Google To Allow Ad Targeting To Email Lists
We saw some big news this week from Google. They are about to roll out Customer Match; a new feature within AdWords that will allow advertisers to create ads specifically to segments of their proprietary email lists. Google will take uploaded email lists and match them against Google log-ins while making the actual user anonymous. This feature is still in its early stages and we will be following up with an in-depth article on the functions and capabilities of Customer Match.
Google Display Network Enhancements
In another Google announcement this week we learned about the introduction of new tools within AdWords that will allow ad targeting based on users demographics, interests, locations, and device usage. This will enable AdWords users to target ads specifically to a certain affinity audience. For example, Sony Playstation used this feature to target a set of ads specifically to classical music enthusiasts, which created a 31% higher view thru rate than their average affinity audience. Also, this announcement brought to light another enhancement to dynamic remarketing so that ads can be re-shaped and re-sized so they fit all device types. It’s essentially a responsive display ad. With these two new upgrades it seems that Google is making strides to improve the GDN and it’s targeting.
Google+ Takes Another Hit
Another nail was hammered into Google+’s coffin this week. Google has announced that Google+ links and reviews will no longer be included in search results. Search Engine Journal writer, Matt Southern, reports that Google+ is no longer being shown for queries that typically produced links to Google+ business pages. For users to see Google+ links, Google+ must be mentioned in the query (ex. “MGM Grand Google+”)
While this is probably due to the fact that Google+ was a failed experiment, some believe that Google is doing this in response to accusations that they were favoring their own properties within SERPs. No matter the reason, I doubt there is going to much fuss among business owners about this.
The Latest Google Hotel Ads Updates
Continuing with Google news, there were also important updates to Google’s Hotel Ads platform. A new update to local search is now showing 3 results instead of 7 for many chain related queries. We’re also seeing organic results being pushed well below the fold. Google’s Hotel Ads is now going to allow “fenced-rates,” which is basically setting rates based on device and domain specific parameters such as a specific rate for for users on a mobile device. The Hotel Ads dropdown link in SERPs is going away. There will be an SPI migration and update. There are new bid multipliers for day-of-week and booking window. Lastly, the Hotel Finder (google.com/hotels) is going away. Check out Meisha’s blog post for a detailed look at each of the recent Hotel Ads updates.
Where Hoteliers Are Putting Their Money
A recent article in The New York Times pointed out a trend that we as marketers and consumers have been waiting for. Hoteliers have been putting significant amounts of money into improving their properties. The benefit to the consumer is obvious. Nicer rooms with better amenities and conveniences make guests happy. As marketers we love this new trend because improving a hotel makes it much easier to create demand for a property when we can show these upgrades through photos and video. It also benefits the hotel itself because of the justified increase in rates after a major upgrade.
North American Travel Trends
Thanks to room upgrades mentioned above and a somewhat rebounding economy North America has been seeing some positive trends for hoteliers. A recent article in Travel Pulse points out that in the 3rd quarter of 2015 average daily rate has increased 32% while revenue per available room has increased 3.9% compared to last year. It seems that booking windows, while typically shrinking over the past few months, have been longer than last year, occupancy for future dates has risen , and group sales have increased. Get more details on these trends in Travel Pulse’s article.
Twitter to Offer Tweets Over 140 Characters
Those hotels and travel marketers who rely on Twitter to reach their target audience will be especially excited to hear about Twitter’s plans to build a product that allows long-form tweets much longer than 140 characters they’re used to. It may change how twitter counts characters, it may exclude links or handles as characters, but this idea is still new and there are no reports on the functions or what form this may take. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as we learn more about Twitter’s new offering.