How Germany’s Berge & Meer Used Data-Driven Attribution to Increase Bookings by 24%

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Bidding on upper-funnel keywords wasn’t particularly profitable for leading tour operator Berge & Meer. Or so the business thought—until it adopted data-driven attribution. Shifting to get a better view of keywords that drive sales has boosted conversion volume without increasing the CPA.

Goals
Reach new customer groups
Implement budgets efficiently
Understand how customers are using mobile
Approach
Ran AdWords Search campaigns
Leveraged AdWords cross-device conversion measurement
Moved from the last-click attribution to data-driven attribution
Results
Conversions increased +24%
Mobile conversion rate increased +26%
CPA decreased -15%
Better understanding of the relevance and success of mobile campaigns
Easier campaign management

Berge & Meer, a leading tour operator in Germany, promotes package tours, adventure trips, and cruises. AdWords is an important  sales channel for the Rengsdorfer TUI subsidiary, particularly as a way to acquire new customers.

Before going on vacation, customers conduct multiple searches and click on many different ads. When optimizing its search engine marketing, Berge & Meer realized that new customers don't search for the brand first. They start with more generic search terms such as "German vacation" or "cruise discounts." Because generic keywords are relatively expensive and bookings were only associated with the last click, investments earlier in the click path didn’t seem to be very profitable. And last-click attribution consistently showed mobile as a poor performer.

“The limitations of last-click attribution made it difficult to justify significant investments in upstream keywords. That has definitely changed as a result of data-driven attribution.”

The solution for Berge & Meer was to move from last-click attribution to a new attribution model. Data-driven attribution allows the business to analyze all click paths based on its own AdWords data and attribute conversions based on the contribution of each keyword. “The limitations of last-click attribution made it difficult to justify significant investments in upstream keywords. That has definitely changed as a result of data-driven attribution. I have known about and used AdWords from the very beginning—this is definitely one of the biggest improvements," said Tim Dunker, CEO of Berge & Meer.

Berge & Meer also decided to consider cross-device effects in attribution—after all, the average booker switches between different devices several times in the path to purchase.

Little effort, big improvement

Moving to data-driven attribution is simple and Berge & Meer was able to do it with just a few clicks in AdWords. And the brand has been thrilled with the results: during the two-month test period, bookings increased +24%, and by as much as +26% on mobile. At the same time, the CPA was reduced -15%.

“We now bid more strongly—and profitably—on generic searches.”

The data-driven model updates periodically based on performance, and the data can be used directly for bid management. "For us, data-driven attribution allows us to realistically illustrate the value of upstream search terms. Based on this information, we now bid more strongly—and profitably—on generic searches," explained Sandra Zorn, performance marketing manager at Berge & Meer.

The practical benefit is obvious to Zorn: "This makes things incredibly easier for us as well." She anticipates future challenges when it comes to further work with the newly acquired data. Based on the results, Berge & Meer wants to make adjustments in other areas of online marketing, including on its mobile site. "We're already at a good level here at Berge & Meer, but we want to try to continuously improve the user experience on different devices. Data-driven attribution helps us reach these goals,” concluded Zorn.

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