Digital Travel US 2018

April 30 - May 02, 2018


Performance Marketing Trends in the Travel Industry

Here's a list of the companies so far attending Digital Travel 2015. Some fantastic additions to the event these last couple weeks. Welcome aboard to: Air Canada, Air China, Airbnb, Alaska Airlines,, Delta Airlines, Delta Vacations, Expedia, Hilton Worldwide, Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Orbitz, Porter Airlines Inc., Silver Airways, WestJet Airlines, World Hotels, Wyndham Hotel Group
Performance Marketing Trends in the Travel IndustryPerformance Marketing Trends in the Travel Industry
In this brand new report from Digital Travel and Performance Horizon, you'll discover the cutting edge of digital strategy that travel brands are rolling out. The report covers:

- The use of partner marketing in customer acquisition and retention
- How travel brands are measuring and improving their strategies
- What new techniques are being deployed in the coming year

Click the image to the left to download!

Executive Summary

Competition in travel is already fierce with complex consumer journeys and more touch points, channels and devices than ever before. In order to compete, brands must fully integrate their customer-facing eCommerce operations and marketing activities across various channels, devices, and marketing partners as well as constantly measure the return on investment of those efforts. As pressure for these brands to drive both customer acquisition and retention increases, digital marketing must evolve to better serve their needs.

This report benchmarks the digital travel industry including the adoption and management of performance marketing programs such as digital partner marketing alongside other marketing tactics. The results analyzed in this report were gathered from survey responses in May 2016 from a large range of executives representing leading global travel brands.

The fundamental principle of performance marketing is that all activities should be tracked, measured, recorded and rewarded based on their performance. Digital partner marketing is a performance-based marketing channel that has origins in affiliate marketing, but extends beyond to include a much wider array of nontraditional partners such as aggregators, metapartners, content partners, comparison shopping engines, mobile apps, and social media in addition to traditional affiliates.

Key findings include an increase in performance-based partner marketing to drive both customer acquisition and retention, a trend towards the application of these methodologies to other increasingly popular channels such as mobile, and a growing need for data and insights around transparency, fraud, contribution, and attribution to support business decision-making. Increasingly, partner marketing has risen in popularity due to its substantial return on investment, which essentially provides brands an opportunity to further focus budgets on revenue-generating activities they can easily measure.

Key Takeaways
• Partner and affiliate marketing has a role to play in both customer acquisition and retention.
As traditional affiliate marketing has evolved, so has its value. Historically, the digital partner and affiliate marketing channel has been known to drive customer acquisition. But because partner marketing methodologies now extend beyond traditional affiliate programs, brands increasingly use performance-based measurement models and reward programs across a wider range of nontraditional marketing partners to retain customers.

• Using a performance-based partner marketing approach with independent verification is a trend that is set to continue in the travel industry.
As travel brands compete in the multichannel digital world, they are almost universally facing pressures to quantify the impact of their business decisions. Performance marketing may be particularly well suited to address these concerns as its underlying model is based on measuring, optimizing, and rewarding marketing activities. In fact, a large number of travel brands rely on 3rd parties to provide independent verification for these activities.

• Expanding the use of performance-based partner marketing methodologies addresses the pressure to measure results across the quickly expanding mobile channel.
Travel brands almost universally expect mobile conversions to increase. The combination of the increasing pressure for measurement of performance and the expected increase in conversions across both mobile web and mobile app suggests that mobile would be a good channel to apply performance-based models and increase investment.

• One of the most valuable aspects of marketing partnerships is the wealth of performance data that can be used immediately to drive better performance.
Brands find the data from their partner marketing programs provide them with high quality insights across transparency, fraud, contribution, attribution, and—most importantly—useful insights that support business decision-making.

Click here to download the full report.

Executive Summary

In an age of increasingly plentiful customer information, the quest to create a truly individual and personal digital experience has become the gold standard for brands across industries. A digital retailer can now use cues taken from data around earlier brand interactions to identify the preferences of a customer, then serve them content that strongly correlates to those professed interests with the goal of creating a more enjoyable, and ultimately, profitable experience for individual shoppers.

Now, strides are being made towards further embracing personalization and data driven predictive marketing within the travel industry, which has historically been slower to adopt these solutions than digital retailers. The questions that brands are asking themselves are being driven by two sides of the same coin; how can travel companies create more personal, preference based content and serve it to their customers across multiple channels and touch points through creating consolidated views, and on the back end, what data is valuable for painting this picture and how can its massive volume be managed?

In addition to the challenges of fine tuning data collection and insight generation, personalization initiatives need to compete against the multitude of other projects faced daily by digital marketers, and often require concerted effort to implement across departments. This paper will examine the implications of the growing importance of data driven personalization, what the effects of this trend will look like in the travel space, and what leading brands are doing in order to make forward progress towards a more effective and enjoyable standard of personalization for travel customers.