Much of the effort travel firms put in to finding and understanding their customers online is wasted because they do not personalise their creative.
Personalised, programmatic, creative technology agency Clinch says making sure that the content delivered is adapted to the user is vital to cut through the noise online and in social channels.
Boaz Cohen, chief product officer of the New York, Tel Aviv and Mexico City based firm said it is the emotion that any ad illicits in the target customer that determines how effective it is.
“For the past 10 years you have seen in the industry companies are focusing money on targeting, how to find the right person and sending them the ad,” Cohen said.
“But what they are totally missing is the creative. That’s what makes the impact, the emotion needs to get you to interact with the ad.”
Clinch deploys machine learning and AB testing to decide what creative to who which customer in which circumstances.
In travel one of its biggest clients is the Brazilian OTA Despegar.com with which is works on display and dynamic video ads, but clients in other verticals include Nike, Spotify, Honda, Sony and Netflix.
Clinch, which was founded four years ago and has clients in the US, Latam and the Middle East, Europe and Asia, is a Facebook marketing partner.
As well as specialising in the social network’s ad formats, it is also using Instagram and, in particular, its ‘stories’ format which is seen as a powerful engagement tool.
“They [Facebook] are heavily promoting stories as a new advertising channel,” said Cohen.
“Rather than showing generic hotel rooms or activities we are showing locations or activities that most fit with what the customer wants which means you are more likely to convert.
“It’s amazing how simple things can make an impact. Every person might react differently so to find out what works you have to test.”
Cohen said work Clinch has done in the fast-moving consumer goods sector has proved not everyone is looking for a discount message in advertising despite the prevalence of money off messaging.
And he said with travel being such an emotional purchase and such a competitive sector curating content can be the key factor to drive customer preference to your brand.
“Creative is the key to generating emotions. Travel is so much of an experience there’s no doubt that what we do is an engine for higher performance.
“I’m sure this is going to be more and more important and we are working with companies that are starting to realise that.”
Cohen said Despegar pushes Clinch to add more features to its offering saying the Latin American market is “much more advanced” because they are willing to try more things.
“They are starting to catch up with the rest of the market and they have to be more aggressive,” Cohen said.