​Why P&O Cruises chose personalised retargeting to attract customers

The cruise holiday company’s digital marketing manager reveals how dynamic creative, adaptive messaging and individualised ads can attract and retain the right customer base

P&O Cruises Australia has seen click-through rates on its website soar after adopting a more personalised retargeting ad strategy.

The cruise line’s digital marketing executive, Madeline Wong, told CMO the company’s decision to integrate new technology from Sizmek with its existing marketing strategy has resulted in higher customer engagement while also streamlining workflow tools.

Wong said the business problem P&O Cruises was looking to solve was to drive more sales via retargeting and increase return visits to the its website.

“Before using Sizmek, we were just showing our latest retail offer to customers via a very standardised banner,” she said. “But we wanted to be more personalised.”

In an effort to boost its ad performance, P&O deployed ad management firm Sizmek’s dynamic creative technology, which retargets consumers with more relevant content based on their previous actions on the company’s website.

Wong said the company recognised personalisation was one of the most powerful changes in digital marketing - and using different creatives could help improve response rates.

“We thought a dynamic solution that could fulfil that and be automated was the right move for a travel company with over 200 cruises departing each year,” she said.

“A lot of companies had set templates, but Sizmek also offered the ability to build our own creatives. Everything within our own creative is also dynamic. The Sizmek platform also offered a more streamlined workflow tool that displayed different messages and creative options to various audience groups.”

One of the biggest improvements P&O Cruises has seen on its website so far is increased click-through rates, Wong claimed.

“As you can imagine, by someone seeing a display banner that is more relevant to them, it increases the propensity for them to click,” she said. “We’ve seen a 60 per cent increase, which we think is fabulous. For us, it is about incremental increases on the board, but so far we have surpassed our initial expectations.”

Challenges in effective deployment

But successful implementation of new technology was not without its challenges. Wong said the company had three internal teams working on the deployment along with Sizmek, media provider, Mediacom, and back-end tech provider, 2DataFish.

“Setting up a dynamic feed took us about two months, and we had image hosting issues, we had to talk about what would happen if the XML feed goes down and what would be the backup,” she said. “Our creative guys also had to learn how to use the Sizkmek platform in order to build the banners for them to be creatively optimised. I also had to make sure everything was maintained.

“But I was very pleasantly surprised at how everyone came together and brought their expertise to find solutions on the go.”

Apart from Sizmek, Wong said P&O’s investment into Facebook advertising was also proving to be effective in attracting the right targeted customers.

“Everyone is jumping on the Facebook bandwagon, and we were a bit hesitant at first because travel is a high consideration product, it's not just a $20 top,” she said. “But we’ve seen some fantastic results and conversions and were pleasantly proved wrong. So we’re very happy with seeing the wins with Facebook and we’re now looking to pull through dynamic creative ads via the Facebook platform.

“It just shows that personalisation works, utilising technology, tagging and understanding where your audiences are, plus looking at all your Google Analytics data works.”

P&O has implemented the first phase of its new strategy. Phase two, which is yet to be implemented, will see the emphasis extend from retargeting into prospecting.

Read more about how other brands are improving their advertising strategy:

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Maintaining trust in a sceptical world: The power of brand trust

The faith people have in brands creates opportunity for those brands to become trusted advisors. In turn, this builds success by increasing the brand’s profile, letting it broaden its product offering and driving stronger customer loyalty.

Dan Ratner

managing director, uberbrand

When growth stalls: How to boost growth in large organisations

The push to start new businesses continues. In Q1 2017, the number of seed and angel deals increased by 1.4 per cent compared to Q1 2016.

Con Frantzeskos

CEO, Penso

Why we need diversity in marketing

​When we read articles about the need for increased diversity in marketing land, it is often through the lens of gender.

Jodie Sangster

CEO, ADMA

We all know that digital marketing in order to promote a brand, products and services is by the use of electronic media. The evolution of...

Helaina Berry

Predictions: 17 digital marketing trends for 2017

Read more

Interesting insight, well explained and the examples are just apt.Thanks for sharing!

FreshMindIdeas

The politics of branding - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

When the world that we live in floods with gigabytes of content every day, we have to learn to be selective about it. Such educational we...

Paulina Cameron

ADMA launches education program to tackle viewability, ad fraud and brand safety

Read more

Hi, i am an Aistralian ALK patient, been on xalkori dec 13 to oct 15 and achieved remission of disease, since been on Ceritinib until no...

gary packer

Pfizer Australia adopts AI-powered digital analyst tool for sales and marketing decision making

Read more

Hi James, shouldn't marketers also be focusing on collecting and utilizing up to date first-party profiling data on customers so that mes...

Tom

3 ways customer data can increase online sales conversion

Read more

Latest Podcast

Getting Intimate with CX Ep 5: Tammy Marshall, founder, The B Hive

How much of customer experience is having the foresight to know what those individuals might like, versus asking them? In Episode 5 of this new podcast series, BrandHook MD, Pip Stocks, talks with Tammy Marshall about the importance of asking your customers questions, how consistency plays a role in engagement, but how the unexpected adds extra value.

More podcasts

Sign in