Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Travel and search engines – yielding more or less?

As a provider of search engine technology for the travel industry, I quickly get to hear of new trends and rumours in Search Engine World.

Last week I was talking to a traditional offline travel agency who have developed their own bookable site and have been running Google Adwords and Overture pay-per-click campaigns through a search marketing advertising agency.

The travel agency has now decided to take the management of their search marketing campaigns in house because they feel that the agency was becoming more of a hindrance than a help when it came to promoting the right products at the right time through these direct channels.

They told me that selling their travel products through search engines is becoming an art-form in itself due to the dynamic nature of product availability versus price versus product yield.

To this end, close control of distribution to the consumer through these direct sales channels can best be handled by people closest to the action using specialist yield management and bid management tools.

Most of the time a travel provider intimately understands the products they are selling and the dynamic nature of the travel industry. If a third party agency cannot adapt their services to this new type of product distribution, why bother using them?

As the tail of search becomes longer, those travel companies that can directly control their product distribution will gain a marketing advantage in a competitive marketplace.

Alasdair Cross, commercial director, AdPrecision

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