Last week we held our first partner event with Google on How to Grow Your Travel Brand Online. It was a huge success and as there were so many takeaways from the event we wanted to share them with you. First up, Erik Henry, Senior Account Manager at Google shared Australian Travel Trends, Sabine Zonderland, Video Specialist at Google shared insights into YouTube for Travel, Paul Hewett, Commercial Director and Ed Jones, Head of Growth here at In Marketing We Trust shared tactics for Creating Winning Campaigns and Louise Percy, Digital Marketing Manager at Globus Family of Brands shared how they are Transforming Digital Performance.
View the full slide deck below or read on for the top takeaways.
How to Grow Your Travel Brand Online with Google
- Australian Travel Trends – Google
- YouTube for Travel – Google
- Creating Winning Campaigns – In Marketing We Trust
Australian Travel Trends – 2019 & Beyond
Erik Henry, Senior Account Manager at Google
My Goal Today
Provide a deeper understanding of industry and consumer trends to help drive your business forward.
- Australian Market Trends
- The Changing Consumer
Australian Market Trends
- Growth is Accelerating
- Mobile First
- Brand Preference is Shifting
The Australian Travel Economy is Accelerating
With domestic overnight and international tourism both performing well, total overnight spend (domestic and international) reached $116.6 billion across the year. This represented an increase of 11% or $11.2 billion, the largest annual growth recorded over the past 10 calendar years.
A number of underlying changes are ensuring that tourism deservedly retains its status as a super growth industry. The lower Australian dollar means that domestic travellers are choosing to travel in Australia rather than overseas, with growth in outbound trips slowing. For international visitors, our lower exchange rate also makes Australia a more competitive destination.
The lower value of the Australian dollar is making overseas travel less appealing and increasing the relative attractiveness of travel on home shores. Australians aged 15 years or more took 10.1 million outbound trips in 2018. While this represented a solid growth of 4%, it was the second year in a row where growth in domestic overnight travel has outstripped the rate of increase for travel abroad.
This is an ad for a telecom company, promoting that they can “Deploy a solution that allows you to provide compelling multi-screen services on your existing cable network today, with devices that are compatible with the IP networks of tomorrow.” this. THIS – is what consumers are demanding and expecting.
Just a few months ago I went to a concert, the artist literally asked if everyone could put their phones down for one song so we could all be together. Do you know how many times he had to ask, and even single people out in a ~15,000 people crowd to get them to put them away? Even after 4 attempts, I could see 2-3 people who absolutely refused to put it down. People are stuck to their phones and more than ever before.
We live in a world with an abundance of choices, a vast array of brands and a million ways to get things done. And we’re all hungry for advice. When deciding on a big purchase or making a weighty decision – like which fridge to buy, career to pursue or flight to book – it’s natural that we not only consult our friends and family, but also the wealth of digital information out there.
Over the last couple of years at Google, I’ve been spending time with consumers, delving into how they are researching products, making decisions and purchasing.
It’s clear that mobile has changed everything. With unfettered access to information at our fingertips at all times, we’re now accustomed to turning to a device for quick, useful advice, across a much wider range of topics to help inform our decisions. Micro-moments – These intent-rich moments when we turn to our devices for help are increasingly critical for brands to win because these are the moments when preferences are being shaped and decisions being made.
Assuming this has taken 10 minutes thus far (1279 searches per minute).
By using Google search to advertise your tapping into millions of people who ask google what they want, or their intent.
- These are different consumers than even just a few years ago!
- The very nature of how they behave and what they expect has changed.
- They’re actively curious, incredibly demanding, and they’re very impatient! Way more than ever before.
- People are now incredibly curious even about small, seemingly mundane things.
- In the past 2 years, we’ve seen mobile searches for SHOWER CURTAINS more than DOUBLE.
- Mobile searches for “best travel pillow” have grown more than 300%!
The Consumer Journey
So when you ask people via a survey how they plan their travel the answer often looks a bit like this. First the flight, then the hotels, the car hire, and finally some key activities. Easy.
Google conducted some research in late 2017, where we tracked the digital behaviour of consumers over a 3 month period to analyse the journey of booking flights and accommodation. Interesting…many hadn’t booked the trip by the time the study finished.
But what became apparent is the “Dream’ and Plan” stages have now become one.
Technology has given the consumer access to a huge amount of information – and as such, consumers expectations have increased.
Understand each Touchpoint
We know that it’s hard – in fact, it’s almost impossible to manually address each individual consumer, their queries and transactions, that is why we suggest you think about the foundations of combining the power of audience data and machine learning.
I hear you thinking – so what’s the alternative? A Data-Driven Attribution model. A Data-Driven Attribution model uses machine learning to determine how much credit to assign to each click in the user journey. It allows advertisers to serve ads according to the importance of a moment across touchpoints and devices.
Sophisticated algorithms evaluate all the different paths in your account (both converting and non-converting) to determine which touchpoints are the most influential. Factors such as the number of ad interactions, the order of exposure and the creative assets used in each conversion path are all incorporated into results. Using a counterfactual approach, the algorithms contrast what actually happened with what could have happened to determine which ad clicks are most critical for a conversion.
Consumers Expect Immediacy
Do you hear that? That is the sound of consumers leaving mobile sites across Australia.
The average Aussie site load speed is 15 seconds
Speed isn’t a developer problem or a marketer problem – Mobile speed is a business problem. It can negatively impact your bottom line.
This consumer expectation for immediacy isn’t just about the speed with which they can transact with you on your mobile site, it’s also changing the way consumers are engaging with your content and creative.
We recently did a research study in collaboration with Accenture – launched earlier in October in which we looked at the top 100 sites (in terms of traffic) in AU across industries.
Mobile websites in this region score well in all categories except speed.
Where to Start?
If you don’t know where to start – we can help!
The first is a new Speed Scorecard – an easy-to-use tool that allows you to compare your mobile site speed to your competitors.
It’s the only tool of its kind because it’s based on real user data collected anonymously from Chrome users.
Simply enter the URLs of the brands you want to compare, select your target country, and hit submit.
But we understand that it’s not always easy to quantify the business impact of speed. That’s why I’m also happy to announce a new Impact Calculator.
With just a few inputs, the tool estimates the revenue impact that could result from improving the speed of your mobile site. See how much more you stand to gain by reducing load time by two seconds versus one second.
Consumers are Demanding
Today, more and more aspects of our lives are powered by mobile and digital. We love our devices, of course, but what we really love is the EMPOWERMENT our devices give us. The power to get exactly what we want, instantly and effortlessly.
To have our needs not just met, but anticipated.
66% of Aussies expect personalised searches, and YoY “for me” searches have grown by 60%.
What is it that’s so complex about the world now? It’s the amount of information people are sharing about what they are doing. The connection of people and place and sentiment and intent. All those micro-moments…they’re the data, it’s just our behaviours captured. And thinking about the AMOUNT of data: it is believed that 90% of the world’s data was created in the last 3 years. There’s so much of it that to be able to understand it we need the machine.
The only way is to focus on the people, the information in the moment when people are wanting to do something.
At the end of the day, if data is just human behaviour captured in a meaningful, actionable way, it’s the people, the places, the sentiment, the history and the intent.
The new way to grow relies on putting the human intent at the centre of the business: being able to finally achieve the holy grail of marketing: knowing what a person is interested in, knowing when they will be most receptive, on what device, at what time, and how valuable those interactions are to you as a business.
Talk about teaching the machine to maximise the score (well, profit).
Leading Businesses get Smarter with Data
- Market growth is accelerating and with it, consumer choice and curiosity. Be measurable.
- Mobile is even more important than ever. Be Fast.
- Choice is increasing complexity and consumers are beginning to lean more on brands. Be personalised.
YouTube for Travel
Sabine Zonderland, Video Specialist at Google
- Audience: Who, Where, How?
- Building Great Video Assets
- YouTube Product: Reaching your audience
- Measuring Success
It’s no secret that YouTube has terrific reach. It wouldn’t be a YouTube event without celebrating this!
So, with 1.9BN users/month, we have incredible viewership and the capability to find YOUR attentive customers at scale.
Reach is no longer a scarce commodity. Attention is.
- While REACH is still critical, ATTENTION is becoming ever more scarce.
- We have shifted from a world of APPOINTMENT viewing to one where consumers are empowered to access what they want, instantly and effortlessly across more content, more devices, more occasions than ever before.
- In this new world of changing consumer habits, the customer journey has a broader digital footprint and is increasingly fragmented across multiple channels and platforms.
This reality, whilst disruptive, has also created new opportunities for businesses to connect with their consumers in a new way.
- That’s why video is such an important channel – People pay ATTENTION on YouTube.
- In fact, People are paying nearly TWICE as much attention to video ads on YouTube than they do on other social media platforms.
- And WHEN they watch, it is video in its fullest form – sight, sound & motion. At 95%, YouTube has the highest viewability on the web and 95% of ads are watched with the sound on.
- Increasingly this attention is turning into ACTION
- Conversions are up, MEANING that more advertisers are using YouTube to drive action.
- Not only is YouTube driving online impact but OFFLINE in store too!…
- Today, I want to tell you what we have been doing to make YouTube better than ever at driving performance and results for your business!
Text vs. Video
How many text ads does it take to sum up one video? AND does it lives forever? Is it organic? This video has had over 18 Million views.
Other benefits of YouTube:
- It’s re-searchable
- It lives forever
- Audience Data
Prior to purchase over 55% of people search on Google and then go to YouTube to learn more, before they buy.
Now we can start reaching people who searched for specific terms with a Video. So we’re taking the strongest intent and using it to reach the right people.
This is a super strong tool. Imagine if you’re a mattress company and you can show your video ad to people shortly after they search Google for mattresses, or if you’re an automotive dealer and you want to serve a video ad to someone after they comparison-shop SUVs on Google Search. Clients actually asked for this specific product for a long time.
How Much Travel Content do Aussies Watch on YouTube?
Given the strength of YouTube we are seeing a new way of thinking for many brands. Gone are the days of channel planning, it is all about audience planning – buying where the audience is and if you want to connect with anyone under the age of 39 that’s YouTube.
The change for brands is that they are now thinking differently and buying TV for older audiences and YouTube for younger audiences and seeing the results through media efficiencies and above category growth.
The impact for us has been YouTube revenue growth 4X.
Do you plan by audiences or channels? How are you working with your agency to make sure your thinking flows through?
We find a lot of agencies are split by offline and digital departments which can mean implementing audience thinking differently. In the case of KFC they have a ‘connected executions’ media neutral person sitting within the agency working across their brand holistically.
How do I Speak to My Audience?
Our audience solutions provide three ways to connect to YouTube’s uniquely engaged audience to make your ads more relevant and capture the attention of your most valuable audience.
Bring Your Own Data: Leverage Google tools to bring your own data and audience insights to connect with your customers.
Built by Google: Find authentic audiences at scale with our curated pre-built audiences steeped in a deep understanding of consumer interests and intent.
Custom Audiences: Define your audience powered by Google’s rich intent signals.
- The first step to finding your highest value customer is to understand your audience based on their intent.
- At Google we have 8 properties with over 1B+ users, which means we have a lot of intent signals flowing through our pipes
- The ability to leverage intent signals from across search, maps and app downloads and combine these with machine learning means we can develop extremely powerful insights into consumer shopping habits and purchase behaviours
- Building a deeper understanding of our consumers; What they want, what they are in the market for and what they need at any particular time
- We have developed these into powerful audience targeting capabilities called Advanced Audiences to help you reach your best potential customer, at the moment of intention
And lastly, Custom Audiences.
Beyond Google’s off-the-shelf curated audiences, you have the option to build your own audience, bringing together the power of Google Data and your audience definitions to build unique and tailored audiences.
For instance, you can build broad audiences around passion points using Google signals like App Downloads or URLs that deliver substantive reach.
You can also capture attention during purchase decisions by reaching people actively searching for your products on Google.com, to drive action on YouTube.
For example, if you are a Retailer building a “Cyber Monday Enthusiast” audience to drive awareness, you could build an audience using Electronic Store location categories, had downloaded the Amazon Shopping app and has an interest in Best Cyber Monday Deals.
This year, we’re rolling out our most powerful targeting feature yet: Custom Audiences. This lets you build your own targeting segments using custom search terms.
For the first time, you’ll be able to reach people on YouTube who are actively researching your products or services, based on the keywords they searched for on Google.
It’s no surprise that relevance matters, in fact, ads that are more relevant to users draw 3X more attention.
With this incredible targeting option, you can reach people who are ACTIVELY searching for your product.
Renault Italy wanted to boost lead gen so they targeted people who looked for their new model on Google search. Using this targeting, Renault saw 60% more conversions and 50% lower cost per conversion from this campaign than they had seen on average from any other 2017 campaign.
Similarly, MoneySuperMarket saw a 15% increase in incremental conversions using Custom Intent Audiences on YouTube.
YouTube as a Marketing Strategy
There is a lot of talk about addressable TV and the future of TV – what is going to sustain and grow revenues into the future. But if you stop and think about it YouTube can already deliver you an addressable solution and at mass scale – it is already offering the future of TV. We have the tools to push your customers through the funnel from brand building at the top to activation at the pointy end and back.
Drive Brand Awareness
TV time shifted over the last 2 years – all people viewing is down 16% whilst it is the younger audiences who are showing the biggest shifts with 18-34 watch time down close to 40%.
And one of the biggest changes is that 1 in 3 18-39’s now watch no free-to-air TV at all. That’s 2.4M 18-39s that TV can no longer reach – that’s a big group.
Yes tentpole programming still exists on free-to-air, however, it is not delivering the same scale of audience it once did.
Let’s take The Block. In 2013 it was the 2nd highest performing show (just behind My Kitchen Rules) with 3.16M viewers tuning in for the finale. 4 years later in 2017, it is still the top rating entertainment show, but it only delivered 2.53M – that’s an audience drop of close to 20% or 630,000 people. It is currently on air at the moment and is consistently a top rating programme but only delivering around 1m viewers.
- When it comes to capturing and converting attention, creative is key
- Studies have shown that it not only drives improvements to ROI
- But more relevant ads drive results with over 60% increase in purchase intent
- So now I’d like to show you some creative best practices in action
What is a trueview?
You only pay if a user watches the complete video or gets to 30 seconds, very cost-effective use of budget.
Measure the increase in ad recall, brand awareness, consideration, purchase intent and favourability directly attributable to your trueview campaign.
Measure the increase in brand interest on organic search activities directly attributable to your campaign.
As well as direct sales impact we can now look at the incremental impact of total online sales.
Using similar technology to brand lift we understand how many visits/purchases happened because users saw your ads.
- Why should I care?
Australian’s are consuming years of travel content.
- What should I do?
Win top of mind by using signals and reach to bring your message to users.
- What is the opportunity?
$200,000 a month
= Reach 2.8M unique users (20%) interested travellers in Australia on YouTube.
Creating Winning Campaigns
Ed Jones, Head of Growth and Paul Hewett, Commercial Director at In Marketing We Trust
The Australian travel market is impressive. In 2017 – 18 there was over 130 Billion spent from international and domestic travellers.
- 32% international
- 68% domestic
All metrics are increasing for the 9th year in a row, with Australia attracting more than 9 million international visitors for the first time in 2017/18.
Our role today, is not to tell you about the opportunity. It’s to show you how to capitalise on the opportunity. As author William Arthur Ward once said …
Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long you miss them.
Google has told us about the opportunity. We know there is a lot out there. We’re going to show you how to transform latent opportunity into bookings and revenue for your travel business.
How we’re going to do that is by giving you:
- A birds eye view of a digital campaign plan
- Show you how to setup for success
- Show you what good looks like
Birds Eye View of a Campaign
Campaigns aren’t just standalone ads, there are other assets you need to make a connected campaign.
Most campaigns that fail, fail before they are launched, due to poor planning or lack of planning … The advertiser hasn’t sharpened the axe.
- The target audience is wrong
- They don’t understand the market
- The messaging is wrong
- They’re targeting non-commercial keywords
- They don’t understand essential metrics – LTV or CPA
Sharpen your axe:
- Know your audience
- Understand your market
- Know your business
Setting up for success
Setting up for success isn’t difficult.
Asking yourself 10 questions in the planning process will ensure you have the information to setup your campaigns.
- What is my objective?
- Who is the target customer?
- What is the customer journey?
- Am I offering the right thing?
- Am I saying the right thing?
- Is my campaign consistent?
- What does my funnel look like?
- What should I measure?
- Can I actually measure it?
- How can I improve performance?
What is the Objective?
We see a strong correlation with well-defined objectives and campaign performance.
We always recommend smart objectives:
- Specific: is it very clear what needs to be achieved?
- Measurable: what is going to be measured?
- Achievable: is it achievable based on the data you already have?
- Relevant: does the goal tie up to higher level goals?
- Timebound: is there a date for when this needs to be achieved?
- Hotel – increase the value of direct booking by 7% in 2019 Q3
- Airline – launch a new flight route between Perth and Lombok, achieving 84% average bookings by Q4 2019
- Tour Operator – generate an additional 800 leads for Asian cruise bookings from Google Ads in June 2019
Who is the Target Customer?
Understand your audience … This is super important.
Good targeting has the biggest magnitude of effect.
- A terrible offer landing with the right audience will convert, albeit poorly.
- An incredible offer landing with the wrong audience will never convert, period.
This has been tested and proved on many occasions, even in the early days of DM by a personal hero Drayton Bird.
- Who is your audience?
- Life stage
- What do you know about them?
- What do they care about?
- When do they purchase?
- How price sensitive are they?
- How can you access your audience?
- Specific channels:
- Search Ads, Youtube, Display
- In Market
- Custom Intent Audience
- Specific channels:
What Does the Customer Journey Look Like?
Customers are on a journey and looking for assistance at the right time.
There are two ways to look at the funnel:
- From your perspective – commercial stages (commercial outcomes)
- From your customers perspective – micro-moments (consumer outcomes)
To understand intent you need to look through the customer lens:
- They are moving from research to experiencing the product
- There are multiple stages in this journey, not all are equal – commercially
Looking at the traveller journey there are 4 stages.
- DREAM: Where would they love to go … rich experience information
- PLAN: Where can they actually go … time available
- BOOK: Ready to book. Who has got the best offer (value of the offer, not just price)
- EXPERIENCE: On holiday looking for assistance … think about Google Maps, TripAdvisor, social sharing but also the ability to assist and support
Is My Offer Correct?
Think about what you are actually offering customers.
- Why buy from you?
- Why do it now?
Offers can include a number of factors:
- Pricing – discounting, or delaying (10% off, only $800, 0% interest)
- Added value – free insurance, free airport transfer
- Timing – limit the time frame (today only)
- Scarcity – limit the number (10 rooms available at this price)
- Ask your target audience for insights on what would make them buy what you’re selling
- Run your offer past your target audience (or run a small test) to find out what is effective
- Monitor and analyse offer performance
Is My Message Correct?
This is about:
- What resonates with your customer
- The way it’s communicated
- Making sure it’s captivating and consistent
The way you communicate can change, but not the sentiment.
How I work: I create a top-level messaging boilerplate, then transpose the messaging into a channel specific format.
- Is the message concise?
- Is the message clear?
- Does it communicate value?
- Is it actionable?
Pro tip: test your messaging on your target market by either asking someone or running a small test campaign.
Is My Campaign Consistent?
Campaign consistency is important to ensure your message is maximised and consumers are not confused by any aspect of your campaign.
- Message matching – how you communicate value, features and benefits
- Image matching – the images you use to link between assets e.g. display ad and landing page
- If you’re a tour operator advertising a city break to Paris and your display ad is a hero of the Eiffel tower, ensure your landing page hero matches. The same goes for the heading.
- You can actually do some interesting things with ad personalisation using Google Optimize now (that’s for another day).
What Does My Funnel Look Like?
Successful marketing isn’t just about ad campaigns. You have to think about the wider context. Your youtube ads, display ad, search ads and remarketing ads have different roles to play.
Awareness: Show the world the value you offer through investing in brand awareness strategies.
Interest: Understand potential customers pain points to show how you can solve their core problems.
Consideration: Position yourself as the solution to pain points on key benefits, differentiation and competencies.
Purchase: Nurture your new customers throughout their entire purchase process.
Retention: Go above and beyond to ensure your customer is completely satisfied with their relationship with your brand and product.
Advocacy: Word of mouth advocacy for your brand is priceless. This loops new potential customers into the awareness stage of your funnel … think social media channels or amplification of customer satisfaction.
What am I Measuring?
Campaign performance isn’t judged on creativity.
- Hard metrics like ROMI or ROAS determine campaign performance
- Or assistance to these metrics if they are higher funnel activity
It is vital to understand the financials. Ask the question, “How much can I spend to acquire a new customer?”
- What is the lifetime value of a customer?
- Lifespan: 2 years
- $100 per month
- LTV of $2,400 per sale
- How much margin do you have on a sale?
- How much can you spend to acquire a customer?
Can I Actually Measure it?
This sounds like a silly question. It’s not. It’s the error we see most often.
Web analytics isn’t as simple as your web developer will tell you – 100% of Google Analytics configurations we audit have significant data integrity and governance issues.
Issues we typically see:
- Lack of cross-domain tracking (double counting users and session, reducing conversion rate)
- Missing or inconsistent UTMs (lack of attribution to email or social campaigns)
- High % of direct traffic “dark traffic”… usually UTMs
- No goals or goals with errors e.g. changing goal parameters (incorrect data)
- Over complex reporting through custom dimensions which are not maintained and become erroneous
- Collecting PII in your forms… A good way to lose all of your web analytics data quickly
What you can do:
- Define what data you need to measure success
- Define where you can access the data – Google Ads and/or CRM
- Speak to partners to ensure you capture the data:
- UTMs (Google Ads is automatic, emails are not)
- Landing Page
- Goals are configured
Can I Improve Performance?
Think about how you can optimise before you need to optimise.
- What levers can you pull to increase the volume and quality of traffic and conversions?
- Need to increase ad volume:
- Expand campaign footprint – target keywords
- Increase quality signals to improve position
- Bid strategy … maximise clicks
- Need to increase ad performance:
- Fine tune the targeting – relevancy
- Fine tune quality signals – relevancy
- Kill bad converting
- Bid strategy: focus on Target ROAS, or Target CPA
- Look for creative fatigue … i.e. reducing the performance of ads
- Continual testing strategy
- Need to increase ad volume:
What You Can Do
So now you know how to create a plan and the consumer moments … Let’s look at what you can do at each moment.
This should be a branding approach, wider targeting, new users.
Google live stream Masthead and TrueView ads had captured 27 million and 551,000 views, respectively.
Leads to South Australian tourism operators jumped by 96%, and website traffic increased by 33%. Overall, this campaign creative achieved an average watch time of 7.7 minutes.
Where You Need to Be
Hotels doing it right
Own your brand.
Weather scripts, hotel ads, relevant betas …
Special thanks to Google and speakers Erik Henry and Sabine Zonderland for sharing their expertise and Louise Percy, Digital Marketing Manager at Globus Family of Brands for presenting on transforming their digital performance.