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P&O Cruises efficiently scaled paid reach with Microsoft Advertising and Adobe

October 2019

  • Article
  • Success stories
  • Travel

A growing British luxury business

P&O Cruises is Britain’s favorite cruise line, visiting over 200 destinations and offering guests a particularly British taste of the good life. P&O Cruises is expanding its fleet of premium ships to include Iona in 2020. This exquisite ship will be the largest to serve the UK market with a 5,200-guest capacity, a three-deck atrium and a glass dome for performances designed by award-winning British engineers.

As P&O Cruises expands its fleet, they look for new and effective ways to reach untapped areas of their market. With a key goal of driving more qualified traffic to their site while maintaining a low cost-per-click (CPC), P&O Cruises decided to integrate with Adobe Advertising Cloud.

Scaling reach without increasing CPC

Adobe helped P&O Cruises integrate their media, content and data across all channels. P&O Cruises started the integration with Adobe in December 2018 - the busiest time of the year. After a few bumps in the road, P&O Cruises successfully delivered a more seamless and relevant customer experience that improved engagement. With the assistance of Adobe, P&O Cruises also uncovered opportunity to better utilize the Microsoft Advertising platform.

With the goal of efficiently driving traffic, they wanted to make an impact on volume during peak months. It turns out that the Microsoft Advertising audience has many ideal customers for P&O Cruises. Leveraging the Microsoft Search Network, they were able to scale resourcefully and reach untapped prospects during the crucial peak season.

With an increased spend of 93%, P&O Cruises generated 89% more clicks while maintaining a stable CPC. That kind of efficiency in scaling without raising CPC would not have been possible without integrating with Adobe to maximize their results from Microsoft Advertising.

Collaboration breeds success

This level of success would not have been achieved without P&O Cruises, Adobe and Microsoft Advertising working closely together. Regular cross-communication and organized calls to discuss performance led to the teams finding ways to improve.

Microsoft Advertising noticed that several campaigns were capped by budget and informed Adobe and P&O Cruises what the required budget was for campaigns to remain alive for one day, which led to creating a monthly budget strategy within Adobe Search. Changing to daily budgets meant less budget capping and more traffic.

Leveraging Adobe Advertising Cloud for our paid search activity has enabled us to unlock the potential in Microsoft Advertising and drive greater volumes of qualified traffic to our site cost efficiently. The fantastic working relationship we have with our Microsoft Advertising account manager has been pivotal in the successful collaboration between P&O Cruises, Microsoft Advertising and our Adobe Search team.

— Em North, Search Marketing Manager, P&O Cruises

Results that continue to improve

After peak season, the results got even better. P&O Cruises started to see a decrease in CPC as they increased spend, getting more efficient as they continued to scale their paid reach. In July 2019, P&O Cruises saw a 36% decrease in brand CPC and a 9% decrease in generic CPC despite increasing spend by 182%.

The integration with Adobe and collaboration with Microsoft Advertising allowed P&O Cruises to massively scale their reach with excellent efficiency. They reached their goal and are set up for future growth.

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