As discussed in our previous post, trying to use Dynamic Product Ads (DPA) for Travel is possible, but isn’t ideal due to the number of workarounds that have to be used to make campaigns work in a retail context. Yet, we still get the question from prospective clients, “Why switch to DAT?” especially when DPA is working at an acceptable level.
The answer is simple, Dynamic Ads for Travel allows for improved relevancy across ad interactions and this will lead to better customer experiences and results over time. Improving this step of the engagement with prospective customers will allow travel brands to improve awareness, trust, and ultimately loyalty.
Unlike DPA, DAT catalogs are able to leverage thousands of hotel properties seamlessly, integrating important hotel and travel related details such as location, rating, brand, and nightly and stay price, amongst many others. The roadblocks that DPA posed delayed the optimization process and could sometimes cause irrelevant content to be frequently displayed to potential customers.
Instead of relying on “hacks” to DPA catalogs, the hotel-specific catalogs and data structures within DAT simply allow for more campaign variability through different creative, ad types, placements, and booking windows.
The way consumers search for and book hotels online is very complicated as the booking journey varies greatly from consumer to consumer.
Expedia and ComScore’s Path to Purchase study shows that US bookers make on average 140 visits to travel sites in the 45 days before booking. Even before considering where a potential customer is engaging, how they are engaging, or on what device, this is a great illustration of that complicated journey.
DAT supports this variability by allowing advertisers to retarget users based on search, view content, initiate checkout, and purchase events. Each of these events are fine tuned for travel and allow advertisers to better understand where their customers are engaging and optimize the best means to reach them while they’re at that point. In contrast, DPA does not support the tracking of travel specific events.
Using these events gives concrete structure to otherwise unrelatable messaging with travel campaigns.The ability to design messaging that relates to a hesitant buyer, a vacation goer, or a business traveler can’t be understated.
DAT allows ad delivery based on hotel rating similarity or location proximity to previous interactions, which are live signals. In contrast, DPA delivers ads based on product preferences and specifications which are useful for retail brands but not travel advertisers.
By using travel and booking specific information captured by the DAT pixel, carousel ads are able to pull in options that are both nearby and similar to the original hotel visited. Single ads have also seen an improvement, as the recommender algorithm is pulling in these same specifications but touching the user at different times.
DAT also provides significant advantages in audience creation, allowing advertisers to message users differently based on their level of engagement with specific destinations and properties, stay dates, stay length, how many guests are staying, and others. Custom values can also be layered on to these audiences allowing for very smart marketing based on travel type, loyalty status, or the value of a booking. Most advertisers have just started to scratch the surface here.
By providing the viewer with more relevant content, Dynamic Ads for Travel are the most effective way for travel brands to reach potential customers on Facebook. Used correctly, they will give users the best ad experiences, the most relevant recommendations, and set advertisers up for more meaningful interactions based on everything known about that user.