TripAdvisor Advertising – CPC Case Study and ROI

A great guest post by Piotr Majdan from Mirai Espana, that takes a deeper look at the performance of TripAdvisor PPC (not to be confused with Business LIstings) activity. Piotr had also published a case study on the ROI of TripAdvisor Business Listings as while back. These conclusions were derived by Mirai after investing €27,000 with 58 hotels:

Your direct rates, your hotel’s website rates, can now appear on Tripadvisor dealing face to face with intermediaries such as booking.com and expedia.com. Should you join this program? What can you expect regarding the required investments and the return you will obtain? Does this return affect your hotel’s position within your city’s ranking? After a comprehensive three-month study, we have got answers.

Tripadvisor’s CPC (Cost per Click) program will generate new bookings in most of the hotels’ websites, mainly for the best rated hotels, but it is not predictable when it comes to cost and can generally be expensive “commission wise”.

In any case, “high” commission is a relative concept and should always be compared with the margin you get through intermediary sites (IDS) or classical tour operators . It still might be worth it for many hotels. Here is how we got to this conclusion.

In May 2010, Mirai pioneered the testing of the Tripadvisor Business Listing. Once again, we are the first ones to explore the new opportunity given by Tripadvisor – their CPC program. The difference between them is that the former is based on a fixed fee and the cost of the latter is variable depending on the traffic.

Other companies on the market offer this service (sometimes with a set-up fee or monthly fixed payment) directly to their clients promising new bookings. Before doing so, we at Mirai, have conducted a test to check the return you can expect by participating in this program. We invested €27,000 in 58 of our clients and analysed the results.

So what is the CPC program and how does it differ from Business Listing?

Business Listing allows you to add a link to your website, as well as the contact information (Blue).

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Are we over-complicating the issue of Privacy?

This recent article on Forbes has sparked a fair bit of interest and controversy – “How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did“. Essentially the piece is about how Target uses clever data mining techniques to discover (and sometimes predict) user behaviour and circumstance (as evidenced by the aforementioned case where they were able to predict a pregnancy…and recommend suitable baby products to the customer).

Seth Godin followed this news (not sure if there was a connection) with a great blog post about “the illusion of privacy” which made a great point…despite all the hullabaloo about privacy (or lack thereof) these days, perhaps what we’re most concerned about are unexpected surprises. This makes a lot of sense…after all, we only want so much “privacy” in our lives. Wikipedia defines the term privacy as “the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively.” We constantly reveal details about ourselves selectively in the hopes of rewards (think loyalty programs, credit cards, shopping cards), access to free services (think Facebook…or even Google) or a personalized experience. So what we’re really afraid of are people or companies that appear to know things you didn’t selectively choose to share…or perhaps didn’t realize they had access to.

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Pivot – Perhaps the early future of web and media browsers

(This was too good not to share!) Microsoft seems to have plenty of nifty innovations up its sleeve! In this new video, Gary Flake (Technical Fellow at Microsoft, and the founder and director of Live Labs) demos Pivot, a new way to browse and arrange massive amounts of images and data online.

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Open Linked Data and the next phase of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee’s recent speech at TED was released a few days ago…it’s interesting to watch Tim in his nervous excitement. as he asks the audience to repeat “RAW DATA NOW” after him, with a gleam in his eye.

The move towards more open sharing of ‘raw’ data is an inevitable but powerful shift in the development of the web. We’ve all heard about the Semantic Web, but this just won’t be possible without enough credible, pliable data to draw from…

Slides from the presentation are available here: http://www.w3.org/2009/Talks/0204-ted-tbl/#(1)

Imagine a Web where we can draw on the collective intelligence of our times, when, where and how we really need it…that’s what it’s all about!

Excerpt from TED: 20 years ago, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. For his next project, he’s building a web for open, linked data that could do for numbers what the Web did for words, pictures, video: unlock our data and reframe the way we use it together. More about WWW and Tim Berners-Lee – http://www.w3.org