Specializing in group travel, Albatros Travel is a family owned agency catering to a target audience of over-55s. Decreasing performance from the print channel coincided with growing usage of digital media in the target demographic. To cope with the shift, the company’s in-house marketing department of 25 people needed a unified marketing solution to be able to target core consumers on the right channel with the right message at the right time.

Specializing in group travel, Albatros Travel is a family owned agency that encourages a target audience of over-55s to “Travel with Heart, Mind and Attitude.” For decades Albatros Travel invested heavily in print media advertising to reach consumers across Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland, but decreasing performance from the print channel coincided with growing usage of digital media among people age 55 and over.

To cope with the shift in media focus, Albatros Travel needed a unified marketing solution to be able to target the audience on the right channel with the right message at the right time. “We are not involved with any media or advertising agency, but are fully self-serviced with a marketing department of 25 people,” explains CMO Jesper Mäkelä-Dichmann. “Our goal was to include all digital marketing activities on one platform, establishing the same ‘cockpit’ internally as a supreme media agency would have.” The company adopted DoubleClick Digital Marketing as the platform to serve these needs.

Steering a path with DoubleClick Digital Marketing

Over the course of a year, Albatros Travel integrated its operations with DoubleClick tools, starting with the launch of display campaigns in DoubleClick Bid Manager. Next the company switched ad serving to DoubleClick Campaign Manager and moved its AdWords campaigns into DoubleClick Search. The team then adopted DoubleClick Studio to launch DoubleClick Dynamic Creative campaigns, and subsequently expanded dynamic integrations to leverage cross-platform capabilities. 

The DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform provides the ideal set of tools for companies who take the self-service non-agency approach in the digital realm.

“Our success and brand presence has been established by having the fastest time-to-market in our category and optimizing all sales on a day-to-day basis,” Jesper says. Initially, the company’s marketing in the digital space included search, social and email, but increasingly it has also directed attention to display and video using programmatic buying methods. “As we handle all the media buying ourselves, programmatic represented an opportunity to target our audience with a high degree of precision throughout all markets. DoubleClick had the same look and feel as AdWords and Google Analytics, so our team quickly gained knowledge to use both basic and advanced features.”

The company’s ability to reach target consumers with highly relevant messaging expanded rapidly. For example, embracing DoubleClick Bid Manager meant that Albatros Travel could control four different geographical markets easily in the same interface and use advanced audience targeting at the same time. “It gave us the opportunity to use remarketing on very advanced level – and in the process optimize our entire reporting structure built in Google Analytics,” Jesper observes.

The advantages of a single-stack approach were clear with the adoption of DoubleClick Search, too. “We migrated our search setup from AdWords and achieved the possibility of using search data in display campaigns – an opportunity to retarget exact niche audiences,” he explains. The team has also benefitted from the ease of copying campaign setups and creatives from one market to another, making it simple to launch new activities across Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland in a matter of minutes.

DoubleClick Campaign Manager meanwhile afforded an ad serving platform that was much easier to use than the solution that had been in place previously. Used alongside DoubleClick Studio and Google Web Designer, it also opened up huge opportunities to produce dynamic creatives to significantly bolster both prospecting and remarketing efforts within an efficient workflow. “The import of dynamic banners was highly valuable for us,” Jesper affirms. “Previously, our design team built all creatives in Flash. Now we are able to build all creatives in HTML5 and additionally establish an optimized translation flow in the creative production process. From a very limited and fixed amount of products in the creative, we can now include all products for all formats via the DoubleClick Dynamic Creative feed.”

Superb results, with more yet to come

With DoubleClick Digital Marketing, Albatros Travel has reaped benefits on two levels. First, it has streamlined operations and empowered the team, providing “the opportunity to optimize our entire digital marketing process within one platform, from creative production to campaign management, programmatic and reporting.” Meanwhile, the move has seen performance improve exponentially. Overall, click-through rate has increased by an impressive 202% and the cost per acquisition has been driven down by 50%.

“Our click-through rates have increased dramatically in programmatic,” Jesper affirms. “Previously, we experienced click-through rates in the range of 0.1. Now 0.3 is the baseline – with further improvements still to be made.” What have been the most surprising outcomes? “The increase in leads and booking from display, which we previously primarily considered an ‘upper funnel’ branding channel,” Jesper answers. “Display can now match the marketing efficiency of other digital and offline channels.”

In the future, the company plans to expand dynamic creatives to include all formats, all countries and all platforms, including mobile and tablet. Jesper and the team also plan to use programmatic buying for more video activity, and intend to build theme-based campaigns targeting users in the experience and comparison phases of the travel process. 

Now that the right tools are in place, these kinds of initiatives are well within the team’s capabilities. While translation to new markets took many days before, now this can be accomplished in just a few hours. Previously the team had to focus on a few selected products due to limited resources, but now all products can be pushed at once. With all products available, Albatros can now actively report on and react to products’ performance. For example, if a product doesn’t work well for prospecting but does works for remarketing, the team can actively and within a few minutes make required changes to the campaigns.

All this adds up to profound implications on the entire process. “With our current setup we’ve decreased the product-to-market turnaround times by 500%, putting our product teams much closer to our customers,” Jesper reports. “Imagine what we can achieve when expanding to new markets!”