US big data firm Adara has sealed a major new partnership with Europe’s largest airline Ryanair, saying its advertising platform is set to offer a real alternative to the likes of Google.
The three-year tie-up, announced today by the California-based technology firm, represents a major step into international markets having established a permanent base in London in January.
The company believes its robust targeting technology is meeting a need in Europe and the UK from travel firms looking for a more diverse mix of advertising channels.
Scott Garner, chief commercial officer, said: “We have had a tremendous amount of traction from travel advertisers looking to diversify their ad spend. There’s no question that’s been a very interesting point for advertisers.
“At the end of the day, though, you still have to prove your platform can perform as good or better than the competition.
“With Google if all advertisers go there the price goes up while the performance goes down, so all advertisers are looking for alternatives but you have to perform as good as Google or better.”
Adara believes its use of propriety technology and secure cloud-based data storage ensures its system performs more effectively and securely than rivals.
However, with just 45 data providers currently on the system it believes that penetration and awareness of such technology remains low and, therefore, growth prospects are high.
Although many of its partners are hotel groups and airlines looking to drive up direct bookings and away from online travel agents, the Adara system also has intermediary partners.
It works by taking live data about search and booking activity from suppliers, and also Travelport and Sabre, and using that to increase on-site advertising as well as target marketing messages to traffic that has left partner sites.
If a booking has not been made it will retarget that potential customer, whereas if a booking is made then a relevant advert for a complimentary product will be dropped on websites that customer goes on to visit.
In the second scenario, the data partner can share the ad revenue on that sale, giving it a way of monetising the traffic it drives to its site.
Ryanair claims to have over 80 million annual customers and Ryanair.com will attract 1.2 million visits each day.
The airline’s head of communications, Robin Kiely, said the site offered “an enormous marketing opportunity for prospective advertisers”.
As well as online marketing, Adara will also partner with Ryanair on offline boarding pass advertising, making it more dynamic and targeted. The relationship is due to go live at the end of this month.
Garner added: “This three-year agreement enables Adara to significantly grow its business in Europe while making Ryanair’s website an even more attractive media target for advertisers seeking buyers through display, mobile or video campaigns.
“Ryanair is not competing against easyJet in this case for advertising dollars they are competing against Google or perhaps OTAs for advertising dollars. So it’s entirely comfortable being part of a solution that includes its competitors in their core business.
“The focus for Ryanair is to help them be smarter about how they target customers coming in directly, not via a third party. Most of our partners are very focused on growing their direct distribution – sales on their own site. This helps them be smart about how they do that.”
Adara was established in 2005 originally to crunch unstructured social media data but in 2009 shifted focus on to more structured travel data which it saw as a better opportunity.
Garner said the beauty of travel was the way that data could predict customer behaviour, in that someone who buys a flight will likely be wanting to buy a hotel room at some point.
It also locates an individual in a location at a particular point in time, enabling better targeting and timing of the nature of marketing messages.
The firm says it reaches 130 million unique users every month and claims to have pioneered this data-driven approach in the US.
It hopes to recruit between six and 10 people in London by the end of this year as a result of its international expansion.