How one travel brand used search to redirect its route to success

July 12, 2019 Off By esential1@

We use search to help prioritize our audience groups, because we can test and iterate much faster than on other channels. We get a lot of engagement through paid search, and we can do A/B and personalization testing with this traffic far faster than we could with other channels. If we’re seeing success with certain audiences and messaging, we can scale quickly. If not, we pivot.

Maximize your search marketing with granular audience segments and automation

Justin Levine, director of search and social at Media Storm

The best way to drive growth, especially within a market as competitive as the cruise industry is to be better than the competition. You must understand your customers better and deliver experiences that are better suited to every customer’s needs. Is someone searching for “vacations in Alaska” and open to being sold on a cruise, or are they searching for a “vacation cruise” where we might serve creative that highlights our unique brand proposition and ship features? Because, let’s face it, everyone has a remarketing strategy and a catchall audience list. So the brands that spend time getting to know their audiences in a deeper way are the ones that will ultimately drive conversions and growth.

To help Celebrity Cruises find its best audiences, we developed an ongoing testing road map that we cycle through tools such as Google Ads, Google Analytics, and Adobe on a weekly basis. We started with audience segments we already knew, but we’ve also developed and tested new segments, such as seasonal events and affinity audiences, in addition to brainstorming integrated lists, ranging from specific ships in the Caribbean to seven- or 30-day test segements. We ended up with a whole lot of very granular and hyperfocused audiences.

Once we identified these audiences, we could look at how to reach them. We quickly discovered there wasn’t just one way to do this. Google Marketing Platform helped us see the purchase journey and derive insights from it. We then used Google tools to optimize bid strategies and enable adaptive remarketing.