My method … The marketing director of Booking.com on his new brand advertising strategy

Two weeks ago,
Booking.com launched a new brand marketing campaign in the United States, designed to showcase the breadth of site choices and to encourage consumers to come directly to the site.

Reserve assets spent $ 509 million on brand marketing in 2018 – up from $ 435 million in 2017 – and direct bookings now account for over 50% of room nights booked on Booking.com.

On the company’s latest earnings conference call, CEO Glenn Fogel said Booking Holdings would increase investment in this area to drive growth and customer acquisition.

“These marketing programs are growing in importance as many of our performance marketing partners experience slower customer growth,” he says.

But how exactly does a large established entity like Booking.com design a campaign to grab consumers’ attention, differentiate their offerings, and incite action?

To find out more, we asked Booking.com US Regional Marketing Director Paul Smailes to describe his strategy for this new campaign.

  • Reposition the Booking.com
    brand based on our new global mission.

    Booking.com’s global mission is to empower people to explore the world. This is the first U.S. campaign designed to support our global mission to ensure greater consistency with other markets, but to do so in a way that is locally relevant to U.S. travelers.

    TO Booking.com, we believe that life is about experiences – nothing should stand in the way – and this campaign was developed to bring that belief to life. Showcasing all the great experiences American travelers can have from near and far, Booking.com helps to remove obstacles that sometimes get in the way.

  • Show how we help people become Bookers.
    Most brands focus on the lowest price, which tells the consumer that you need to shop around for the lowest price possible. While we believe that offering great prices is essential for our travelers, we want to represent more than that with the overall value we deliver.

    In addition to inspiring Bookers, it was also important to show American travelers why
    Booking.com is the world’s # 1 choice for booking accommodation – how we make it easier for people to turn their dreams into reality.

    In this context, our goal is to present some of the key points of differentiation, whether with the more than 28 million advertisements for hotels and rental accommodation that we offer on a single platform or how we facilitate booking without stress because we offer free cancellation. . Or the fact that all of our properties, including homes, apartments and other unique places to stay, offer instant confirmation, which means you don’t have to wait for a host’s “approval”.

    And, yes, we have great prices and deals too, so you don’t have to shop around. Everything we do is at the service of helping you take action and get somewhere – anywhere – to experience more of the world around you.

  • Create a strong emotional connection with existing and potential customers through key market insights.
    Our goal is to connect with consumers in relevant and emotional ways. We found that while 87% of Americans want to use more of their free time to travel more and the number of vacation days for Americans is actually increasing, only 47% are using their vacation days to travel and only 25 % are satisfied with the way they travel a lot for their leisure time.

    So there is a great desire to travel, but we don’t do it as much as we would like. And there are several reasons for this gap: 70% of American workers struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance; we are replacing real life experiences with virtual experiences; we spend too much time scrolling and not enough time living. We felt that harnessing this information was an opportunity to connect with consumers in a more relevant and emotional way.

  • Celebrate real Bookers and build a community of “Do’ers and Go’ers”.
    In this campaign, we want to celebrate the people who make their vacation ideas, plans and dreams come true. People who don’t just talk about where they want to go; they reserve it and leave.

    The campaign aims to celebrate the real Bookers and the real diversity of American travelers. And also show our belief that living more life is achieved not only with overseas travel, but with weekend getaways, visiting different amazing places in the United States or visiting a friend or member of the United States. the family who was late.

    With the campaign, we want to celebrate and inspire more people to become Bookers. Because isn’t it better to spend more time discovering the world rather than dreaming, talking, scrolling, laughing or reading about it?

  • An emphasis on integration.
    An important development for Booking.com was to integrate the new campaign into all marketing channels. The spots will be broadcast on the main broadcast networks through popular prime-time programs on a diverse range of premium cable networks; However, you will also see the Be A Booker creation integrated with paid social networks (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube), display and native, as well as the campaign messages integrated with pay per click, email marketing, programs. influence and public relations initiatives.

    We took integration into consideration when crafting the tone, look and feel of the campaign. For us, it was about “flexing” to be contextually relevant across all channels. So, for example, if we are on Instagram or Facebook, we may have a message that says “scrollers scroll, or likers like… Bookers Book. Be a booker.

  • Execute a data-driven strategy.
    Booking.com

    is a very data-driven brand. We are constantly experimenting, and our test-and-learn culture allows us to innovate quickly. We perform over 1,000 site A / B tests per day, and we bring this experiential mindset to all parts of the business, including strategic decisions on marketing priorities.

    That said, while we look at the data to inform our decisions, it is a balancing act in a market like the United States where different strategies are often required for brands to break through. It’s no secret that Booking.com is the expert at performance marketing, but in a market like the United States, brand marketing is powerful.

    Although we are a global company, localized market approaches are required, and “Be A Booker” shows the company’s commitment and investment in markets important to the business.

    Booking.com – Ask your boss later

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lz9Hy7uEY7s


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