During our most recent webinar, we had the chance to speak with 2 key industry stakeholders about the biggest challengers digital marketers are facing in the travel industry. Read on to learn about Costanza Ghelfi (Co-founder and COO of ad-machina, a Making Science company) and Miquel Trias (Sr. Data Industry Manager at Google) had to say about the top 3 things they’d recommend any travel organization focus on.
I see it every day, it really makes an enormous difference. If you go with a customized message to the user, you can connect with the user much better than with a generic message.
2. Data Activation – using all the data
These days, a company’s competitive advantage is data. You need to capture as much data as possible but you must do so intelligently. Data that is not activated correctly is a huge opportunity lost.
Personalization and data are very related. You can learn from the data of your existing clients and apply it to prospective clients. And, more importantly, you can personalize better with all the data you collect.
Marketings teams need to adapt to win in this new context… They should lean into a mindset of letting go, of losing control. We are so used to controlling everything in digital marketing, down to the specific message that we showed each user at a particular time of day. But machine learning and automation have shown us that this doesn’t work anymore. It is inefficient – so we have to trust the technology. We have to give the technology all the information about our business & target that are relevant and let the technology do the magic. This doesn’t mean that the marketing team doesn’t have anything to do! Quite the opposite – it gives us the time/opportunity to strategically differentiate ourselves from our competitors.
It is about feeding the technology with the best resources, best assets… Regarding search campaigns specifically: you should feed Google Search Ads with the best copy you can generate about your hotels.
1. Be privacy ready
We mentioned the new privacy regulations (like GDPR and the CCPA) – and if we don’t have the privacy basics right, the rest of our efforts will fail. We need to be able to track the conversions and the actions that happen on our site properly. This means doing it legally for people who accept to have their data collected, and extrapolating data for the ones that don’t.
2. Set clear objectives
It might seem obvious, but you should establish clear business objectives that you want to maximize. Then, given a budget, what is the KPI that you want to maximize? In this way, you can enable your company to have the data available to calculate those KPIs… You need to know what is important for the business, and be able to measure and track it.
3. Embrace automation
If you have the basics right (privacy ready with clear business objectives), there is no way that a manual strategy can beat a target ROAS straegy. There is no way that an old-fashioned, complex campaign structure works better than one using responsive Search Ads. Companies must embrace automation.
We’ve tested it with over 100 customers in our office, and I have not sen a single classic campaign work better… if you are running a non-automated campaign, you are losing money every day. Quite simply, it’s an unfair battle – that’s why I can say who will win. Smart bidding offers a number of signals that manual campaigns can’t collect. Sure, you can put a bid modifier for device, but these are very big segments compared to auction time bidding. They are not able to put bid modifiers that Target ROAS puts on modifiers… In my experience, smart bidding always wins.
When it comes to digital marketing in the travel sector, you really can’t beat insights from Google and ad-machina. Whether you’re looking to personalize your campaigns, activate your data, be privacy ready, or even set (or modify) business objectives, Making Science can help bring you the best of all worlds.