Features

Case Study: Display Ads Finally Profitable for Travel Company Zuji

Written on
Mar 30, 2012 
Author
Brian LaRue  |

ADOTAS – The stakes were fairly high for the travel industry at the beginning of 2011. We’d experienced over two years of a tanking global economy and slow recovery. There’d been a volcano in Iceland and an earthquake in New Zealand in 2010. For Zuji — a division of the Travelocity Group that serves Asia, Australia and islands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans — it was crunch time. The company knew it needed to hang on to would-be travelers visiting its website — potentially a challenge, considering travelers are inclined to conduct quite a bit of research online before dropping a huge chunk of change for an airline flight or a hotel package. But retargeting people who’d visited the Zuji site made it possible to present reminders — including new deals and offers — via display ads to travel-planners as they continued to browse the web. So, with marketing services platform Cadreon and multi-service ad  solutions provider MediaMind, Zuji created a personalized display ad campaign — and it turned out to be the very first display campaign Zuji ran that was actually profitable. Click-through rates tripled, and Zuji cited order values 25 percent greater than the average for display.

MediaMind shared with ADOTAS a case study around the campaign, which we’re in turn sharing with you. The full text of the case study follows.

 

With Re-Targeting, Display Is Now Profitable

Campaign Brief

The online travel market is packed, and both consumer affinity and barriers to entry are low. In such a hyper-competitive environment travel agencies must continually find innovative ways to entice travelers  to convert on their sites vs. the many others available.

Part of the global Travelocity group, ZUJI offers consumers travel deals from more than 400 airlines, 60,000 hotels and thousands of car hire, activity leisure providers and travel insurers. In 2011 after the devastating year for travel that was 2010, ZUJI needed a way to strengthen the connection between traffic to its sites and actual conversions, engaging consumers even after they left ZUJI’s website to explore competitive offers.

ZUJI’s vision was to create a personalized display campaign that would serve up the latest and best ZUJI deals relevant to each consumer’s travel intent – anywhere they browsed on the web. ZUJI engaged Cadreon and MediaMind to develop a data-driven digital remarketing campaign that would achieve its goal.

“We might not be able to afford prime-time advertising in Western Australia, for example, but we know we can target Perth users with special deals with online geotargeting using MediaMind. It gives us deep reach that we couldn’t otherwise afford.” – James Gaskell, Managing Director of ZUJI Australia

Execution

Developing this dynamic, geo-targeted campaign was complex. The MediaMind platform was synced with ZUJI’s live travel database so it could automatically search and pull new travel deals into the display templates. These personalized ads would then feed into Cadreon’s vast network to be served to individuals wherever they were. The system also had to be time sensitive, dropping targeted ads after an appropriate time period or after the individual registered new site behavior on ZUJI, such as booking a flight.

By July of 2011, the solution was up and running. ZUJI could successfully identify an individual’s flight or holiday intent and retarget them with relevant advertising almost anywhere they went on the web.

MediaMind technology also enabled ZUJI to track orders or basket value in order to optimize marketing spend on sites that generated higher-value travel purchases.

“With this latest solution, display for the first time is an ROI-positive channel, and we are generating actual business profit for ZUJI from display advertising.” – Marc Lomas, Commercial Director of Cadreon Australia

Results

Six months after launch, the campaign hit or exceeded all its KPIs for CPA, reach and frequency. In fact, it is the first time in ZUJI’s history that a display campaign has been profitable.

CTR +300%: Display CTR went from 0.04% (July 2011) to just under 0.12% (December 2011)
Basket value +25%: Order value is approximately 25 higher than the average for display
Low CPA: The campaign maintains a low CPA thanks to its lower burn rate in terms of overall impressions served
A better customer experience: ZUJI customers are served relevant, intent-based creative that is actually helpful in travel planning.

“Now that we can automatically insert the latest travel deals into our display ads, customers constantly see the best deals available, which can make a major difference as travel buyers shop around.” – James Gaskell, Managing Director of ZUJI Australia





Adotas Senior Editor Brian LaRue has been working in journalism in some form or another for slightly longer than his entire adult life, having won his first SPJ (Society of Professional Journalists) Award while he was still in high school. Prior to joining Adotas, he served as a reporter, editor, columnist, critic and blogger, mostly for a number of daily and weekly newspapers scattered around his native Connecticut. In his off hours, Brian maintains an active parallel life as a musician and music blogger.

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