Travel brands have been chomping at the bit for a "book now" button in Instagram. With this new ad product, they're one step closer to finding out a real ROI from the Instagram strategies.
The first quarter is a popular time for travelers to start planning spring break and summer travel. Based on TV spending estimates for the first quarter, it's clear that the top spending brands such as Southwest Airlines, Trivago.com and Royal Caribbean are bent on getting Americans enamored with the thought of summer vacations.
Trivago's TV ads are a key element of its growth and success; other travel companies should view them as a case study in taking the digitally oriented test and learn manta into offline advertising.
We're surprised that U.S. hotel chains did not have a stronger global showing, but we're not surprised by Trivago and Airbnb's strength.
Imagine if Expedia and Priceline saw selling flights as an increasingly important part of their business and started offering airline IT solutions. That's what they and Trivago are essentially doing on the hotel side of the ledger, embedding themselves as hotel-technology providers. Now it has become a downright trend.
Priceline's and Expedia's respective selling and marketing spend on a global scale shows why Priceline remains on top despite all of Expedia's acquisitions. Priceline does it much more efficiently, getting a lot more bang for a buck.
Expedia inherited some minority investments in travel startups from HomeAway and Trivago, and made a few of its own in 2015. Look for
Expedia to spread its money around in 2016, making additional minority investments, as well as a big acquisition or two.
TV advertising is an ever-more-essential part of major brands' advertising mix and trends so far this year indicate the rich -- airlines, cruise lines and online travel agencies -- are getting richer.
While the big chains have tech and marketing people to optimize websites and their cost-per click campaigns, booking sites in transformation such as Booking.com, Trivago and TripAdvisor are squarely directed at making themselves more essential to smaller, independent hotels. It is another sign of the changing role of metasearch sites and online travel agencies in the mobile era.
Trivago is trying to develop a more partner-friendly booking flow than TripAdvisor has done with Instant Booking. But Trivago, which admittedly is still experimenting with its new features, still has ample consumer confusion to sort out.