About MG OMD, PHD UK & Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic is one of UK’s leading airlines serving the world’s most exciting business and leisure destinations. Manning Gottlieb OMD (MG OMD), a communications planning and buying agency within the Omnicom Media Group, had previously managed the Virgin Atlantic media planning and buying account, including the Paid Search activity. In December 2015, the media planning and buying account was transitioned to PHD Media, a sister agency of MG OMD within the Omnicom Media Group. PHD Media have continued and evolved the PPC strategy since December 2015.
One of the biggest factors driving sales in airline industry is seasonal nuances – both over short periods and throughout the year. Manually identifying periods to upweight and downweight bids is time consuming and creating a function to determine the bid adjustments is more difficult without a bidding tool algorithm.
MG OMD and then PHD therefore wanted a way to analyse the seasonal trends in the airline industry to inform their clients’ search campaigns, making them more effective and intuitive. These are notoriously difficult to interpret and utilise effectively.
As the search landscape is ever evolving, the campaign had to be adaptive and constantly assessing the relevant data to keep up with shifting trends.
“The results speak for themselves and we’re thrilled to see such a dynamic approach to our search campaigns. The phenomenal improvements in revenue during the beta test has given us the confidence to roll out this strategy across the account.”
-Amy Neale / UK Advertising and Communications, Virgin Atlantic
To implement an effective model to optimise search budget spent, MG OMD partnered with Marin Search. Marin was able to manage a fast paced account more effectively and easily, especially with the use of params. Its bidding technology enabled Virgin Atlantic/MG OMD to implement complex bidding rules, which helped them to overcome the restrictions of manually optimising to seasonal trends in PPC.
Virgin Atlantic ran a seasonality beta with Marin to identify opportunities where bid adjustments need to be made based on the extensive historic data of consumer spending in the account. The Marin algorithm was then able to identify not only when to adjust bids, but by how much. Using Marin gave Virgin Atlantic the cutting edge to identify the trends and then implement a robust bidding strategy based on the learnings in an efficient and time saving method.
PHD is now managing the Search strategy for Virgin Atlantic and maintaining the seasonality optimisation up to date, expanding it to cover other aspects of seasonality and location optimisation by adjusting the bids weighting when and where relevant, ensuring that PPC best practices are followed across the Omnicom Group.
Based on the seasonality beta test, Virgin Atlantic has seen a significant remarkable improvement in performance. Virgin Atlantic has seen an uplift in both the revenue per booking and conversion rate since implementing this strategy and using Marin Search.
Overall, revenue per booking increased by 14% and the booking conversion rate increased by 30% leading to a further increase in revenue by 20% during the test.
Marin were able to create a robust and sound testing strategy, using their in-house analysts and the tool to help improve performance on the Virgin Atlantic paid search account. Because of the success of this test, the strategy has now been rolled out across the account.