How a focus on efficiency helped Holiday Autos increase bookings by 85%

With a business goal of driving higher revenue through search while maintaining efficiency targets, Holiday Autos wanted to test which advertising solution worked most effectively for their needs, improve their bookings and return on ad spend (ROAS) over the third-party bid optimiser they had already been using. Here’s what they did.

The business challenge

Holiday Autos, a car hire aggregator – owned by leading B2B travel technology platform CarTrawler – wanted to cut-through in the competitive car hire landscape, secure more bookings and boost revenue. Where did the journey start? With a view to improve their performance marketing profitability.

The approach

The team switched to Google Smart Bidding – a subset of automated bid strategies that use machine learning. Holiday Autos opted to use the Smart Bidding strategy Target ROAS, which sets a maximum bid with an aim of maximising conversion value in each and every auction while trying to achieve an average ROAS equal to the target set by Holiday Autos.

Next, the team set up a 50/50 cookie split experiment to evaluate the effectiveness of Google's Target ROAS bid strategy against the third-party bidding solution in driving their performance targets. They designed the test using Google Ads’ Drafts & Experiments feature and then ran it in the UK market over one quarter. Control and test group campaigns ran with equal budgets and targets, and with the same keyword strategies and campaign setups.

Platforms that enable smarter decisions at scale, allow the team time to maintain a sharp focus on strategic execution.

The results

The test campaigns using Google Target ROAS drove 85% more bookings and twice as much revenue at 17% stronger ROI compared to the control campaign using the third-party bidding optimiser.

“Automation is a key focus for us at CarTrawler,” says Head of Paid Search & Digital Operations Damien Tierney. “We need platforms that enable smarter decisions at scale, allowing the team time to maintain a sharp focus on strategic execution. In a relatively short time with Google’s automated bidding solutions, we have seen consistent success in reaching relevant customers and increasing our bookings at a healthy ROI.”

Key takeaways for your business

How a focus on efficiency helped Holiday Autos increase bookings by 85%
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