How Two Airlines Used Audience Targeting to Reach More Customers Across the Web

Those who can skillfully harness the power of the data revolution wave sweeping through the digital world, are set to enjoy tremendous success. One clever way to ride the wave is to use data to help effectively reach the right audience. In competitive sectors like the airline industry, audience targeting can be used as an integral data tool for propelling a brand ahead of  their competition. By tapping into effective audience targeting to shift competitive share and reach their goals, two airline brands, Korean Air and Hainan Airlines, have done just that.

Korean Air

Korean Air knew the U.S. represented an under-tapped market for them, but they needed a strategy to reach and engage a larger audience. Using Expedia’s first-party data on shopping and purchase behavior, audience extension – our Passport Ads productidentifies the attributes of a ready to convert shopper and is then able to reach that audience profile across the web. This enabled Korean Air to stay top of mind with shoppers as they continued through their web browsing journey outside of This ability meant that even after customers left, Korean Air could follow and reach them when they were ready to purchase.

By following customers through their online journey, Korean Air witnessed outstanding success with a 20 percent lift in their click-through-rate and an overall 10:1 return on ad spend.

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Hainan Airlines

As a growing Chinese airline, Hainan Airlines saw an opportunity to extend their international presence. With China’s growing tourism industry, they wanted to expand their reach of international travelers to cities beyond the better-known tourist destinations like Beijing and Shanghai, to places like Xian and Chengdu. 

To increase brand awareness, Hainan Airlines needed a targeting strategy that identified customers searching for air travel to and from China. This route targeting allowed the airline to feature routes and destinations to some of the lesser known areas in China, to and from flights in the U.S. and Canada. This strategy allowed them to showcase routes between cities like Las Vegas and Chengdu, while still featuring the better-known routes, like New York to Shanghai.

Hainan Airline’s approach of maintaining the larger, well-established routes while targeting lesser-known routes paid off. Their strategy resulted in staggering results with a 47:1 return on ad spend and bookings of over 3,000 tickets to fly to various cities in China.

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Harnessing Audience Targeting for Your Brand

The success of these two airline brands is indicative of not only the power of audience targeting, but also the power of harnessing partner data. You can learn about how we have helped brands tap into our first-party data to create effective targeting in our guide on audience targeting, and learn more about how we have helped airlines reach objectives.