Cookieless Retargeting Strategies in the Modern World
Retargeting as we know it today is going away in 2023.
Is retargeting a big part of your online marketing strategy? You’re not alone. Retargeting is a cornerstone to digital marketing for travel marketers–and with good reason–98% of visitors do not convert the first time they visit your website. This is especially true with a traveler's path to purchase, as they jump from site to site, often spending a great deal of time researching before they book.
While prospecting gets you in front of new customers who have not engaged with your brand before, retargeting brings them back after they’ve engaged to complete a booking. Through retargeting, you can remind travelers of your offering long after they leave your website by showing them a relevant ad as they browse other sites.
Retargeting as we know it today is going away in 2023, because of Google’s decision to deprecate the third-party cookie. Online advertising has relied on third-party cookies to retarget, track history of online behaviors across different websites, collect data, and serve ads for many years.
So while retargeting is highly effective, today, it is based on 3rd party cookies. Thus, the “death” of the 3rd party cookie means adjusting strategies to continue driving bookings on your website, especially through retargeting.
One of the main limitations with a third-party cookie approach lies in its inability to retarget the same person across multiple devices. This restricts advertisers from 'people-based marketing' and results in a disjointed customer experience that is more costly for advertisers.
For example, let’s say you're a hotelier in Mexico and a prospective traveler is interested in planning a trip there. She starts her research for a hotel in Mexico, using her mobile device on the train during her commute home. She winds up on your website but does not complete a booking because she’s still in the research phase.
So, from an advertiser perspective, you put her into the retargeting bucket for your hotel on the mobile device. However, the next day, she logs in on her desktop at work and wants to revisit the options for hotels in Mexico. She goes to Google and starts her search all over again, finds your hotel, and this time completes a booking. This all sounds great, right?
Except in this example, because third-party cookies can’t connect the dots to identify the same user across devices, the mobile device does not know the consumer booked on the desktop, so the next time this consumer is on her mobile device, with current retargeting technology, she is served an ad for your hotel in Mexico that she has already booked. Not only is that an ineffective use of your advertising budget, but it is a poor consumer experience.
Consumers wonder why the advertiser doesn’t understand that they’ve already booked, resulting in frustration and negative brand perception. The solutions Sojern has in place to overcome the death of the third-party cookie will improve these shortcomings with retargeting.
In our last post, we explained Sojern's approach to navigating the future of data and travel marketing in a cookieless world. Now we’ll focus on Sojern’s three pillars to support the death of the third-party cookie. As a quick refresher, these pillars include:
By leveraging these three pillars, in the future there will be two approaches to retargeting:
CRM retargeting uses your historical booking data from travelers that have booked with you or visited you in the past. Think of all the promotional campaign possibilities this will afford you in the future. By hashing the emails of those past bookers, you can retarget them across the internet by serving them ads wherever they are logged in. CRM retargeting will be especially important to fill the dip in performance that will happen to site retargeting, as it will take some time for first-party cookie IDs to be matched to hashed emails. In addition, once those traveler profiles are created (first-party cookie + hashed emails), layering on CRM data will enrich those profiles, allowing you to make sure that your retargeting efforts are more impactful.For example:
All of these pieces allow for a richer traveler profile and enable Sojern to retarget based on both current and past behavior. So with this enriched traveler profile, what does this mean for advertising in the future?
Let’s go back to the example we shared earlier with the disjointed retargeting between desktop and mobile devices. In the future, that will no longer be an issue as hashed emails will enable “people-based marketing” and targeting cross-device.So now, when a traveler searches for your hotel in Mexico, first on mobile, then they switch to desktop to book, the next time they are on their mobile device, they won’t be retargeted with an ad of the hotel they just booked. They’ll instead be served an ad for something to do in Mexico, like snorkeling. This is better for both the advertiser and the consumer. The advertiser saves money by not wasting budget advertising to someone who has already booked a room. The consumer’s experience is vastly improved because they’re able to see things to do in the area, rather than an ad for a hotel they’ve already booked.
Want to learn more about how you can activate a people-based marketing strategy? Connect with Sojern today.
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“With any product and service, you have to spend time and resources to grow your customer base. Sojern provides us with an extremely effective way to increase our direct bookings and maximize guest lifetime value. The platform delivers impressive results, achieved with minimal time and resources invested by the team. It's a great product and service that I never have to sell to ownership–the results speak for themselves. Sojern seamlessly integrates into our marketing distribution, freeing us up to focus on other initiatives. When a program performs this well, I know we're making the right marketing investments.”
“Sojern is the top performing conversion partner that we've run for travel specific activities. I would definitely recommend investigating how to work with Sojern to my agency peers with travel clients. Their team is really proactive, and very quick on everything we need. We value the great quality in terms of reports and support the team provides, and on top of that, we also see activities perform incredibly well. So clearly, there's a lot going on in the back end to make sure we're hitting and meeting all of Sandals’ KPIs.”
“We were seeking a partner that could help us increase our direct booking share and reach, as well as overcome seasonality challenges. We looked at Sojern, which was very well recommended, and I can definitely say we made the right choice. Working with Sojern is so easy and reliable and the entire process is incredibly smooth and straightforward. Since joining Sojern we consistently convert new guests looking to visit the Caribbean, regardless of seasonality.”
“Working with Sojern, it’s not just a cookie-cutter solution, as Sojern listens to our needs and recommends what’s best for our hotel. We have someone to bounce ideas off of, and Sojern gives us a higher-level perspective on how we can get the best value for our investment.”
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