Most airline advertisers rely heavily on search and affiliate (OTA/Metasearch) marketing to drive performance (sales) driven campaigns and allocate over 50% of their digital marketing ad-spend for search marketing including paid and organic. Display advertising is viewed as a channel to drive user engagement and branding by such advertisers. This has been the scenario for the past few years especially in emerging e-commerce markets where advertisers are keen to drive higher ROI and prefer to plod the tested path.
Search marketing helps advertisers identify prospective buyers and place your brand in front of the buyer. This is a safe bet since the user has very clearly stated his/her needs in terms of the keywords and you just need to weed out the best keyword and place the highest bid for the best routes and optimize based on route/class and O&D level. Search marketing is an awesome channel to drive traffic to your website and get first time buyers as well as repeat buyers.
But, the purchase cycle for flight industry is generally lengthy and spans close to a month unlike baby products where conversions are within 5 days. Our Whitepaper on industry driven retargeting indicates that about 90% of users visiting a flight website complete a purchase within 27 days of their first visit! Considering this lengthy decision making process, it’s essential for a flight advertiser to appear in front of the right user, at the right time with the right message in order to create top of mind recall – this is where retargeting is helpful.
What is retargeting? You’ve probably heard a thing or two about retargeting. Retargeting is the practice of using data (I mean lots of data!) to deliver personalized ads to specific individuals, as opposed to just buying up ad inventory and hoping that the right audience will view and respond to your ad.
Site retargeting – Site retargeting is a form of retargeting wherein personalized ads are served to your website drop-offs. In emerging e-commerce markets, site retargeting is a fairly new concept. However, flight advertisers who have on-boarded specialist retargeting campaigns are happy with the initial results (in terms of incremental revenue and cost of sale (COS%)) benchmark and plan to invest more in retargeting from 2014. Virgin Airlines Australia observed a 60X increase in ROI with our site retargeting campaign, take a look at the infographic.
Search marketing and Site retargeting – the combined impact
If a targeted campaign is highly effective at building a brand but the absolute number of consumers reached is limited, can it deliver the ultimate ROI desired? A combination of search marketing followed up by site retargeting helps you optimize your ad spend.
A study by comScore indicates that a planned marketing strategy comprising of Search marketing and Site retargeting can help you boost your brand preference and drive sales as well. Many Airline advertisers who have been quick to notice the benefits have looked beyond search marketing and evolved their strategies to utilize personalized display advertising as a sales channel tightly integrated with their ecommerce KPI’s and goals.
I hope this blog has helped you understand the relevance and importance of site retargeting for airline advertisers. In my next blog, I will write about how site retargeting works for various airline brands and some results that we have observed. Do post your feedback, suggestions or comments below.