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Mobile, Video Lead Travel Ad Spending Increases

Marketers shift spend to emerging channels in 2013

Attracting potential travelers is a constant balancing act for advertisers. Travelers draw inspiration from myriad channels and visit dozens of websites on average before purchasing, so as digital devices and platforms proliferate, choosing where to allocate advertising bandwidth is becoming more challenging.

Travelers tend to be early digital adopters, and their embrace of advertising in growing channels such as mobile and digital video is further proof. For example, tablet and smartphone click shares for paid search ads in the travel and leisure category have increased more than 60% between Q2 2012 and Q2 2013, according to The Search Agency’s “State of Paid Search Report—Q2 2013.”

US Travel and Leisure Paid Search Click Share, by Device, Q2 2012-Q2 2013 (% of total)

Performance metrics for travel digital video ads are impressive as well. Travel advertisers are paying attention to digital video not only for the medium’s ability to conceptualize and tell inspirational stories in an easily digestible format, but also because of consumers’ willingness to respond to these ads. Travel in-stream video ads led all industries in 2012 with a 1.47% clickthrough rate, according to PointRoll’s “2012 Benchmark Report: In-Stream Video Benchmarks” report from May 2013. The only other category with in-stream video ad CTRs over 1% was food and beverage at 1.06%.

Marketers are responding to these consumer trends. According to Videology, travel gained significant market share of between Q1 and Q2 2013, increasing from 3.2% to 5%. Furthermore, Advertiser Perceptions runs a semiannual survey of US advertisers, and develops an “optimism index” based on the difference between percent of respondents who increased and decreased their ad budgets during the survey period. According to the index covering spring 2013, travel advertisers who planned to increase their mobile and digital video spending far outnumbered those who planned to decrease it, a difference of 71 and 62 percentage points, respectively.

Travel Ad Spending Outlook of US Advertisers, by Media, Fall 2012 & Spring 2013 (optimism index*)

Travel trailed only baby/parenthood advertising in terms of mobile optimism.



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