Remarketing: An effective online advertising tool

Remarketing: An effective online advertising tool

As the world of Internet advertising expands at break-neck speed, so does the number of new tools available to smart marketers. The inherent promise of advertising on the Internet has always been its potential to be more targeted and more effective than traditional advertising. By applying some of the newly available tools and technologies, hotels can capitalize on that promise.   
In advertising, “effective frequency” — the amount of time a consumer must be exposed to an advertisement before it becomes effective — has been a source of debate for more than a century. Believe it or not, the most frequently quoted opinions on the subject were written in 1885 by Thomas Smith. He argues that a consumer goes through different levels of brand recognition the first 20 times they see an advert. 

However, I argue that not all frequency is created equal. It is possible today to buy advertisements on websites based on their target demographics, traffic levels and content. You typically pay for every thousand impressions, or a higher amount when someone clicks on your advertisement. But as a marketer, you are still guessing that the end consumer will have some level of interest in your hotel. 

Remarketing eliminates much of that guesswork. According to Google, “Remarketing allows you to show ads to users who’ve previously visited your website as they browse the Web.” In other words, imagine a user comes to your property’s website, then leaves to browse the web. As they browse, they are shown targeted advertisements for your property.  

The power of remarketing is obvious. If people have been to your website, they are very likely interested in staying at your property, yet something kept them from making a decision to purchase. Maybe they were still shopping, maybe they were looking for a better deal or maybe they just hadn’t made up their minds about which hotel to book. In any case, marketing to these customers during the exact time they are showing interest is as targeted as you can get. 

Some of the applications of remarketing can be fascinating. 

  • With some additional programming, you can eliminate displaying ads to people who have made a reservation at your hotel. This allows you to target only the undecided travelers.
  • You can show ads based on the specific pages of your website the user has visited. If they go to your spa page, the next ad they see can focus on spa packages. 
  • You can set the timing and maximum frequency a person would see your remarketing ads. For example, you may say that you don’t want a single user to see an advertisement from you more than three times a day, and only if they have been to your website in the last 48 hours.  
There are several large advertising networks that offer remarketing services. Google is, of course, the largest and, in my opinion, has the most sophisticated targeting options. Expedia has actually launched a remarketing advertising program called Expedia Passport Ads, which allows a hotel to buy advertising impressions with consumers based on the consumers’ browsing experience on Expedia. For example, a hotel could advertise great weekday rates to customers who have searched for flights into their market in the past 48 hours.  

Frequency of advertising has always been seen as an important facet of successful campaigns. Remarketing allows your frequency to become far more targeted and enables you to capture a higher percentage of those travelers considering a stay at your property.