How travel firms are missing big upsell opportunities
- Why it’s a mistake to rely on cookies in travel campaigns
- Why travel marketers need to get their creative right
- How programmatic, data and create can solve travel challenges
- How together creative and data can build brand loyalty
- Four ways you can supercharge your results
- How you can get more from your digital budget
Get your free copy of our travel whitepaper now and get more from your digital marketing
budget in 2018.