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2021 Bronze Travel and Leisure

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Agency: Digitas UK

Client: Expedia

Campaign Name: The Check-In

Campaign Overview

Expedia knew members were visiting up to 38 other travel sites when planning where to go next, increasing the chances of them booking elsewhere. It needed engagement to take off.

Strategy

Expedia was seen by its customers primarily as a travel booking site - they weren't looking to the brand for inspiration and often considered booking elsewhere without feeling disloyal.

To compound this, Expedia Rewards 'Blue' tier members - representing 80% of the base - were 20% less engaged with key communications compared to higher-tiered members.

Research showed that Expedia members planned their holidays on an emotional and rational level, from getting a good deal and flight time, to the emotionally engaging possibilities of exciting new destinations.

A new approach was required to shift the brand from being a functional and efficient booking service, offering transactional rewards, to a trusted travel companion.

The plan was to revisit the role of the Expedia Rewards Statement - a functional monthly email itemising rewards points. Customer data super-charged inspirational travel content, using dynamic 'nudges' triggered by transactions to help customers better understand their points at a glance, and be more inspired.

By connecting these rational and emotional drivers Expedia could become a more useful partner in their travel planning.

Creativity

'The Check-In' was a monthly update from Expedia Rewards that combined the points-based rewards info travellers’ rational self needed, with the wanderlust-inducing travel fix the emotional self desired.

Snackable travel articles were framed within an at-a-glance points dashboard that helped track tier progress.

Using customer points data, Expedia plotted dynamic next-best action nudges to give a personalised inside track on how to get more out of their next trip.

By helping members see where their points could take them and using data triggers to nudge them in the right direction, 'The Check-In' changed the way members saw their rewards points - from a transactional outcome of their last trip to an exciting enabler of their next one.

Results

By connecting with both the rational and emotional side of members 'The Check-In' significantly increased engagement among lower-tier members earlier in their holiday planning cycle and outperformed all their engagement benchmarks.
Key metrics included:
+34% CTR
+30% lower-tier engagement
+19% quality score
-36% unsubscribe rate
Prior to campaign launch, members were going elsewhere to be inspired and plan their next trip before booking. The combined increase in CTR, OR and Quality Score demonstrate that Expedia was newly engaging consumers with its data-driven, inspirational content - and earlier in their journey.

The Team

Digitas UK - Tim Clegg, Creative Director - Aran Burtenshaw, Creative Director - Chesney Payet, Copywriter - Leah Mammoliti, Art Director - Dan Bale, Senior Designer - Jeanette Savage, UX Designer - Phil Cragg, Planning Director - Sharmin Rashed, Lead Strategist - Lauren Webster, Junior Strategist - Nicola De Rienzo, Senior Account Manager - Greg Georgiadis, Managing Partner - Megan Harrold, Business Director - Maisie Case, Project Manager - Ian Kaye, Senior Project Manager

Expedia - Roshni Shah, Senior Manager, Loyalty & Incentives Strategy - William Sparkes, Senior Loyalty Marketing Manager - Stacey Leasca, Senior Editor - Caitlin Morton, Copywriter