Travel marketing in a multiscreen world: An Expedia Media Solutions study

Marketers are all wondering how to cope with travelers consuming media across a wide mix of screens, devices, and platforms — with a third of US households already using five or more devices.

One ANA/Nielsen study has forecast that media spending on multiscreen ad campaigns will rise to become half of marketing budgets by next year, up from 20% on 2013.

So what are travel marketers to do?

Luckily, Expedia Media Solutions, the boutique digital marketing agency in-house at Expedia Inc., commissioned a study by analytics firm Comscore on the topic: “Impact of Multiscreens on the Travel Purchase Path.”

Some key points from the US market:

Device growth and trends

Today’s US mobile travel audience is bigger than the PC travel audience, though only 6% of bookings came from a mobile device, with smartphones accounting for twice as many dollars as tablets, says the study.

Mobile bookings span all lines of travel; air and hotel bookings combined account for nearly 70%.

Opportunities for brands to reach travelers across planning stages

The smartphone audience grew 39%, leading to a 60% increase in visits to travel information sites, and a 43% increase in site visits for both Online Travel Agents (OTAs) and hotels/resorts, year-over-year to first half of 2014, according to the study.

At 37%, smartphones are most likely to be used during the trip for travel related info than in other stages.

Tablets experienced 30% audience growth year-over-year, driving up visits to airline and hotel/resort sites by 72% and 50%, respectively.

Behaviors among family, budget, luxury and business travelers

According to the study:

“Luxury and business travelers use their smartphones to engage with travel content pre-trip more than other groups; 40% of luxury travelers shopped for air/hotel and planned trip activities, while 43% of business travelers researched destinations.”

Luxury travelers are more likely to book travel on a mobile device within the next year – 77% on tablet, 52% on smartphone – while 57% of business travelers and 56% of family travelers are likely to book travel on a tablet.

During the trip, 45% of family travelers use their smartphone for travel related information, second only to business travelers at 47%

The value of diversified cross-platform marketing strategies

During the first half of 2014, US PC online travel spend increased 9%, according to the study. So desktop isn’t disappearing.

Of the 104 million people engaging with travel content on a mobile device, 92% are using a mobile browser to do so.

About one in five travelers intentionally engage with ads on mobile. 45% of luxury travelers intentionally clicked on a smartphone ad and 43% of business travelers intentionally clicked on a tablet ad.

As these statistics show, major shifts in consumer behavior are underway. Advertisers have a chance to integrate a multi-platform marketing approach to effectively engage key audiences throughout the travel planning process.

Growing division

In recent quarterly earnings calls, Expedia Inc executives have touted the revenue growth in the conglomerate’s Expedia Media Solutions division, which describes itself as being:

“dedicated to building online and offline media partnerships for travel and non-travel brand advertisers and to enable them to leverage the unique media value of Expedia’s network of leading travel brands and global points of sale.”

Unlike other digital agencies, Expedia Media Solutions can tap into the data on the bookings side of its brands to see if its marketing work on behalf of clients has actually resulted in conversions, says Matthew Reichek, senior director of product and site planning.

The Expedia Media Solutions study, “Impact of Multiscreens on the Travel Purchase Path”, can be downloaded for free.”

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Sean O'Neill

About the Writer :: Sean O'Neill

Sean O’Neill had roles as a reporter and editor-in-chief at Tnooz between July 2012 and January 2017.



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