A Marketer's Guide to Travel Advertising Success

In 2023, the travel industry spent approximately $6.8 billion on digital advertising, according to eMarketer. It has sustained more ad spending growth than any other industry, driven by post-pandemic behaviors and a growing emphasis on experiences over goods. 

Spring break is over and summer is right around the corner. These annual excursions for many Americans mean huge revenue opportunities for the travel industry at-large, including an array of other products and services that tie in to travel fashion, for example. Do you know how your spring break travel advertising investments drove desired business outcomes?

Tourist bureaus, hotels, airlines, cruise lines, and other stakeholders need a strong advertising measurement platform to ensure their media investments translate to real business impacts. With summer vacation planning well underway, now is the perfect time to refine your ad measurement strategy to optimize campaign impact. 

DISQO’s 2024 Ad Measurement Benchmarks offer powerful views of brand and outcomes lift normative benchmarks for the travel industry. With these insights, you can better understand how your ads in various channels performed relative to others in the industry, giving you valuable intelligence for optimizing future campaigns.  Download it now and keep reading for a guide to make the most of your travel advertising investments. 

Who is the optimal travel advertising audience in 2024?

DISQO’s Consumer Trends 2024 report revealed that most people are planning to spend less in discretionary categories like travel this year due to economic uncertainty. Inflation, in particular, has influenced consumers to lower their travel budgets. This means that travel ads need to work harder to capture the attention and dollars of cost-conscious consumers. 

Brands planning summer vacation campaigns should consider consumers’ economic anxieties. There is a big opportunity for marketers to experiment with how they message to the budget-conscious consumer base by leading with value-for-the-money. Approaching target audiences with the right messaging and a test-and-learn mentality will be imperative. 

Taking a closer look at key cohorts in our Consumer Trends data, parents were most likely to say that advertising across all media types influenced them to make travel-related purchases. This presents an opportunity for travel advertisers to develop family-friendly campaign messages and ad creative for parents who are likely to plan a cost-conscious vacation. Importantly, per Travelpulse, 61% of families begin planning their vacations five weeks in advance. Ensuring that your travel advertising campaign reaches this target audience at the right time is critical.

Maximize travel advertising ROI

Set clear objectives and goals.

Whether it's boosting brand awareness, driving bookings, or increasing revenue, marketers need a clear roadmap to guide campaign success. 

For digital and social campaigns, tracking the usual key metrics like return on advertising spend (ROAS), cost per acquisition (CPA), and click-through rate (CTR) have their place. And for the fast-growing podcast advertising opportunity, completed listen rate (CLR) is another valuable metric. But how do you understand how these various metrics add up and how the various channels are working together? It’s important to have an identity-based ad measurement solution that lets you measure across channels with one methodology so you can discern both individual channel contributions and synergies across the whole plan.  

But there’s still more to measure. For a holistic understanding of campaign effectiveness, marketers should ensure they are measuring both brand lift and outcomes lift with their campaigns. Connecting how your ads influence awareness, preference, purchase intentions… as well as behaviors like search, site visits, and ecommerce activities are crucial. 

DISQO’s benchmarks reveal that travel advertising particularly influences upper-funnel metrics like brand favorability, familiarity, and purchase intent. With these insights in hand, you can align planning with your measurement strategies to drive powerful results.

Test your content to optimize the brand experience.

Experiment with different ad creatives, headlines, and calls-to-action to identify what resonates most with your target audiences. We established earlier that travel marketers should consider budget-conscious parents as a prime audience in 2024. Embracing a test-and-learn approach with ad messaging and value adds will improve campaign effectiveness. Ad formats, load times, and ad frequency are also ripe opportunities to test and optimize experiences. This hands-on approach will help you fine-tune your travel advertising and optimize performance for maximum impact.

Advertise on the right media channels.

Marketers should allocate budget to the channels most likely to drive desired brand impacts and consumer behaviors. Our Consumer Trends 2024 report found that people were most motivated to make a purchase from ads on TV, social media, and digital. For parents, social media was particularly influential. Facebook was the preferred social channel, but Instagram and TikTok will likely rise in potency as more Millennials and Gen Zers transition to parents. 

To understand how these channels impact KPIs individually and together, a cross-platform measurement partner is needed. Cross-platform insights allow you to adjust allocations to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investments.

Measure your travel advertising campaigns with DISQO!

Measuring the effectiveness of your travel advertisements is critical throughout the campaign lifecycle. DISQO’s Brand Lift and Outcomes Lift products are rooted in identity, enabling complete cross-platform and full-funnel ad measurement. Complete your measurement with us and reference DISQO’s Ad Effectiveness Benchmarks to get a granular look at how you’re doing relative to competitors. Brands across industries, including travel, are embracing DISQO’s consent-based ad measurement. Join them!

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