PPC CASE STUDY: REDUCING RELIANCE ON THIRD-PARTY REFERRALS

We set out to increase direct bookings through our clients website to reduce their reliance on expensive referral sources

BUSINESS SIZE

Medium

BUSINESS TYPE

Whale Watching Activity Company

ADVERTISING GOAL

Increase direct bookings

DATE RANGE

Q3-Q4 2017

The Problem

The client is a long-standing Maui whale watching tour company offering educational whale watching cruises & a variety of oceanic eco adventure tours. They had not previously invested in digital advertising and relied on traditional referral sources to drive new customers.

The client faced high acquisition costs from referring booking agencies( i.e., Expedia, Hawaii Discount, Travelocity, etc.) Their goal was to effectively track return on investment and push direct bookings through their own website to reduce new customer acquisition costs and increase profitability. They came to us without a clear digital marketing strategy & were looking to expand their online presence while remaining the market leader.

The Solution

We strategically targeted users on the islands who were looking for activities to do while on vacation with paid search, display, and social advertisements. Using focused keyword targeting, appealing ad messaging, and complete tracking on all landing pages, we were able to deliver a fully transparent and complete picture of ROI for every advertising dollar invested.

After demonstrating success, we expanded into broader targeting strategies including people who were in the planning phase for upcoming vacations.

The Results

Since launching advertising in October 2017, we were able to double new ad revenues month over month and maintain the number one ad position on-island, all while keeping acquisition cost low – 50% lower than traditional referral sources.

Our paid advertising contributed 13% of all website sessions and 22% of total digital revenue for this period.

Takeaway

Travel and activity companies that rely on tourism for their business can take advantage of targeting customers looking for excursions while on vacation through direct advertising, driving more business while also saving money by lessening their reliance on third-party referral sources.

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