“Gifts on the Fly” & “Takeout for Takeoff” | Integrated Social, Search & Display Advertising

Digital Advertising

According to market research, approximately 87% of travelers use mobile devices to search and address shopping and dining needs while moving through the airports. More specifically, gift discovery on social sites recently increased to 76% from 65% in 2014 (via The Drum – Modern Marketing).

Armed with the aforementioned, The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and MarketPlace Development, the airport food and retail concessions manager at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), sought to target and engage with thousands of worldwide travelers arriving and departing Washington, D.C., through several hyper-targeted search and intent marketing campaigns via Google Adwords, Google Display Network (GDN) and social advertising during peak travel periods during the holidays. By targeting users specifically on their mobile devices within the airport, MarketPlace Development leveraged the latest advances in social and Google advertising tools with search and display ads that offered exclusive promotions for those users seeking dining and shopping options in the airports.

Latest advances in targeting technology included the “places of interest” option where a user could be geographically targeted and served ads based on a designated IP address. Google only recently launched the feature with beta options including only universities and airports. Given the new targeting option and the hundreds of thousands of “wired” worldwide travelers arriving and departing from Washington, D.C. based airports, we not only successfully integrated the latest targeting feature into the new geo-fenced, demographically focused display and intent marketing campaigns but built a comprehensive social media ad campaign to complement the display, and paid search campaigns.

Interesting to note, no historical precedence had been set for the airport concessions using mobile specific marketing tools or digital campaigns to engage with travelers at the Washington regional airports. With the new targeting option, users essentially self-selected for ads based on their location within the airport and the search terms used in Google’s query. Ads were then designed and served to offer exclusive promotions for those users seeking dining and shopping options in the airport

By targeting travelers onsite and online, specifically on mobile devices within the airport, we could effectively leverage the latest technology with social media, search and display ads. Meeting the user in the digital space in both search and display advertising campaigns allowed us to build brand recognition, message directly to qualified traffic and engage with travelers and consumers during peak travel periods.

Entry Statement

1. Project Goals: 

In designing and implementing digital campaigns such as “Gifts on the Fly” and “Takeout for Takeoff” (Reagan Natioal specific), we set out to accomplish the following objectives:
o Meet consumers in the digital space through emerging technology and targeting options via Google search platforms
o Tap into the last minute buyer decision process and inform travelers of the extensive gifts options at the airport
o Incentivize consumers to engage with ads through exclusive online offers and gift with purchase promotions
o Optimize online advertising efforts through A/B ad testing

•Key goals included:
•Driving qualified traffic to designated websites through:
•Paid Search – Automatic & Managed Placements
•Google Display Network – Mobile Banner Ads
•Facebook and Twitter Advertising
•Increasing advertising engagement as measured by click through rate
•Increasing impression share in online search space while maintaining an above average industry click through rate respective to platform
•Maintaining average search rank position of 1.2 – 1
•Ultimately, drive traffic and increasing sales as consumer interacts with staff and associates at participating shops

2. Production: 

• With the advent of the busy holiday travel season Reagan National and Dulles International airport concessions designed and implemented “Gifts on the Fly” and “Takeout for Takeoff,” integrated digital campaigns and onsite promotions designed to encourage and incentivize travelers to shop for their last minute gifts or purchase pre-packed, security approved items at the airport shops before boarding their flight
• To reach travelers in the online space, Reagan National and Dulles International airport concessions launched a full-scale digital campaign to include geo-targeted paid search, mobile display and social media advertising
• With the new Google Adwords targeting options, Reagan National and Dulles International airport concessions hyper-targeted users located inside the airport who were identified as using a mobile device
• Banner ads were then served to those specific users with the ingenuity of Google’s automatic and managed placement system
• During the campaign period, “Gifts on the Fly” ads were shown on a set of targeted sites and mobile apps that related to news, entertainment and the travel sites and tools used by travelers in transit
• For example, users in the airport were automatically shown “Gifts on the Fly” ads searching for the following:
o Washington Airports
o Shops at the Airport
o Airport Shops
o Gift Ideas
o Gifts at the Airport
o DC Airports
• To capitalize on interest marketing with Google, Reagan National and Dulles International airport concessions also employed managed placement advertising
• For example, when a user in the airport was on the following websites, the “Gifts on the Fly” ads were also served on:
o Kayak.com
o Travelocity.com
o Expedia.com
o Orbitz.com
o TripAdvisor.com
• As mobile device users often move between the social and search space, Reagan National and Dulles International airport concessions launched a complementary social ad campaign on Facebook and Twitter to meet the user on both fronts
• The Facebook and Twitter campaigns were centered on messaging and designed to drive users to a designated landing page with specific store or restaurant information and a suggested gift item or menu option
• For “Gifts on the Fly,” Reagan National and Dulles International airport concessions sought to break through the onsite saturation of messaging and noise in the use of strategically placed signage.
• In addition to onsite collateral, Reagan National and Dulles International airport concessions planned photo activation spots strategically positioned in high traffic locations of retail and shopping
• The activations featured holiday and travel themed backdrops and were designed to not only slow fast moving foot traffic, but entertain travelers during airport dwell time
• To integrate the onsite experience into the online, Reagan National and Dulles International airport concessions added a “share” feature to the photo activation program in which travelers could not only print their photos but push them across digital platforms such as email, Facebook and Twitter
• By uploading the photos into the social space, users would ultimately extended the life expectancy of the campaign through their own posts

3. Evaluation: 

• Garnered the coveted #1 search position on Google while driving more than 1,000 qualified users to the “Gifts on the Fly” landing pages

• Optimized ads to secure an average click through rate of 3.2% (industry average for paid search is <1%)

Performance Metrics IAD DCA
Average Position 1.2 1.1
Impressions 18,591 10,412
Clicks 793 222
Average CTR 4.27% 2.13%
Average CPC $0.83 $1.77

Google Display Network Highlights (Advertising – Banner Ads):

• Garnered more than 600K impressions with “Gifts on the Fly” display ads
• Drove 2.3K qualified users to designated “Gifts on the Fly” landing pages while maintaining an above industry average click through rate of 0.11% (industry average is <0.01%)

Campaign Impressions Clicks CPC CTR
DCA - Interest Placements 171,577 181 $1.60 0.11%
DCA - Managed Placements 11,769 11 $1.84 0.09%
IAD – Interest Placement 366,736 457 $1.60 0.12%
IAD – Managed Placements 61,213 718 $1.88 0.11%
GDN Totals 611,295 2,382 $1.73 0.11%

Reagan National and Dulles International airport concessions Facebook Highlights:
• DCA “Gifts on the Fly” Facebook ad campaign generated more than 890K impressions, 1,324 website clicks and more than 1,000 ad engagements during the campaign period
• IAD “Gifts on the Fly” Facebook ad campaign generated more than 472K impressions, 1,126 website clicks and 740 ad engagements impressions, 1,324 website clicks and approximately 400 ad engagements during
• Total “Gifts on the Fly” Facebook Ad Impressions: 1,362,000
• Total “Gifts on the Fly” Website Clicks: 2,450
• Total “Gifts on the Fly” Ad Engagements: 1,131
Reagan National and Dulles International airport concessions Twitter Highlights:
• DCA “Gifts on the Fly” Twitter ad campaign generated more than 44K impressions, 100 clicks, and 100 ad engagements
• IAD “Gifts on the Fly” Twitter ad campaign generated more than 96K impressions, 357 clicks, and almost 400 ad engagements
• Total “Gifts on the Fly” Twitter Ad Impressions: 140,000
• Total “Gifts on the Fly” Website Clicks: 460
• Total “Gifts on the Fly” Ad Engagements: 511

Onsite:
DCA:
Photo Cards Distributed 1165
Number of Photos Taken 1187
Number of Photos Retrieved 813
Photo Sharing Rate 59%
Number of Unique People Retrieving Photos 691
Number of Times Photos Were Viewed 8553
Total DCA Photos Shared on Facebook 244
Total DCA Photos Shared on Twitter 16
Total DCA Photos Shared via Email 647

IAD
Photo Cards Distributed 1037
Number of Photos Taken 1327
Number of Photos Retrieved 680
Photo Sharing Rate 51%
Number of Unique People Retrieving Photos 457
Number of Times Photos Were Viewed 5439
Total IAD Photos Shared on Facebook 146
Total IAD Photos Shared on Twitter 10
Total IAD Photos Shared via Email 395

Total Campaign Results between December 15 – January 5:
• 2,157, 758 Impressions
• 6,307 Website Clicks
• 3,100 Engagements including Shares

MPD to provide post-sales gains as percentages – either comparable sales or total sales
• Period of measurement (December 15-January 5)
• Include traffic/enplanements
• ROI – need to demonstrate (profit/return – investment/investment)
• YoY in sales

EXAMPLE: *Notable Sales and Traffic Metrics
• July 2013 Sales: 3.85% increase over 2012 for DCA
• July 2013 Traffic (enplanements): 2.60% increase over 2012 for DCA
• July 2013 SPE (sales per enplanement): up from $8.97 in July 2012 to $9.08 for DCA.
• Total Sales, Enplanements and SPE for Dulles was down July 2013 due to loss of flights leaving Dulles

4. Budget: 

• Digital Agency Fees: $2,400 x (2) airports
• Ad Design & Production: $2,800 x (2) airports
• Digital Media Spend (Display & Paid Search): $5,000 x (2) airports
• Social Media Spend: $4,500 x (2) airports
o Total: $29,400