While there have been a number of recent big-splash hotel marketing and distribution advancements—and companies such as Google and Facebook have added new layers to the space—it is a behind-the-scenes advertising practice that sources say is making the largest impact. Hotel brands and individual properties are successfully embracing “retargeting” campaigns, and one brand said the returns on investment are regularly between 5-1 and 10-1.
“Google’s retargeting program creates far more revenues for the hotel industry than Google Hotel Finder,” said Max Starkov, president and CEO at Hospitality eBusiness Strategies.
Retargeting is serving specific advertisements to travelers after they leave an advertiser’s website. It helps companies advertise to visitors who leave a website without a conversion and is done by displaying ads to the user as they browse the Internet and visit other sites. For example, if a traveler visits Marriott.com and searches for a hotel but does not book, Marriott International could subsequently serve ads to that person as they visit other sites across the Web.
How it works
There are media companies that offer retargeting as part of their advertising packages or pay-per-click options, but sources interviewed for this story said Google is the most dominant player. As part of Google AdWords, a hotel advertiser can build a code into a page on their website and when visitors check out the page, the code installs a cookie showing they’ve visited. From there, the hotelier can create a campaign through Google where the visitor is served advertisements that are part of Google Display Network. Google Display Network can serve up text, image, rich media, and video advertisements across all of Google’s affiliated sites as well as on more than 1 million partner websites, which includes some of the largest media companies in the world.
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