Google remarketing and metasearch are Travolution board’s hot tips for 2014

Google remarketing and metasearch are Travolution board’s hot tips for 2014

By Travolution

By Travolution

Google’s new Remarketing Lists for Search Ads is already starting to have an impact on marketing budgets, according to a leading agency working in travel.Speaking at last week’s Travolution editorial advisory board meeting, Nishma Robb, iProspect chief client officer, predicted this will be one of the key trends for 2014.

She said the agency is already seeing clients increase budgets for next year but are looking at how search is interwoven with display.

Robb said the remarketing capability currently being rolled out by Google was already seeing firms focus on optimisation.

“It’s encouraging businesses to get smarter about analytics and conversion. We will now be able to prove [the effectiveness of campaigns] through technology.”

This is what Google says about Remarketing Lists for Search Ads:

“[It] provides yet another opportunity to optimise your search campaigns by letting you tailor your keyword bids and ad text for your highest value prospects – people who have visited your website in the past – when they’re searching for what you sell.”

Google estimates that conversions online run at between 2% to 4% of visits, and in travel where customers visit in excess of 20 sites before committing that figure is usually a lot lower.

A Google Think Insights post said: “In standard search campaigns, your bids, ads and keywords are the same for every search and every searcher.

“But if you knew which searchers represented higher value prospects, you might want to bid higher, show on broader keywords or present different ads to these customers to improve your results.

“Remarketing lists for search ads lets you do just that. You can use your existing remarketing lists to more effectively reach past site visitors so you can get more conversions and potentially better ROI.”

Robin Frewer, Google director of travel and finance, said the functionality will enable travel advertisers to target certain customers according to particular insight into aspects of product they have shown an interest in.

He said Customer Parameters will be “really powerful for remarketing to customers with a specific interest in specific destinations, dates or product types” and will help travel firms increase the accuracy and therefore the profitability of their advertising.

Frewer predicted that there will be a shift to measurable, performance-based marketing activity and that this has already seen more focus on brand building online, which is becoming increasingly more accountable.

Another area the board picked out to dominate in 2014 was metasearch, with this sector expected to make big in-roads into the traditional beach market.

Kayak and, increasingly Tripadvisor, are expected to have a major impact in this area the former having already launched package price comparison and started offering its own packages under a deal with On Holiday Group.

Former Traveltainment UK managing director, Andrew Nicholson, said: “There is still a lot of brand equity in the meta play.

“Players in meta dominate flights, are very aggressive in hotels and beach will be the big market they tackle next. Definitely volumes are going through the roof.”

Ian Brooks, Puregenie managing director, said he could see travel metasearch sites coming to dominate as they do in other sectors like financial services.

 

Tui Travel to push for widening of package law scope

Tui Travel to push for widening of package law scope

By Ian Taylor

Tui Travel to push for widening of package law scopeTui Travel will lobby in Europe to have the proposed Package Travel Directive tightened and airline sales of holidays redefined as ‘customised packages’ rather than ‘assisted travel arrangements’.

If successful, Tui’s proposals would extend the liabilities of a package organiser to airlines such as easyJet and Ryanair.

Mike Bowers, Tui Travel UK’s general counsel, said: “We will say click-through sales are competing with our core offering and with dynamic packages, so should be treated as full packages.”

He said: “The EC is seeking, as far as it can, to capture all true holiday arrangements in an expanded definition of a package and has made a pretty good fist of it.

“The directive has been drafted with the intention of bringing in airline click-throughs, which fall within the definition of assisted travel arrangements where there is a transfer of booking data, but not personal data.

“We would like to see the same conditions apply to anything a customer thinks of as a holiday.”

Bowers added: “Anyone who cares about regulatory fairness, and fairness for the customer, should welcome the directive. It’s not perfect, but the European Commission has done a pretty decent job.”

He said: “Holidays need to be protected. You frequently have an intermediary who is not the end supplier, a service provided overseas and holidays purchased in advance.

“The market has changed since the 1990s, but for the customer these considerations are still relevant.”

Land tours, Europe strong sellers for Montrose Travel

Land tours, Europe strong sellers for Montrose Travel

By Laura Del Rosso
InsightSales are up for Montrose Travel, one of the country’s oldest and largest host agencies. “It’s up in double digits so far this year, and that’s across the board for us: leisure, corporate and groups,” said Andi Mysza, president of the Southern California-based company.

One segment in particular seeing a boost is land packages and tours to Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe, she said.

“Both cruises and land are up, but we’re seeing larger increases in land travel, presumably because of the negative press that Carnival has gotten,” Mysza said. “People are asking for more land packages, and we’ve increased our marketing efforts there.”LauraDelRosso

As for Europe, Mysza said that the high airfares to the Continent are becoming standard, and travelers are growing accustomed to paying more than $1,000 for flights.

“Last year, I think Europe suffered because of the high fares, but this year it looks like people are getting used to the ‘new normal,’ if you will, and they are going to Europe even with the fares as they are.”

Mtravel.com, the hosting division of Montrose Travel, scheduled its annual educational conference for Oct. 3 to 7 in Los Angeles, with specialized training at Montrose’s headquarters, followed by a three-night Princess cruise to Ensenada, Mexico.

The host agency, which has about 500 affiliated home-based travel agents, typically draws around 125 attendees to the annual conference, which enables them to meet face to face with preferred suppliers and other independent agents and attend training seminars, she said.

“This is the fifth year of doing the annual conference and the first time we’ve done it featuring our headquarters. The theme is ‘Homecoming,’ and we want to get our agents to our home to meet all the Montrose Travel staff that they normally do not get the chance to meet at a conference.”

In the last year, Montrose (No. 47 on the Travel Weekly Power List) rolled out a customer relationship management program for its agents.

“We’ve done extensive training throughout the year on the new platform, which is integrated from a marketing standpoint,” Mysza said. “It’s helping everyone’s business with the ability to push out marketing to our customers, if they choose to receive it. We’ll review it at our conference.”