How TUI UK Upgraded Measurement and Boosted Bookings

September 19, 2019 Anne Curtin

How did you book your last vacation? If you‘re like many consumers, you did it online. More of us are turning to the price and convenience of online booking every year.

With growing smartphone and app use, the global online travel booking market will continue to see substantial growth. Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate of over 6%, reaching over $550 billion by 2023.

One company that is leveraging this ​change in consumer behavior is TUI UK, a UK-based travel operator and subsidiary of TUI Group, one of the world’s leading travel companies.

But growth online is not without challenges. Marketers at the company use paid and owned channels to drive traffic to the website and encourage trip sales, but outdated reporting meant the team was missing out on opportunities to improve the power of their media mix.

With Nielsen’s help, TUI UK improved its measurement approach, got new insights into paid social, and saw a 77% increase in bookings. Read on to learn how the company ramped up to reveal the hidden truth behind its marketing performance.

Dealing with Baggage

Previously, TUI UK relied on Excel-based reports to measure marketing’s impact. But with the volume of data growing by the day, the team knew its legacy reporting systems and processes weren’t agile or comprehensive enough to facilitate smarter, faster optimization decisions.

“The manual process required to collect the data and analyse the findings was slow, tedious and error-prone,” said Connor Weller, senior digital marketing analyst at TUI Group. “Because the reports were distributed in PDF format, our internal teams were unable to drill down to the right level of data to answer key business questions.”

The metrics in the reports were based on a last paid click measurement model. Since this approach favors lower-funnel tactics such as paid search and affiliates, it didn’t expose the true value of upper-funnel activities like paid social and online display.

“As a business, we always believed there was greater value in our upper-funnel tactics, but we knew we were going to miss out on those opportunities if we held on to legacy, last paid click metrics,” continued Weller. “We sought a partner that could give us a more accurate picture of all the touchpoints that lead to site visits and sales, so we could better allocate our budget to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of our entire marketing mix.”

Getting Better Mileage From Measurement

TUI UK worked with Nielsen’s team of experienced experts to shift from its outdated last paid click measurement model to a sophisticated daily multi-touch attribution approach.​ Nielsen Attribution accounts for the full customer journey, using advanced analytic models to measure tactical performance in near real-time and show the true impact of every touchpoint.

Recognizing that implementing an advanced multi-touch attribution solution requires proper planning and cross-team collaboration, the TUI UK team worked with Nielsen to ensure a smooth transition.

“With support from Nielsen, we began by consolidating and normalizing our disparate sources of person-level, paid and owned marketing data into a single repository. We also developed a simple, standardized taxonomy so we could track and analyze the performance across all of our channels and campaigns in a consistent way,” said Weller.

Upgrading to First Class

Once the implementation process was complete, TUI UK leveraged Nielsen Attribution to speed up their insights and uncover some revenue and cost-saving optimization opportunities. Here are four ways TUI UK was able to improve:

1. Discover the True Value of Paid Social

The team suspected that upper-funnel activities were undervalued, but was surprised by how much. While paid social garnered a high CPA with little return under the last-click model, the Nielsen analysis revealed that it was actually driving a much higher return and lower cost per quality site visit.

2. Drive Efficiency for Paid Search

While paid search was found to be less impactful than originally thought, intra-channel optimization recommendations helped the team improve the value of the channel. “For instance, identifying which terms weren’t driving any revenue over a 90-day window enabled the team to move those funds to more efficient keywords,” said Weller.

3. Establish a Source of Truth

TUI UK’s marketing performance reports now let teams compare last-click paid metrics against a corresponding set of attributed metrics that accurately reflect the true impact of each channel. “These attributed metrics have become the ‘source of truth’ for marketing performance measurement within our organization,” said Weller.

4. Speed Up Data Analysis

Prior to implementing Nielsen Attribution, the TUI UK team routinely spent three hours or more producing a single report. “With Nielsen, our team can now view and report on performance within a matter of minutes,” said Weller.

Traveling Smart

With a more accurate picture of the touchpoints that lead to site visits and sales, the team is now able to allocate budget Intelligently across their entire marketing portfolio with confidence. Using Nielsen Attribution to measure and optimize its spend, TUI UK shifted its paid social budget by 111% year-over-year to realize a 77% increase in bookings with just an 11% increase in CPA.

“Having the data to justify how we’re investing our resources and know exactly which levers to pull to drive up site traffic and trip sales is giving us a significant advantage in an increasingly competitive online marketplace,” said Connor Weller, Senior Digital Marketing Analyst, TUI Group​.

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