Exploring the world of programmatic display with leading travel brand

STA Travel is the world's largest travel company for students and young people.

The brand offers a unique range of products with exclusive student discounts on airfare, accommodations, tours, rail passes and more. Globally they are present in over 60 countries and send more than 2 million travelers away each year.

STA Travel approached Jellyfish, a DoubleClick Certified Marketing Partner, to deliver a digital strategy which built in programmatic technology to their existing activity.

The brief

Jellyfish began working with STA Travel as a lead from the Google Channel Partnerships scheme. 

STA Travel was interested in building programmatic into their current display activity by using DoubleClick Bid Manager alongside the Google Display Network.

The brief was to promote their January sale offers and increase flight and tour bookings. Creative messaging covered both flights and tours, encouraging consumers to ‘Paint your world blue’ with up to 40% off flights and up to 35% off worldwide tours for those aged 18 to 35.

We adopted DoubleClick Bid Manager for this travel brand to bid smarter and improve ROI during the particularly competitive travel season in January.

We tested various keyword, placement and audience strategies for prospecting activity. Using bespoke interest audience targeting in DoubleClick Bid Manager to segment the different audiences for flight and tour bookings.

We utilized the fact they had a Google Analytics 360 account by syncing up it up with DoubleClick Bid Manager to measure the transaction value from each line item, informing optimization actions and improving overall campaign ROI.

landscape photography

The objectives

As part of the brief from the client, the following objectives were set out:

  • Build on existing Google Display Network reach
  • Employ Google Analytics 360 data metrics
  • Generate bookings for flights and travel tours

Our team of programmatic experts got to work to build a strategy that would deliver for STA. The results were pretty impressive and the relationship continues to flourish. 

Google in the Mountains

The results

We were able to conscientiously optimize the DoubleClick Bid Manager activity and improve conversion efficiency over the campaign period.

The brief three-week test campaign began to demonstrate the strong potential of DoubleClick Bid Manager by influencing a healthy daily conversion value averaging £14,000 from post-impression bookings.

We presented a case for sustained activity to ensure we gather a larger data set for statistically significant results and the opportunity to action sustained optimization efforts.

We are now running a rolling one-month campaign on a moderate budget with the intention to grow activity once the performance is clear.

Planning monthly, we commit the majority of the budget to ‘proven’ strategies that maintain campaign efficiencies whilst allocating a modest amount to ‘test’ strategies. This ensures we continue to learn, grow activity and take advantage of any new DoubleClick Bid Manager product releases.

DoiubleClick bid manager logo
25%Decrease in CPM
$18,500Avg daily conversion value
59%Decrease in the cost-per flight
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