ONBOARD THE OASIS OF THE SEAS — Vacation.com will launch an online “retargeting” feature this summer that will follow its customers’ online behavior.
During its national conference on Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas, V-com executives said that it would take its direct mail and email program, E-engagement, “to the next level” by adding the retargeting feature.
“Everyone is retargeted with ads, it’s not a new phenomenon,” said Stephen McGillivray, chief marketing officer for V-com’s parent company, Travel Leaders Group. “But we are the first agent organization to come out with retargeting and following customers online behavior. ... Agents will love that they are now in the game. And vendors will love it because they already retarget.”
McGillivray explained that the way the new feature works is that if a consumer clicks on a Royal Caribbean email from a travel agent, it takes that customer to a personalized landing page that gives more detail on the offer and has the agent’s information.
Currently, if an e-Engagement email is viewed but the consumer doesn’t act on it, the promotion dies. The retargeting features extends the life of the offer by having the ad follow that consumer to other websites where it will appear as a banner ad.
“We follow that customer’s online behavior, to the Washington Post, Google, and we serve them that Royal Caribbean ad over and over through the length of the promotion,” McGillivray said.
The announcement was made during V-com’s 14th International Conference and Trade Show, being held during a seven-day Caribbean cruise.
V-com President John Lovell said that about 2% of email recipients book travel offers right away.
“This new strategy provides additional opportunities to entice the other 98% of consumers multiple times throughout the promotion,” he said.
The ads will continue to run during the duration of the campaign, which can vary from a few days to several months.
Lovell and McGillivray stressed that retargeting benefits both travel agents and suppliers.
Consumers who click the ads will be taken to the agency-branded supplier promotion landing page, and the suppliers win “because their investment has continuation,” McGillivray said.
The banner ads will also appear on websites including Amazon.com, AOL.com, CNN.com, ESPN.com, Google.com, NYTimes.com and Weather.com. Follow Johanna Jainchill on Twitter @jjainchilltw.