Incrementality Reporting for DMOs: Proving Results to Stakeholders

Christine Walker Scarce, Director, Product & Sales Marketing, Expedia Group Media Solutions
August 29, 2019
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The question, “Is my advertising working?” has existed for as long as marketing has. But, even with an uptick in revenue following an ad campaign, it was never possible for marketers to truly measure the exact impact of their advertising. How many customers booked solely because of ads – and how many would have booked anyway?


Enter incrementality reporting. In our last post, we discussed how incrementality works. By comparing the behaviors of a control group and an exposed group of potential customers, incrementality reporting determines how much additional revenue an ad campaign actually drove. By measuring conversion lift, incrementality proves the effectiveness of an advertising campaign.


There are several different benefits to this type of reporting. Incrementality validates effective marketing techniques, and in turn, provides insights into creating future campaigns by identifying strategies that work. Finally, for destination marketing organizations (DMOs), incrementality provides a key benefit: Objective, data-backed evidence of a campaign’s effectiveness that can be presented to stakeholders.

Incrementality Reporting for DMOs

DMOs play a vital role in highlighting the unique appeal of a destination. In addition to drawing in tourists, DMOs are also tasked with quantifying the economic impact of their campaigns in order to show their value and secure future financial support from stakeholders. This means that communicating their marketing results accurately and clearly to decision makers – whether city council members, hotel operators, or government officials – helps foster continued success.

By sharing their incrementality reports with key decision-makers, DMOs can:

  • Demonstrate the positive economic impact of their campaign
  • Prove the effectiveness of their marketing techniques
  • Potentially secure future advertising dollars

Communicating Incrementality Results to Decision-Makers

A longtime Media Solutions marketing partner, one North American DMO collaborated with Media Solutions to draw in visitors to their region. The DMO wanted to measure the results that they were getting from travel shoppers who booked specifically due to their ads versus those who would’ve booked anyway. By measuring this, they hoped to showcase the efficacy of their ads to their stakeholders.

The Senior Account Executive managing the campaign shared how he presents results to clients, and how they can, in turn share the results with stakeholders: “I present incrementality as a rate of conversion. For example, ‘This marketing effort has increased the rate of conversion of those exposed to your marketing, to your destination through Expedia Group sites by X%. This conversion rate increase equals X amount of incremental passengers to your destination.’” And that final point is key. A DMO’s stakeholders are keenly listening to understand how many additional travelers visited their destination because it is that metric that influences how many people are dining out, participating in activities, and generally spending money in market.

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By sharing their conversion lift with stakeholders, the DMO was able to prove the economic impact of their campaign. The DMO communicated the incremental rate of conversion during partner meetings such as LPS Partner Forums. This was a meeting in front of hotels, and city level DMO’s within the province.

We also teamed up with a European tourism development agency on a digital advertising campaign to promote several regions in their country.

The business development manager handling the account shared how incrementality reporting contributed to an expansion of the campaign. Proving the direct cause-and-effect relationship between their advertising campaign and increase in revenue piqued the interest of other regions within the country and sparked a collaborative effort between national and local DMOs.

“Thanks to incrementality reporting, we showed that we brought people to the destination who would not have come otherwise. The total budget was a combination between the national DMO and the regional DMOs,” said the business development manager.

Destination Cleveland, the DMO responsible for drawing visitors to Cleveland, has been working with Media Solutions for many years. When our incrementality reporting became available, they saw an opportunity to identify how much of a difference their advertising truly made.

“Incrementality Reporting from Expedia Group Media Solutions is the closest thing to a silver bullet. Understanding the TRUE impact of our media gives us confidence that our marketing works and is making a real difference,” said Colette Jones VP of Marketing for Destination Cleveland.

Destination Cleveland's Incrementality Report showed a fifty percent lift in conversions as a direct result of the ad campaign and a total return on ad spend of more than 75:1. As a result of this success, Destination Cleveland decided to extend their campaign as soon as it concluded.

Why Incremental Results Matter

One of the key benefits of incrementality reporting for DMOs is its ability to spark a virtuous cycle of successful campaigns and increased funding.

Incrementality reporting proves just how well your ads are performing. Demonstrating data-backed success to those with a vested interest in a campaign not only validates an effective marketing strategy, but can secure additional funding. Greater funding, in turn, can provide DMOs the freedom to allocate even more energy and insight toward future campaigns. Incrementality reporting can help a DMO build a positive feedback loop between their advertising outcomes and their stakeholder funding.

To learn more about how incrementality reporting for DMOs, read our whitepaper, "Measuring True Impact in Digital Travel Advertising.”

Picture of Christine Walker Scarce, Director, Product & Sales Marketing, Expedia Group Media Solutions
Christine Walker Scarce
Director, Product & Sales Marketing, Expedia Group Media Solutions
Christine Walker Scarce leads the product marketing team at Expedia Group Media Solutions, overseeing the go-to-market strategies for the digital advertising products and services across the Expedia Group portfolio of leading travel brands. Her team is responsible for everything from product planning and positioning to marketing strategy to deliver innovative media offerings and reporting for marketing partners. Christine previously spent seven years at Expedia.com as the senior manager for destination management, where she led product strategy for Expedia.com. With more than 20 years in the marketing industry, Christine has experience in e-commerce, merchandising and technology industries, having led product strategy and development previously at Vegas.com and T-Mobile. She is a graduate from the University of Houston and lives in Seattle with her family.
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