Opinion

Web ads target business travellers

25 Jul 2014 by GrahamSmith

Stephen Taylor is MD and VP International of Sojern

Business travel is on the rise, with the global business travel market expected to increase 8.2 per cent by the end of the year, surpassing $1 trillion in spending (according to the Global Business Travel Association).

In an effort to reach these frequent business travellers and serve them relevant content for their trip, brands are delivering highly-personalised advertisements across the web, with the hopes of capturing their target audience.

Increasing opportunities for advertisers

Previously, brands guessed which websites business travellers frequented in order to determine where to place ads most strategically.

These generic ads were not tailored to individual users, so they resulted in subpar consumer engagement, which meant mediocre value to brands and consumers alike.

But data marketing companies can now give advertisers the capability to deliver highly-engaging content based on a traveller’s needs. After all, the point of personalisation is to give consumers more of what they care about and less of what they don’t.

With access to anonymous, non-personally identifiable traveller behaviour data, data marketing companies allow advertisers to deliver engaging content based on travel intent. Now, advertisers can tailor their offers based on sites visited, trip duration, and number of travellers in a party, dynamically serving ads aligned with each consumer’s travel plans and preferences.

How travellers benefit

Brands are incorporating specific offers, promotions, or upgrades in order to engage prospects and increase relevancy to the potential traveller.

They are effectively integrating display ads to target the right traveller with offers pertaining to their trip, instead of sending a mass email that can likely end up in a spam folder. This ensures that every viewer gains value from the ad and avoids content that is not applicable to their travel needs.

For instance, if a hotel knows a business traveller is searching for flights to Madrid during the week of a conference close to the hotel’s location, the hotel could include a conference room promotion in their display ads.

They can even tailor their message further — what style of room would be best suited for the traveller? How close is this hotel to the conference? Do they offer a shuttle?

Using the wide variety of data available, this promotion could dynamically change based off of the traveller’s intended dates, rate, or room type.

These personalised ads benefit consumers by engaging them with content, promotions, or offers they were not previously aware of, making their trips more enjoyable and cost-effective.

And consumers do tend to respond well. According to Yahoo!, 54 per cent of consumers find personalised ads more engaging than non-personalised ads, and 45 per cent find them more memorable.

Looking to the future

As the travel market continues to grow, advertisers will face heightened pressure to break through the electronic clutter with relevant ads.

Taking a more competitive stance by enhancing targetting capabilities, advertisers can provide travellers with offers and specials that are an exact fit for their travel needs.

For instance, what happens when that same business traveller shows up to that conference center early in the morning? A notification with directions to the closest coffee shop might pop up as the traveller browses her phone.

This location-based targeting, also known as geotargeting, will further enhance the relevance of ads and ensure that travellers only receive beneficial recommendations and offers.

Furthermore, with programmatic buying increasingly dominating multiple media channels, including TV, advertisers will have the ability to better capitalise on real-time behaviour data across a variety of devices. Whether they are on the go or relaxing at home, travellers will be able to access offers at their convenience.

By incorporating anonymous traveller preference data from a variety of sources, advertisers will be better equipped to align their offers with the traveller’s needs and interests.

Read our contributor biography of Stephen Taylor

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