Travel shoppers have seemingly endless options for researching and purchasing online travel. Our custom research on the Traveler’s Path to Purchase tells us that American consumers make up to 141 travel site visits in the 45 days leading up to an online travel purchase. This means there are many opportunities for a travel marketer to reach the consumer throughout their purchase path.
At Expedia Media Solutions, we have access to billions of proprietary, first-party data points on travel intent and booking from the millions of visitors around the world who are coming to our sites monthly to dream, search, compare and book travel. So, we know when our travelers are searching, what they are searching for, and where and when they are traveling. All this data informs our product strategy and development, including the digital marketing solutions we offer. Our travel marketing and analytics experts tap into our data across our global brands to help our marketing partners create the right campaigns to target the right audiences at the right time with the right message. We have solutions throughout the purchase path—from inspiration to purchase—to move travel shoppers through the funnel and book their trip.
Here are a few examples of how we work with marketers in each phase of the purchase path:
- Inspiration – The first phase, otherwise known as the top of the funnel, is all about inspiring the consumer to consider your destination, hotel, brand, etc. Especially given that our research tells us that nearly half of travelers have more than one destination in mind when starting to plan a trip, we understand the importance of inspiration. We offer a suite of display, native and social media advertising solutions so our marketing partners can reach consumers at the inspiration phase with beautiful imagery, video or other content to capture imaginations. Plus, our creative partnerships team, which acts as our in-house creative agency, develops bespoke interactive digital media campaigns with the goal of inspiring the traveler.
- Research and Consideration – While the travel shopper might have a destination in mind, they may be price shopping between different hotels, or considering various flight options, and one product that helps drive travel shoppers down the funnel is our audience extension solution, called PassportAds. Powered by our exclusive first-party travel intent data, PassportAds enables advertisers to reach travel shoppers wherever they browse and book on the internet. We can customize audience targets of travel shoppers who have visited our sites and shown travel intent for a specific destination, hotel, and more, which enables the advertiser to reach these coveted, in-the-market for travel, shoppers with the right message at the right time, across the internet.
- Conversion – Our recent research study looked at the resources that travelers in each country used for planning their last trip, and online travel agencies (OTAs) were the leading resource, and even more prevalent when it came to booking the trip. A solutions for hoteliers at this phase is TravelAds, a search advertising program that helps marketing partners reach highly qualified travel shoppers, boosts room night production, drives incremental revenue, and maintains revenue per available room (REVPAR).
With 2017 coming to an end, we are focusing our efforts in the coming year to creating new digital media products that put the customer first: both the travel shopper and the advertiser.
For instance, we are working on a new category of offerings called LinkDirect, which we previewed during the Expedia Partner Conference last week. LinkDirect helps advertisers reach a highly qualified audience of travel shoppers across the portfolio of Expedia, Inc. brands and offers travelers a choice to book with the advertiser directly. The new LinkDirect suite of products allows advertisers to build brand awareness, drive direct bookings, and capture customer data. While not yet available, if you are interested in learning more about LinkDirect, you can sign up and subscribe to our blog to stay up-to-date.