Right place, right time with personalised, engaging creative: You can’t beat it. Programmatic display, done right, has the power to next-level your digital activity, create demand and drive more people through the conversion funnel. The result? Online sales increases that make a real impact on your bottom line.
Programmatic is essentially the tech behind automated ads that are shown to people based on previous browsing or booking data. It’s a way to pinpoint people at a certain time in their travel planning journey to ‘plant the seed’ of your tourism offering. Once they’ve visited your site – and if they haven’t converted – then programmatic ads also follow them round the Internet, serving a different message based on the content they looked at on your website, in an effort to convince them to book.
Ad recall (how well people remember an ad or brand) is 337% higher at the beginning of travellers’ purchase journey, when they arrive at their destination, compared to the middle or end.
Because this ‘first mover’ advantage is so vital, working with a platform that can tailor its approach to reach people at the exact point they arrive at the destinations is key to influencing travel behaviour. This is achieved through granular, postcode-level geo-targeting.
Automation also allows for personalisation. Through automation, this customer discovery process is instant. Previous individual audience data about destination searches, website visits and specifics around travel research creates an opportunity for brands to identify what a valuable experience looks like at a very granular level.
Think serving a certain ad set to a family flying into Auckland Airport verses a retired couple – what’s going to work for one audience isn’t going to work for the other. Very few platforms offer capability to personalise creative like this.
This depth of detail is the most effective way of creating long-term brand connection – research shows that 67% of leisure travellers feel more loyal toward a travel company that shares information during their trip that is personalised, therefore improving their travel experience.
Programmatic works in the upper to middle level of the online travel conversion funnel – awareness/interest – to serve ads to people that are highly likely to be interested in your experience.
Using data collected based on browsing and booking behaviour, targeting might look like:
We use online insights from travel research behaviour to plan campaigns like this one. From these insights, we might know that American families tend to firm up their itinerary and book activities between 2 and 4 months out from their flight date. So – we’ll implement a campaign that is served to them during this time period in order for it to be most effective.
On its own, Programmatic is not overly effective. Programmatic ads ensure the target user is made aware of the tourism experience while they’re planning their itinerary, but without further nurturing through the funnel – think AdWords, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube – they are unlikely to convert. We see best results when Programmatic is implemented within a holistic paid media campaign framework.
To do the best job possible, a Programmatic ad must convey the right message at the correct point in the user journey. Data is all well and good but if it’s the wrong ad with the wrong message at an odd time, it’s not going to make an impact on travel behaviour – and is likely to do more harm to your brand reputation than good.
Maverick Digital is the preferred tourism-marketing agency for Crimtan, a market-leading global platform that combines three key sets of data:
One of the key reasons we work with Crimtan is their partnership with the Expedia travel network. By accessing Expedia’s global travel data – including actual bookings and travel searches – we’re able to reach an audience that has been pre-qualified as people who are about to visit New Zealand.
There’s also the Adara travel data network – which isn’t as granular and specific as Crimtan’s network capabilities, but can be used in collaboration to strengthen travel bookings on first touch.
This type of targeting doesn’t come cheap and on first glance can seem expensive compared to other paid media options. However, tourism operators and organisations really start to see value when it is implemented alongside a holistic digital approach that includes AdWords, Facebook and organic activity.
Programmatic should be part of a full-funnel approach and not treated in silo.
Budget and spend should be worked out with acquisition targets in mind: First, articulate what success looks like, then work out conversion rates, cost per acquisition and visitor numbers needed in order to achieve this.