With the onslaught of innovations that plagues every other industry, it is only fair that advertising needs to adapt and utilize these trends. The advent of AI and machine learning has significantly changed how advertising is taken to the customers. On the other hand, chatbots and playable ads have improved the means of these new-age advertisers.
The travel industry has not been spared of the disruptions that came with technology. It has given the people the option to offer their unused apartments in real-time to travellers for a fee. While this has opened up properties at never before location with exotic views, or those spaces that are located at the most happening or the most convenient locations. Previously unused apartments, villas etc was now put into great use and this shift opened up a whole new spectrum of lodging called the vacation rentals.
Ad spenders who top this industry are Timeshare Exit Team, Airbnb, and marketing NGO Myrtle Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (Visit Myrtle Beach). Each of their marketing strategies caters to different needs of a traveller/tourist. We will explore each of these companies and strategies at length shortly.
This trend graph reads the spends of the big three on a daily basis in the past year (November 7, 2017 - 2018). Airbnb (Orange) joined the bandwagon very recently by spending a rather huge chunk in October 2018; Timeshare Exit Team (Indigo line) peaked their spending in June 2018; while visit Myrtle Beach (Bright Blue line) has been consistently spending moderately over the year.
This company was set up in 2012, with a sole aim to make people get out of the financial burden of their timeshare they own. They focus on the expensive maintenance of a timeshare, coupled with a changed family set-up which effectively alters the vacations taken, as their selling point.
Timeshare Exit Team (TET) leads with $3.4 million in past one year, claiming a lion’s share of 24% of total ad spent by players of this industry. With a greater focus on mobile advertising, TET spends a little over a quarter toward optimising ads for desktop viewers. Given the point of contact with their potential clients is just before the exit - most of their target audience is are older millennials and upwards. This is rightfully addressed with more than ¼ of the ads were optimised for desktop viewing.
While catering to a wide varied demographics, direct advertising would only so much of a reach; almost all their efforts to reach the target audience is through programmatic advertising. This ensures a much thorough penetration. With the advent of AI, a much greater understanding of audience helps to make channelised effort.
Almost half their ad spends are published through The Trade Desk, only next to Google where more than 35% of spends accumulate both of which helps them to reach out to the intents of their audience.
TET focuses equally on Arts & entertainment and news websites almost equally - catching the eye of their potential customers during their leisure to make them think about how they could otherwise spend the maintenance fee.
TET clearly focuses on eye catchy images to garner the attention of the audience. They also have a much larger impact on television and radio advertising. It is also interesting to note that they place a higher focus on third-party endorsements, this often makes an impact on the minds of their audience, especially if those celebrities are those whom they identify with or look up to.
When it comes to the internet foray, they focus a lot more on static images, than any other. Many of their advertising focuses on the redundancy of their purchase in the present because of the changes in the family which touches many audiences.
Much of their advertising efforts are strategically planned, spikes in spending are seen to happen in months of holidays – Independence day, Valentines Day, Christmas Days. This comes in a very optimum time as many would undertake a cost-benefit analysis of their investment in timeshares, while those wanting to move out will consciously do something about it
TET's creatives are clean, and direct with a prominent call to action. Picking on real-life moments, they make it so much more relatable. Although TET does not fit the classic vacation rental definition, Timeshare has been one of the pioneers of the older versions of vacation rentals, and its exit process has been included in this study
Airbnb is an online marketplace that offers lodging services to traveller/tourists and it receives a commission for their service. Founded in 2008, Airbnb changed the ballgame. It made people with spare apartments make good use of their space, and those travelling them get the best of views in never before seen prices. This moved the market both ways, and the trend caught on worldwide.
Airbnb hit the high spenders in late October 2018, a recent addition to the top 3. Their recent update of making their marketing more experential based comes weeks later their huge spend that put them on the board. A company that was started to make the traveller’s experience get more local, is now focusing on getting the feel of being local through advertising.
Their boost in spending ahead of the holiday season puts them second on the ad spender board with a 11% ad spend share of top 20 advertisers.
While programmatic advertising dominates their strategy, they also focus on direct and native advertising. This mix is a product of their extremely wide audience base across ages, economic status and locations.
Direct advertising gets them to people, through the advent of digital media, a greater mix of programmatic advertising helps them get the attention of those who are planning their vacations in the upcoming holiday season.
Airbnb places emphasis on advertising through family and parenting websites, only next to News websites with much of their ad campaigns talking about convenience over everything.
Airbnb explores all formats of advertising placing equal importance on static images, HTML 5 options. They optimise for the experience through small interactive ads that talks living in a home while travelling, or renting properties for making more money through lodging.
A focus on reviews and text about the places helps them get the attention of the customers. Testimonials play a powerful role and can affect their business a great deal. Videos take a centre stage through 360-degree videos and small quicker snapshots of the place.
Airbnb’s campaigns target both the travellers and the renters. They encourage travellers to use Airbnb to lodge, and to make reservations in restaurants through their app, and also encourage those with spaces to rent them for lodging.
Through their ad, Airbnb also communicates their principles on inclusion and need for diversity, apart from showcasing the amazing properties that surrounds the area at reasonable prices which gives them the convenience, or the view which will not be otherwise available.
Visit Myrtle Beach is a website of Myrtle Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (MBAC) which is the marketing NGO of this Grand Strand Beach Stretch. This NGO is a hub for marketing the various lodgings in this Cost of South Carolina. This website lists the various attractions of this area and promotes this location as a destination.
MBAC spends nearly the same as Airbnb of $1.5 Mil which is roughly 11% in comparison with the top 20 vacation rental advertisers. MBAC's spends are roughly the same throughout the year hovering around $10k per day, unlike Airbnb and TET which had a boost ahead of the holidays.
MBAC promotes all around the year, thereby optimally utilizing the various holidays and seasons to their potential audience which is all of USA if not the world. Having such a varied target group, like other players in this industry, they focus primarily on Programmatic Ads to reach to the specific audience that they cater to.
MBAC focuses on news websites to promote their ads, followed by travel websites – where a chunk of their potential customers is present. Their Native ads help them reach a much wider audience because of the interesting formats through the virtue of social media.
MBAC predominantly uses image and text for its ads, with a higher focus on images. In the travel industry, images speak better which is evident from the image-driven trends of digital media. They have the potential to make or break the brands - Images of beaches, coupled with a people enjoying the sunshine sells like hotcakes.
Text ads are the next huge things that MBAC rightfully captures - Verified testimonials are the biggest key in case of destinations where experience is king. As digital spaces evolve, we find more and more image/text combination to work as it suits the best of two worlds.
MBAC advertizes all through the year spending an average of about $8K per day. Their focus is much around the various seasons. MBAC garner attention through merriment of beaches, surfing, sun beds and breezy culture of the beaches.
Each of their creatives has the 'Visit Myrtle Beach' staring at them in either white or blue - a subconscious play that is soothing and relates to waves of the beaches; their call to action pops out distinctly in Orange.
The Top 20 advertisers are listed below. Even as the top three spenders make almost half of the spends, the heavy spenders go all the way into top 8.
In the Travel industry, in addition to eye-captive advertisements, customer testimonials are very crucial to make an easy yet powerful impact on potential customers. Even when there is a negative feedback, it can be addressed in time and in a befitting manner which would earn the respect of plenty and can lead to effective conversions.
Data Source | adbeat.com