With a portfolio of iconic properties, including New York’s The Plaza, The Savoy in London, and the Banff Springs in Alberta, has cultivated a reputation for excellence. And while the properties are exquisite, Fairmont’s commitment to quality and a superior guest experience is what makes it a leader in global hospitality.
Fairmont wanted to create a better experience for people researching hotels as well — and set their sights on using Facebook to reach potential guests with lower-funnel, dynamic retargeting efforts. Fairmont initially managed Facebook ads in-house, but with frequent changes and expanding complexities of the Facebook ads platform, the team began looking externally for expertise in setting up a range of new tests and optimizing campaigns to expand on their results.
A long-time Sojern partner, Fairmont was already familiar with Sojern’s team of experts, rich set of traveler audience profiles and path-to-purchase insights, and consistency in delivering new bookings. “One of our favorite things about partnering with Sojern is the team. They are willing to test and try new things, fully transparent, and always go the extra mile to help us,” said Chris Georgas, Manager Digital Marketing FRHI Hotels & Resorts. So, when they were looking for someone to manage their Facebook efforts, they knew Sojern was ideally equipped.
Sojern used Facebook’s original e-commerce product, Dynamic Ads, to set benchmarks for Fairmont in the spring of 2016. Through Dynamic Ads, Sojern re-engaged with users on Facebook who had been to the Fairmont site but never converted. Although Sojern yielded favorable results compared to previous retargeting initiatives, Dynamic Ads was and remains an offering for retail, and isn’t equipped to support the complex needs of a travel marketer.
Consider the differences between a regular retail purchase and booking travel. You may look at a shirt online, and want to know its size, composition, and price, but there isn’t much beyond this basic information you’ll need to make a purchase decision. By comparison, there are more factors to consider ahead of booking travel. You need to drill down by dates of stay, number of travelers in a party, or proximity to a given airport.
Enter Dynamic Ads for Travel (DAT) in the summer of 2016, bringing with it these expanded targeting parameters key to making travel advertising perform. Sojern could now reach in-market travelers in a more granular way with deeper audience segmentation with which to bid and tailor messaging. DAT also automated the creative process, once a tedious job managed in-house by Fairmont across 65 properties. And Facebook’s deterministic matching means that campaigns are inherently cross device, crucial in a time where people increasingly start their search for travel on a mobile device before booking on a desktop.
Sojern managed DAT entirely — setting bids and budgets, leveraging historical insights to create audience segments, managing A/B tests, and refining strategies daily — to zero in on what works best to optimize and scale bookings while achieving Fairmont’s KPIs.
The results were striking. From the initial tests, Sojern improved revenue by 20% and Cost-Per-Booking by 34% on DAT, and drove more than 2,500 bookings directly to fairmont.com in a single campaign.
In addition to the stellar campaign results, Sojern provided Fairmont with insights that wouldn’t have been available had they chosen to run Facebook DAT on their own. While individual brands examine Facebook campaigns in isolation, Sojern analyzes users interacting with a Facebook campaign and then overlays other behaviors from across the web to understand the complete path to purchase journey — including whether users subsequently booked on a competitor’s site or booked with an OTA.
“Sojern has really become a true extension of our team. They provide a new depth of insights to our customer behavior that are simply invaluable — where segments were searching vs. converting, where we were losing potential customers in the funnel, and gaps in our reach against target audience profiles to highlight missed revenue opportunities. The analysis and optimizations far exceeded our expectations and helped maximize our spend,” said Georgas.
The Fairmont and Sojern teams are already planning to use these insights for future campaigns — to reach potential Fairmont guests with more tailored messaging, targeting and offers.
Want to make the most of Facebook’s Dynamic Ads for Travel? Contact a Sojern specialist now.
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