September 7, 2017
updated October 2020
As marketers, we know smart targeting is one the best ways to get our messages in front of the right audience. There are a multitude of online advertising opportunities and it can be challenging to navigate all the different offerings and capabilities to understand what makes sense to reach your campaign goals. Our recently updated targeting guide, Audience Targeting in Travel Advertising, explains Expedia Group Media Solutions’ targeting opportunities with that in mind. The goal of this guide is to help you understand how to work with us to reach the right audience and optimize your campaign’s effectiveness.
Here are three targeting best practices to help you get started.
1. Gain Access to Billions of Data Points Based on Our First-party Data
As a leading online global ecommerce company, we have access to billions of data points captured from our travelers’ search and booking behaviors worldwide. You can reach those qualified travelers in a plethora of ways through our targeting capabilities. Whether your campaign goals are market or vertical specific, our digital media consultants leverage customized reporting to provide you with targeting recommendations to help you meet your KPIs.
2. Test Different Targeting Capabilities
Another useful tactic is to take a test and learn approach. We recommend testing different audience segments to discover which audiences engage most with your branded content. The scope of our targeting capabilities gives you the ability to create more qualified travel audience segments that expand beyond traditional targeting capabilities, like demographic data. We can then help you optimize your campaigns with more of a scientific method—using data to help reach your marketing goals and continue to increase your return on ad spend.
3. Scale Your Targeting
Scaling your targeting is just as important as testing which ones are the most effective. Consider this: Travelers make 141 travel site visits on average before making a booking decision, and OTAs make up thirty three percent of the site visits prior to a booking, according to our Path to Purchase research. Therefore, it’s important to have your brand present throughout this considered travel booking journey. Advertising with us affords you access to an expansive audience as travelers cross-shop our network of over 200 sites that are localized into 35 languages. Tapping into targeting across multiple brands and multiple markets is key to leveraging our reach and scale. Doing so gives you an increased ability to reach qualified audiences, and also the opportunity to reinforce your branded message to consumers as they shop across our brands.
One customer that successfully leveraged all three of these tactics is Hotel Pennsylvania (known as Hotel Penn), located in New York City. They partnered with us to create a display advertising campaign across a dozen branded travel sites like: Expedia, Travelocity, and Hotels.com—reaching travel audiences across the globe. The campaign used traditional demographic targeting reaching males, ages 25-34, but also layered on additional targeting for travelers searching for 2-3-star hotels.
A review of mid-campaign reporting demonstrated star-rating targeting was driving the strongest results, so the campaign was optimized to focus on those audience travel search behaviors. The data also indicated strong engagement with a few key global audience segments, so the campaign shifted to focus on Korea, Italy, and Brazil. Ultimately, we leveraged mid-campaign data to focus on the best performing markets and targeting parameters.
As a result of the data-driven insights and scaled targeting, Hotel Penn saw greater conversion rates and increased brand exposure. Specifically, they realized a return on ad spend of 30:1, and generated demand for an incremental 11,000 room nights. Get more details by reading the full case study for Hotel Penn.
For more information on our targeting capabilities, read the guide here.