Stamford Hotels & Resorts owns and operates a multi-award-winning portfolio of luxury, high-end hotels and resorts in major cities and prime locations throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Stamford was facing their greatest challenge ever – one which unexpectedly took away most of their power in the market. They needed a way to overcome this threat by reaching customers in new ways and measuring the impact.
The accessibility of the internet has seen the rise of ‘Online Hoteliers’ such as Expedia, Hotels.com and Trivago, which allow people to compare and get the most competitive price for hotel rooms. These Online Hoteliers have quickly become powerful disruptors, and their agile marketing strategies have completely changed the way consumers book hotels online. This has forced Hotels like the Stamford to rely heavily on these websites, driving commissions for sales up and profitability down.
Adgility’s advanced digital performance advertising was employed to strengthen Stamford’s online brand presence, reduce their reliance on Online Hoteliers, and boost their direct room revenue.
With both national and regional direct room revenue targets put in place over each seasonal campaign (Summer, Autumn, Spring and Winter), Adgility needed to deploy a full-funnel approach. to We needed to track, measure, optimise and convert both new and existing Stamford customers from offer all the way through to a room booking.
For each seasonal campaign we designed a new strategic media plan that was aligned to Stamford’s customer segments and their online journey. The media plan was then built with fresh creative assets to run across multiple web display, web video and social display channels.
We leveraged 2 leading programmatic advertising demand side platforms, making it faster and easier to execute an omnichannel media strategy and optimise media investment towards best performing campaigns.
Custom Audience Targeting
To identify and reach the most valuable customers ‘in market’ and create more efficiency across channels and audiences, we set up multiple audience targeting segments in our programmatic platform utilising Google’s rich first-party data. This helped us to access the audiences who are more likely to engage and follow through to booking a room.
For both business and leisure travellers, we applied granular audience targeting tools such as keywords, competitor URL’s, interest categories, affinity audiences and contextual targeting.
Lookalike targeting was also layered on to leverage existing customer data and find similar audience attributes and behaviours online such as people who looked at travel destinations, were interested in luxury travel, 4-5 star hotels, who booked a flight and those who had displayed other travel intent behaviours within a 14-day window.
To maximise campaign efficiency and keep driving down the cost to acquire a direct room booking, we identified the most engaged users on the Stamford website and focussed our retargeting efforts by engaging these high-value prospects with ad messages, images and offers that matched their on-site behaviours.
For example, if a prospect clicked on a specific hotel property with a room rate offer, we would retarget them with a display ad showing a relevant image of the property with a relevant price-based incentive to book.
How we delivered
Keys to driving high performance and exceeding room revenue targets
By implementing advanced insights and analytics, both the Stamford Marketing team and Adgility were able to get complete visibility over campaign performance by ad channel, creative ad formats and audience targeting strategy. All were optimised towards our goals and KPI’s: highest click-through to site, cost-efficient audience reach (CPM) and lowest cost to convert (eCPA).
We onboarded additional marketing channels to our Insights and Analytics platforms such as paid and organic search to understand the true impact our web campaign was having on these channels and their ability to deliver.
We began to see a direct correlation between organic search and display advertising, where room conversions attributed to organic search increased by up to 30% when we were running upper-to-mid funnel display tactics (rich media and native). Once machine learning kicked into gear our cost to reach, engage and convert from display audiences became more cost efficient and site traffic also decreased by more than 20%.
On average, by weeks 4-5 of seasonal campaigns, we had gained a lot of visibility from campaign performance, understanding the combination of triggers that were creating demand from each of our campaigns.
For example, leisure travellers over festive seasons such as Christmas and Easter would convert on ads showing hotel facilities such as swimming pool/gym with special package deals over weeks and weekends, whereas our autumn and winter travellers would engage and convert on display and video ads containing superior rooms, free breakfast and wi-fi with discounted room night rates.
- Ave of 1200% Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) over seasonal campaigns (90 days)
- Ave 32%-37% increase in Direct Room Revenue over seasonal campaigns
- Ave 200%-237% Increase in Subscriber Database per annum
- 90%-120% increase in return direct bookings for leisure travellers per seasonal campaign
- 28%-42% increase in return direct bookings for corporate business travellers per seasonal campaign
As the incumbent ad agency for over 8 years, we were privileged to help Stamford Hotels & Resorts transition their traditional advertising to a digital-first approach. Through our holistic approach to media, creative and analytics, we were able to build a highly sophisticated and robust digital marketing infrastructure that rebuilt Stamford’s direct room revenue and rapidly decreased its reliance on OTA’s.
Through the evolution of digital marketing and the introduction of programmatic advertising, Adgility was able to streamline Stamford’s web advertising, increasing Stamford’s return on ad spend (ROAS) from 355% over the first 18 months to an average of 1,200% ROAS per seasonal campaign.
Adgility’s digital performance management also contributed to over 200% increase in Stamford’s email newsletter subscriber database, giving Stamford an opportunity to improve its customer loyalty programmes by rewarding and incentivising new and existing members for booking directly with Stamford.
Taking the competition head on
Across all Stamford’s hotel properties in Australia and New Zealand, programmatic display and video advertising was the number one driver of qualified traffic and represented 22%-25% in direct room revenues, drawing customers back to direct booking on the Stamford site and away from the price comparison OTA platforms.
- Through the evolution of digital marketing and the introduction of AI-fuelled programmatic advertising, Adgility increased Stamford’s return-on-ad-spend from 355% to an average of 1,200% per seasonal campaign.
- On average, this represented a 32%-37% increase in direct room revenue over all hotel properties nationally, drawing customers back to direct booking and contact with the Hotels, and away from the price comparison OTA platforms.
"Our partnership with Adgility enabled us to re-engineer direct bookings through data-fuelled intelligence across a variety of paid advertising channels and formats. Without a doubt, what Adgility does as a digital partner has helped Stamford stay ahead of the curve in the online space for our brand control and revenue growth." Terence Gore, e-Marketing and Commerce Manager, Stamford Hotels & Resorts.
Keep up to date
Subscribe to receive the latest advances in digital advertising and marketing