Welcome to the Travel Marketeer, a weekly series where we examine data, insights and ideas around marketing, creative testing, and ways travel brands can improve the online customer experience.
Communicating personalized messages to multiple audiences is a challenge for marketers in many industries. There are technology brands who market to businesses and consumers; marketplaces communicating to buyers and sellers; and automotive brands reaching luxury and budget consumers. Travel brands often must appeal to both business and leisure travelers. In this installment of the Travel Marketeer, we share three tips on marketing to these two unique leisure and business traveler segments simultaneously.
1. Customize creative and landing pages
To business travelers, convenience and comfort might be more important while leisure travelers might care more about price and vacation packages. Thus, the creative and messaging needs to reflect these differing needs and interests.
Business and leisure travelers are incentivized by different things. Typically the person booking business travel is not the one paying for it, so other factors trump price. Meanwhile leisure travelers are usually the ones booking and enjoying the vacation, so price can be more of a factor. It probably doesn’t make sense to emphasize price and deep discounts to business travelers, but testing price messaging would make sense for leisure travelers. Understanding the customer’s context and perspective is critical.
In situations where it is tough to segment audiences cleanly, rotate creative for both segments within the same campaigns and ad groups. Be sure to maintain a consistent experience from creative to landing page. Mixing a leisure ad with a business landing page wouldn’t be a good customer experience. Compare ad CTR by creative approach (business or leisure), cross-referenced by audience segment to understand which targeting methods tend to attract business travelers and which tend to attract leisure travelers.
2. Leverage retargeting
According to one study, the average time from first ad click to booking is nearly two weeks in the travel industry. Thus, it is important to keep users engaged with the right creative at the right time throughout the decision process.
On-site user behavior can inform how to separate business and leisure travel cookie pools for retargeting. If site users don’t neatly categorize themselves into business and leisure travel buckets, intent can be inferred based on behavior. For example, if a customer performs searches for a solo first class mid-week ticket, he or she can be added to the business traveler cookie pool. If a customer performs searches for multiple people to travel together over a weekend, that user is likely a leisure traveler. When in doubt, segment users into the leisure category. Read on to find out why!
3. Use business and leisure traveler overlap to your advantage
Most business travelers take vacations, but not all vacation travelers book business travel. Knowing this, brands can design retargeting programs with vacation packages targeted to people who have booked business travel as a cross-sell.
To increase business travel bookings, consider offering vacation-focused travel incentives for business travelers. At first glance, this might not make sense. But think about it from the customer’s perspective. The business traveler likely isn’t the one paying for the ticket – their company is. If the business traveler can get a free upgrade or discount on his or her upcoming personal vacation by booking the executive suite on the company’s dime, why would one book with the competition where there is nothing in it for them personally?
In addition to testing customized creative and landing pages, designing a smart retargeting program, and cross-selling between customer segments, there is more to be accomplished through analysis. Perhaps your data shows that business travel bookings drop off after 6 pm or that tablet devices tend to drive more leisure travel bookings. Maybe certain search keywords perform better with leisure-focused ad copy? There are a wealth of actionable insight to glean from data.
What travel marketing discoveries have you made by exploring your data?
About Boost Media
Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale.
The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.