Gulf Air Uses Google Ads Smart Bidding to Drive Revenue & ROI

Angela Hundal / April 2019

Gulf Air leverages Smart Bidding Target CPA’s rich auction time signals paired with brand keywords to identify high-value customers and generate more than 10,000 conversions.

About Gulf Air

The Kingdom of Bahrain’s national carrier

Headquartered in the Muharraq, Bahrain

Established in 1950

Serving 47 cities in 26 countries spanning 3 continents


Increase bookings for strategic flights through the Gulf Air website


Use Google Ads’ Smart Bidding Target CPA strategy paired with brand keywords to capture contextual relevance for every unique search; drive valuable conversions at low cost; ensure high campaign profitability, and; increase bookings for strategic flights on the Gulf Air website


More than 10,000 conversions, accounting for over USD2 million in revenue

“With a view on growing brand loyalty and attracting global millennial and luxury travelers, Gulf Air has revamped its brand positioning to compete on a global stage. With this in mind, the airline is looking to invest heavily in digital in 2019. Our recent tactical campaigns used search to capture user intent generated through awareness-driven activities to boost bookings for strategic flights.” Mr. Mohamed Adel Saleh Jamsheer, Marketing Director, Gulf Air

Using algorithms to stay ahead of the game

While Gulf Air, established in 1950, is a stalwart of the Middle Eastern airline industry, the company has set its sights firmly on the future. The company’s strategy revolves around two pillars: supporting the Kingdom of Bahrain in increasing tourism to the region, and expanding Gulf Air’s footprint to include new routes and continents. As part of its overall strategy, and to increase bookings on strategic routes, Gulf Air recently launched a series of tactical campaigns.

“By using the power of Google Smart Bidding algorithms – specifically Target CPA – paired with brand keywords, we were able to identify those potentially high-value users most likely to make a booking with Gulf Air,” said Mr. Jamsheer, Director Marketing, Gulf Air.“ Leveraging a rich set of auction-time signals to capture contextual relevance for every unique search, Target CPA drove extremely valuable conversions at a low cost for Gulf Air; they invested USD 14,000 and sold tickets worth more than USD 2 million.

Generating conversions that boost revenue

Through its tactical campaign, Gulf Air generated more than 10,000 conversions, accounting for more than USD2 million in revenue. “Because the conversion rate from qualified traffic is much higher compared to other web traffic, delivering premium traffic with a focus on millennial and luxury travelers was vital to the success of this campaign,” says Tommaso Centonze, Business Strategist, Google Marketing Solutions. “When it came to reaching these target audiences, our tactical campaigns helped tremendously. It’s great that our results prove that we are moving in the right direction. Our marketing plans will continue to steer away from traditional marketing platforms and move towards a mix of different mediums, with digital being at the core.”


Leveraging data to enhance customer satisfaction

While the bottom line is front of mind for most businesses, Gulf Air wants to ensure that its data benefits its customers too. “In 2019, we launched our new boutique business model concept to reinforce our focus on product and customer experience. We’re committed to being an industry leader and developing products and services that reflect our passengers’ evolving needs and aspirations,” said Mr. Jamsheer, Marketing Director, Gulf Air. “With that in mind, we plan on using collected data to build a better ecosystem for our passengers. By learning more about what they want and what their preferences are, we can funnel valuable information to our customer experience teams, product teams, and networking planning teams and appeal to our client base even more.”

Actionable Learnings

  • Google Smart Bidding solutions helped Gulf Air to save valuable time that they can invest to focus on their strategy rather than on operational tasks (e.g. bid adjustments, changing CPCs, etc.), according to Ghazi Faisal Jawad, Digital Operations Lead
  • Smart bidding Algorithms allowed Gulf Air to spend their budget on more qualified users, thanks to the ability of machine learning to analyse an enormous amount of user signals in real time
  • TCPA is a great bidding solution for a company that have set cost per acquisition targets. There is no more need to worry about budget as the algorithm will deliver conversions at or below the TCPA set by the client
The Update: Connect with new customers by tapping into intent