Crimtan’s commercial director JAPAC, Joshua Wilson, shares how travel brands can step up their game to meet consumer demands and expectations while optimising their ad spend

Joshua Wilson Commercial Director APAC Crimtan 640

Joshua Wilson Commercial Director APAC Crimtan 640Asia-Pacific’s travel industry was one of the worst-hit by the pandemic, but it may be the fastest one to recover in 2023. Leveraging this boom, travel brands are eager to maximise their returns after two years of lost revenue.

But what is the best way to achieve this?

The soar in travel demand comes in a highly competitive environment, with 44 per cent of Asia-Pacific travel brands dedicating 26 to 49 per cent of their overall marketing budget to digital advertising. This requires ad investments to be more strategic than before, particularly with a potential economic downturn on the horizon.

How to maximise your investments
Beyond the competitive pressures that travel brands face, they also need to adapt to today’s increasingly complex ad ecosystem. The proliferation of media channels, developing unique content, gathering and using customer insights, measuring advertising effectiveness and improving personalisation, are just some of the challenges marketers face.

This calls for new, effective solutions to understand consumer needs and meet their expectations. Here are four ways you can do just that:

1. Personalise your messaging
The new normal brought forward new travel concepts such as work from anywhere, staycations and bleisure (aka bizcation). These new concepts have given brands an opportunity to entice and captivate a new customer segment – locals and natives – who are looking to get away.

To target these customer segments effectively, brands need to leverage data and consumer insights to sell contextually-relevant offerings with personalised messaging. One great example is using route targeting – the ability to personalise messages to include destinations and departure locations that are relevant to the customer. Data from online searches, social media shares, site browsing, blogs and niché websites specific to different destinations all provide relevant insights to target customers effectively, increasing the chances of conversion.

2. Use dynamic creative optimisation (DCO)
Travellers at the start of their customer journey present a huge opportunity for upselling – accommodation, attractions, travel cards, etc. However, consumers are often retargeted with the same offer for weeks after they have booked their travel. Another issue is that creatives used in programmatic travel campaigns are often templated, non-optimised and a long way from being fit for purpose.

Travel is an experience business, where personalised creatives with clearly resonant messages tug at the heart as much as the head, increasing brand affinity and conversion opportunities. DCO gives brands the ability to change creatives on the fly based on different data inputs, ensuring that people always see the right message based on where they are in the customer lifecycle and drive incremental return on investment (ROI). It also enables you to scale your campaigns while working with the same media budget.

3. Prioritise connected, omnichannel media
Consumer touchpoints are not limited to websites and traditional advertising. New mediums such as social media, Connected TV (CTV), and podcasts can give brands better visibility.

Taking a connected media approach through a single platform to reach consumers in an omnichannel environment can help maximise the efficiency of travel campaigns.

To cite an example, an Asia-Pacific tourism board aimed to promote its destination as a fun, exciting and safe place to visit, while creating efficiencies with their media spend. Crimtan was able to achieve this with ActiveID, a proprietary, consent-based identifier solution which connected the customers’ engagement journey across touchpoints.

This resulted in a 44 per cent uplift in brand search, 49 per cent higher video and listen rates, 18 per cent better click through rates (CTR) on display ads, and 200 per cent more site traffic than a non-connected media approach. The success was driven by the ability to find the optimal frequency and best channel mix per audience group to drive efficiency.

4. Gauge performance and optimise
Old methods of measuring campaign performance are outdated and often give information about consumers who are at the bottom of the funnel – i.e., right before conversion.

It is highly likely that a consumer has gone through several different touchpoints that stirred interest and prompted research before making a purchase. So, it is important that brands look at the whole customer journey, including all customer touchpoints that have led to the purchase, rather than only last click attribution.

Travel brands also need to look at modern-day metrics that gauge audience attention, such as viewability, time in view, dwell time, interaction events and interaction rate percentage. These metrics can help you better understand what channels are working for you, and how best to optimise ad spend.

Staying ahead of the curve
These are just some of the ways travel brands can maximise their ROI. The right mix depends on your campaign’s key performance indicators – to drive sales, visibility, cross-sell, generate awareness and so on.

Traditional travel marketing concepts are not enough to capture the attention of travellers today. With deeper consumer insights, DCO and an omnichannel strategy, brands can step up their game to meet consumer demands and expectations.

The secret to campaign success is to reach the right audience at the right time, with the right message, in an efficient and scalable manner. To stay ahead of the curve, travel brands need to partner with adtech experts who can provide the right insights, engagement strategy and measurement tools to run a successfully targeted campaign.



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