Mr and Mrs Smith
MMS is a luxury boutique brand which offers hotels and villas for both couples and families across the world.
TMI has made an immediate impact on our business, their commitment and skill is unrivalled.
+106% sales increase
-134% reduce Non-brand Avg. CPC
+200% increase in ROI
Originally, MSS relied predominantly on their brand name to drive growth but, with fierce competition from large hotel aggregators increasing over the last few years, the industry landscape had changed and MMS needed to identify and pursue a new growth strategy, with paid search at its core. The challenge was to take a new client who was struggling in two regards: Brand Retention and New Customer Acquisition, and turn this around before the peak period in January. Correspondingly, this provided only a few months to collect sufficient data on over 1,000 hotels and 8,000 locations, so that we could make informed strategic decisions concerning how we would tackle each of these hotels and locations individually, and to identify appropriate customer metrics for targeting purposes. Furthermore, MMS was internally divided regarding the customer acquisition approach they would take. Would their brand be strong enough to compete? Would direct response messaging weaken their brand image? In order to answer these questions, and to please the wider business, TMI settled on an approach which kept the heart of the brand alive, but also encouraged new searchers to engage with the brand. However, with paid search behemoths like Trivago and booking.com in the market, efficiency savings were going to be key.
We built campaigns for 1,000 hotels and 8,000 locations, across 6 markets. Each of the 1,000 hotels required bespoke ad copy in order to highlight the exclusive offerings of Smith Extras. Additionally, we built out specific Smith Exclusive ad copy to highlight additional offers. Furthermore, we ran tests across brand and location ad copy to ensure we were engaging with their customers appropriately. One of our key areas of efficiency savings was by way of a comprehensive negative list across brand. Through accurate and relevant targeting, we reduced Brand costs, whilst simultaneously increasing sales.
With thousands of locations and hotels to test, the difficulty was to gather enough statistically significant data, whilst still generating a significant return. The continuous addition of new hotels to the collection was challenging. To address this, TMI produced highly customised ad copy based on extras, locations etc. Additionally, any offer related ad copy would also change regularly, with new offers coming in daily and then expiring after a short amount of time. This made strategic copy decisions harder due to the inconsistent and ambiguous nature of the tests. Therefore, in order to distribute budget effectively, we decided to gather data from a range of alternative sources, including: Offline sales, Price/Offer comparison within the industry and Customer Profiles. All of this data was individually applied depending on their strategic benefit to specific campaigns, and to ultimately gain additional efficiencies. An additional difficulty was the inability to track offline call sales, which was important especially as some villas and hotels were not available online.
In order to gather data across all the hotels and ensure that what we were spending effectively, we applied customer rules focused on spend/performance and adjusted bids accordingly. TMI created rules to highlight potential hotels with possible opportunities that may not be getting the visibility necessary to hit their potential. TMI applied a fluent account structure, to adapt to trends and competitor prices. This was done by breaking out top performing campaigns based on online and offline activity. TMI broke out and created tiers, based on where hotels sit in the market in terms of price. This was something that could be adapted depending on market shifts and offers. On top of this we applied locational bid adjustments based on customer data and demographic segmentation. TMI applied audience lists based on customers who are likely to purchase during particular periods, for example Valentine’s Day, and those who are likely to have an appropriate propensity to spend at the required level for example, with the Villa collection.
Max Brockbank is Head of SEO at The Media Image. He previously served as Global Director SEO at Hilton Worldwide and Senior Client Success Manager at SearchMetrics. As a journalist, Max worked as a reporter and editor with regional and national newspapers including the FT and the Sun, and on global publications such as TIME Magazine.