Aligning data and creative helps spa resort reach the right audience

Kupele Dudince and Basta digital used Smart Creatives to automate their Search campaigns and reach consumers with more relevant content. As a result, the Slovak wellness and restoration Spa was able to increase revenue by 50%.

Digital has made the tourism industry more complex and competitive. With the rise of online travel agencies (OTAs), businesses have to constantly evaluate and update their strategies to fight for visibility online. And the most successful of these businesses are rethinking traditional media patterns to engage with a wider audience.

Part of that process involves a shifting mindset. While data like age, gender and income remain important for reaching the right audience with the right messaging, marketers are moving towards using data to reach consumers based on intent and affinity. Brands can get a much more accurate picture of their audience by understanding “user intent”, which tells us what they’re looking for when searching online, and factoring in data like what they watch, search, and visit.

Kupele Dudince is a spa resort in Slovakia. Its mineral water is used to treat locomotor and cardio-vascular system diseases. The only other spring water in Europe with a similar composition can be found in Vichy, France. Due to its particular healing properties and the array of relaxation services, it has a very specific customer: people aged over 50.

Reaching the right audience

The over-50s are a largely misunderstood and untapped online market, yet they arguably have the highest level of disposable income. Reaching its target audience has been a longstanding challenge for the spa resort.

With increasing competition from OTAs selling the same product at a lower price, the spa noticed a considerable drop in website traffic. They wanted to drive customers to buy directly on their website rather than through intermediary sites by changing the messaging on their Responsive Search Ads (RSAs). They started to offer a 5% discount for shoppers going through their website and additional discounts for loyalty club members — always maintaining a clear focus on the unique medical benefits of the spa.

Putting machine learning to work

Together with agency Basta digital, they decided to test whether machine learning could help them reach the right people with the new messaging. They began using Smart Creatives in Google Ads and opted for the Maximise Conversions strategy. Using machine learning to measure the performance of their RSAs and automatically adjust bids to optimise, it delivers the best combination of creative assets to the most relevant people, and frees up time to focus on more strategic efforts.

The results

By shifting strategies, Kupele Dudince was able to align data and creative, keeping the messaging relevant and engaging while saving time with automated bidding. This resulted in a 50% increase in revenue YoY from website reservations with only 16% increase in Google Ads cost. The Smart Creatives approach led directly to a campaign cost decrease of 74% per reservation.

The results were far beyond their expectations, and thanks to the success of this initiative, Kupele Dudince with Basta digital are now preparing to launch YouTube campaigns in 2020.

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