TUI UK drives 13% higher return on ad spend by investing in digital maturity
Case Study

TUI UK drives 13% higher return on ad spend by investing in digital maturity

In early 2020, the UK’s largest vacation package provider TUI UK was looking for ways to defend its market share and drive profitable growth in a competitive global travel sector. To achieve these goals, the company sought to improve its digital marketing efforts, and it began exploring new ways to unearth insights from customer and business data.

When the pandemic took hold and travellers stayed home, TUI UK was quick to add another business objective: reduce marketing costs to maximize marketing efficiency and position the business for a successful, stronger rebound once global travel resumed.

TUI UK was already using several Google Marketing Platform products, however, it wasn’t fully taking advantage of all of their capabilities. The company knew that if it expanded access to Google Marketing Platform insights across its organization, it could progress along Boston Consulting Group’s marketing maturity index, a framework that helps companies enable data connectivity, cross-functional collaboration, and shared insights.

Activating business data for smarter bidding on search

First, TUI UK wanted to develop a more sophisticated bidding strategy across its search advertising by making better use of its first-party business data, which had previously been used almost exclusively for email marketing. The company had analyzed its first-party business data to calculate the predicted profitability of specific travel packages, and was managing its search advertising with Search Ads 360.

To use the business data more effectively across search and other digital marketing channels, TUI UK imported it into BigQuery, part of Google Cloud, where it could be later activated using native integrations with other products within Google Marketing Platform.

With the Search Ads 360 API, TUI UK could take business data insights from BigQuery and import them into its Search Ads 360 account. This integration opened up the opportunity to optimize its bidding toward predicted value back to the business. For example, TUI UK used the predicted profitability of specific travel packages to bid higher or lower on related search queries.

Implementing this sophisticated auction-time bidding strategy, TUI UK achieved a 10% media cost savings across its search advertising and enjoyed a 13% higher return on ad spend (ROAS).

Using CRM audience segments to evolve display advertising

TUI UK also wanted to better use its first-party data to deliver customized messages to consumers that already interacted with the TUI UK brand. After importing its CRM data from BigQuery into Analytics 360 using the Data Import feature, TUI UK created specific audiences, such as an audience composed of all website visitors who didn’t have a trip credit due to Covid-19 related cancellations.

After creating the Analytics 360 audiences, TUI UK imported them into Display & Video 360. Now, the company could focus its Display & Video 360 campaigns to reach its high-value audiences. For example, TUI UK could now avoid serving ads to customers who already received a credit for a cancelled holiday, thus eliminating excess spend on already engaged customers.

With a strategy and integration in place to make better use of its CRM data, TUI UK could focus on acquisition and maximizing its display advertising.

Consolidating ad management with Google Marketing Platform

In order to better streamline its ad serving, reporting, and campaign management efforts, TUI UK migrated ad serving to Campaign Manager 360. Thanks to the Campaign Manager 360 API, TUI UK could then export its Campaign Manager 360 data directly into BigQuery for improved reporting efficiency. TUI UK also increased control and transparency of its media buying by consolidating display activity into Display & Video 360.

This strategy helped TUI UK manage frequency across its display activations, while gaining a more holistic view of its advertising efforts with less time and effort. TUI UK’s consolidation paid off, as the company lowered the cost per acquisition of its display advertising by 34% and centralized 87% of total display activity in Display & Video 360.

Looking ahead with Google Marketing Platform

Since adopting Google Marketing Platform, TUI UK has garnered cost savings on ad serving fees of more than 25% while boosting its digital marketing performance. Its marketing teams have also recouped 45-60 hours monthly thanks to automated reporting.

“Achieving vital cost savings while still improving our marketing maturity is clearly a win-win,” says Bart Quinton Smith, Director of Digital Marketing & CRM, TUI UK & Ireland. “I’m so pleased by everything we’ve accomplished from working so closely with Google and very much look forward to continuing to drive growth as travel demands return.”

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