Marketing platform provider Marin Software held a breakfast briefing for travel industry professionals to coincide with last month’s Travel Technology Europe trade show. Lee Hayhurst reports
The blurring of online channels offers travel firms the opportunity to use customer data from multiple sources to better target their deals and offers.
Wesley MacLaggan, vice-president product at Marin Software, told an audience of travel marketers that it was vital they understood the fragmentation of channels.
He said customers that have been engaged by brands across multiple touch points see a conversion rates two times higher than those who have just been captured through search.
“The proliferation of devices that people are using is as important,” said MacLaggan. “Fifty percent of purchases are now over multiple days and multiple touch points.
“In most channels 50% of volume is coming in through mobile and tablet. It’s fundamentally important to capture users in all channels.”In the UK Marin says 50% of marketing spend is targeted on mobile and tablet, added MacLaggan.
He said when Marin was first established it was focused on helping clients manage their search efforts on Google, Yahoo and Bing.
But now it has become an omni-channel platform with capabilities added in areas like social, as clients seek to make different channels work together.
“The direction we see things going in is channels need to work together.
“At the end of the day you are looking for customers and you want to reach customers no matter what channel they are in and we are building a platform that helps to do that.”
MacLaggan said central to this was using data and customer signals to determine intent to get the right information to them at the right time in the right place.
“Once you have intent you need to be able to activate that across channels. You need a full picture of your marketing activities.”
With pure paid search costs rising, firms are looking for better efficiency from their marketing budgets and a cross device approach promises this.
MacLaggan said brands want to minimise their costs incurred bidding on high value keywords so they can use search data to create social audiences and vice versa.
He said this allows firms to target potential customers on social channels like Facebook and Twitter at much lower cost, who have initially engaged on a high cost search keyword.
“You will be shifting spending from a high cost channel to a lower cost channel using information you know about the audience.
“You can also take information from social and use that to create audiences in Google.
“Have different campaigns focused on those audiences to ensure a consistent experience across all channels.”
MacLaggan said this approach allows firms to optimise their marketing based on the true value of the customer.
“We see most sophisticated advertisers leveraging the full lifetime value of the customer.
“Clients able to manage search and social together were able to drive 36% higher revenue per click than when channels were managed separately.”