With Licensing Deal Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Looks to Dominate the Online Travel Market | Benchmark Monitor

by Daniel Stone — April 9, 2014

English: The Google logo, the word "Googl...

The Google logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New York – On Tuesday, Bloomberg released a report that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has reached an agreement with Room 77 to license that company’s hotel booking software.  Room 77 is a start-up that has been funded by Expedia (Nasdaq:EXPE).  The licensing deal marks Google’s intention to re-enter the online travel market after a stop-start attempts in the past, including the introduction of Hotel Price Ads (HPA) in 2010, the acquisition of ITA Software in 2011, and the launch of Hotel Finder the same year.

Along with Expedia, the online travel market is currently dominated by Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN), Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE:WWW), and TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP).  According to the ITB World Travel Trends report published last December, online travel booking now accounts for almost 70 percent of all booking and mobile bookings is one to the fastest growing segments overall.  In the United States alone, the industry is worth more than $ 300 billion and given the recent performance of many of the companies in the sector there is still room for growth.

According to analysts the licensing deal by Google is most likely an attempt to upgrade their HPA, which essentially operates as the equivalent of ITA, a proprietary airline booking software.  Whilst HPA is aimed at hotel marketers, the software would essentially allow Google to complete the loop, by facilitating the customer booking.  If this is the case, Google would be positioning itself to cut the middlemen, such as Priceline and Expedia, while providing hotels with a better return on investment when compared to typical paid search campaigns.

Furthermore, industry analysts believe the move was driven by the Department of Justice’s ruling that allowed Google to acquire ITA Software on several conditions, including Google must allow licensed competitors to continue using the software, Google must take measures to prevent snooping, and the company must continue to maintain the software for licensees.

Through the licensing deal, it could be expected that Google might make more forays into the industry as their ‘competitors’ have little if any choice but to continue advertising through Google. While there is little direct evidence to suggest that such a move would hurt Priceline, Expedia, and TripAdvisor, almost 90 percent of what they spend on marketing goes to Google.  As such, the increased emphasis on travel could dramatically alter the online travel market in the long-run.  Shares in Google were up $ 4.10 in pre-market trading on Wednesday morning.

via With Licensing Deal Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Looks to Dominate the Online Travel Market | Benchmark Monitor.

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2014 Top Social Media Trends for Travel Marketers | Adventure Travel News

By Jennifer Pemberton

Three months into 2014 and we’re past making predictions of what the year in social media will look like. We’re living it. The ATTA is focusing on four major trends this month that will shape online life this year — highlighting the ones that will be most relevant for the travel industry, from how to find travelers on social media and speak their language to how to organize your office to best engage socially with your customers.

via 2014 Top Social Media Trends for Travel Marketers | Adventure Travel News.

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Why Online Video Matters for Airline Marketing – Skift

English: Westjet 737-700 landing at Montréal-P...

Skift launch a new report

The spread of online video has affected marketing for almost every business-to-consumer industry, but it is particularly important to a commoditized and opaque business such as airlines.“I think that you see more and more content coming from airlines because it’s a unique business with such a big cost structure,” says Corey Evans, who manages sponsorship and community investment for WestJet, the Canadian airline known for its extravagant videos. “Most customers’ attitude to look for the lowest fare, no matter what. When you are in a dead heat with competitors, content could be the differentiating factor. It builds brand awareness and lets people know about how we treat our guests and our corporate social responsibility efforts.”Especially as travelers increasingly use online travel agents or meta search engines where multiple airlines’ prices can be com- pared side-by-side, engaging content could differentiate one from the next.

via Why Online Video Matters for Airline Marketing – Skift.

English: Westjet 737-700 landing at Montréal-P…

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New Skift Trends Report: Online Video Strategies in the Travel Industry – Skift

Skift logoOnline video is rapidly eclipsing television as the most effective channel for marketing, especially for marketers targeting younger demographics. For a largely commodified and opaque business, video marketing is more important for airlines than most travel-related businesses. As a result, airlines are among the most successful producers of video marketing in the travel business. Even the once boring in-flight safety video is asserting itself as a chance to define and differentiate the airline brand.

In this Skift Travel Trends report, we will explain the importance of online video, how it differs from other forms of marketing, the differences between various online video platforms and video’s place in the marketing toolbox. We will also explore why airlines excel in this arena.

Through interviews with professional marketers and experts and specific case studies, we will define best practices for airlines and ideas for meeting viewers’ preferences. We will also look at how marketers are employing fresh short-form video platforms such as Vine and Instagram video to generate hype, experiment, and engage with fans

via New Skift Trends Report: Online Video Strategies in the Travel Industry – Skift.

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Fueled by data, individualized ads profoundly changing travel sales – Travel Weekly

Employing a growing paradigm known as “programmatic advertising,” suppliers are bidding against each other for the opportunity to follow their customers across the Internet, and the results could forever change how travel is marketed and sold directly to consumers. That’s because as they follow their customers around the Web and social media services, suppliers are mixing and matching data about those customers’ browsing, searching and spending habits with their own company data to present consumers with highly individualized, real-time ads that personalize everything from product features to price and value add-ons. For example, a traveler might begin a search for a ticket on an airline’s website, then either buy it or leave without completing the purchase, moving on to another site. By being able to follow the customer to the next and subsequent sites, the airline can continue targeting that individual with an ad offering a seat upgrade if they bought the ticket or a slightly discounted fare if they did not.This type of marketing is made possible by combining existing models of online advertising and adding in two new elements to create a potent data stew. First, suppliers are joining two data sets: the company’s own data from loyalty programs and customers’ purchase histories with contextual data derived from tracking their Web browsing in real time, a mix familiar to users of Google. To that data blend, they are adding two elements to create programmatic advertising.

via Fueled by data, individualized ads profoundly changing travel sales – Travel Weekly.

The New Ad From Apple Is All About Exploring. And Travel – Skift

Rafat Ali, Skift

Apple iPad

Apple iPad

Admittedly it is early for an ad of the year declaration, but when the brand is Apple you have to sit up and notice. And this one is a doozy: the new ad for iPad Air channels Robin Williams and his verse from “Dead Poets Society” and is all about writing your own verse in life, so to speak.The new ad, titled “Your Verse,” positions the new iPad Air as a tool to dream, create, explore, and travel. “We’re humbled and inspired by what people do with iPad. So we set out to capture some of their stories. What will your verse be?” says the description for the ad on YouTube, which we’ve embedded below.

via The New Ad From Apple Is All About Exploring. And Travel – Skift.

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Sojern raises $10 million more for travel data, ads – San Francisco Business Times

Sojern, an online travel data and ad targeting business, raised a $10 million Series C round of venture funding.

The nearly 100-person San Francisco company, started in 2007, has now raised a total of $45.7 million. Sojern runs a programmatic buying platform that uses machine-learning and data analysis to target travel related digital advertising, and it has offices in New York, Omaha and London.

The latest round was led by Triangle Peak Partners with participation of prior investors Norwest Venture Partners, Trident Capital, Focus Ventures and Industry Ventures.Sojern raises $10 million more for travel data, ads – San Francisco Business Times.

Facebook says wooing travel industry will be key focus in 2014 | News | Marketing Week

Facebook is planning to woo the travel industry with a series of events, research and ad targeting refinements in the coming months as it looks to turn one of its fastest growing advertising verticals to one of its biggest in 2014.In recent months the social network’s EMEA division has gradually been reorganising its sales teams to work with advertisers on a vertical, rather the country-based level. It has been recruiting for travel sales representatives in particular as it is looking to bring spend from the sector more in line with its biggest spending sectors, such as FMCG and financial.

via Facebook says wooing travel industry will be key focus in 2014 | News | Marketing Week.

CMOs InTravel | The Forum for Travel Marketing Specialists

CMOs InTravel | The Forum for Travel Marketing Specialists

Advertisers Can Reach More Than 7.5 Million Engaged and Qualified Travelers on Mobile Devices

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 30, 2013--

Mobile Media Summit 2013, As mobile usage among consumers continues to skyrocket, brand advertisers are seeking ways to reach qualified audiences at specific locations. To address this opportunity, MediaShift, Inc. (OTCBB: MSHF), a leading digital advertising technology company, today announced the immediate availability of a new mobile engagement platform that enables brands to reach travelers while at airports and hotels.

Through this immersive, end-to-end platform, brands can now target and remarket to this highly-desirable audience throughout the entire browsing session. Brands are seamlessly integrated into a user experience through sponsorship and native advertising opportunities. The company’s mobile network currently reaches more than 7.5 million unique users per month.

Read more….

http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20130730-910599.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

via CMOs InTravel | The Forum for Travel Marketing Specialists.