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Travel Brands’ Passport To Programmatic Success

Technology has changed how consumers plan and book travel — and technology can enhance how travel ads are served to consumers, making for more successful campaigns.

Here are three ways travel brands can ensure their programmatic advertising campaigns are effective:

Find your audience early and react in real time.

Whether traveling for business or pleasure, most people research their options prior to booking. It is vital that brands find these potential customers early in order to make the most effective connection possible.

According to a Google-commissioned study done by Ipsos MediaCT, the majority of travelers enter the research phase searching for the best deals, not specific brands. Advertisers can be strategic by serving creative that showcases relevant deals or loyalty programs during this point on the path to purchase. Programmatic marketing allows you to find travelers at the ideal point in their research, engaging with them across display, mobile, social and video.

Allow data insights to inform your strategy.

Data insights become especially valuable when running digital campaigns across multiple platforms. Every demand-side platform has different strengths in price and performance discrepancies, so finding the right mix can have a significant impact on your results. It’s all about finding the right audiences, and expanding reach and scale using a partner that can report across platforms holistically so media dollars aren’t wasted. Business, finance, entertainment and travel sites are the most popular for travel conversions over the holidays. Over this competitive time of year, it would be worth considering private marketplace deals with the best performing sites to maximize conversions.

Using a combination of first- and third-party data is another way to increase the effectiveness of your online campaign. CRM data is a goldmine of information, there to be analyzed in order to inform marketing decisions. For example, an airline with travel routes with spare capacity can use its CRM to identify whom to market spare seats to, and send out a discount coupon through its email marketing solution. The matched customer data would then also be used to target display advertising, running in parallel to the email campaign – irrespective of if the user has seen the email. Furthermore, sequential messaging could be activated, targeting customers who engage with the email message, increasing or decreasing the frequency and tailoring the message where needed. This enables the airline to maximize brand and consumer touch points and increases the chance of engaging customers.

Connect across devices and channels.

Modern consumers move seamlessly across devices throughout all stages of the travel booking process. According to Trip Advisor, nearly 50% of its total traffic comes from mobile devices with over 230 million mobile app downloads. It’s important for brands to have a mobile-optimized site and/or easy to use app with proper tracking in place to improve the quality of the consumer’s experience.

As online travel spend continues to rise rapidly, it’s important that marketers pay close attention to how they are engaging with their consumers across devices. They should use programmatic to optimize their campaign in-flight, gaining valuable, real-time data insights to shape their overall marketing strategy.