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Leading airline takes off with Bing Ads

  Article , Travel , Success stories

LATAM Airlines soars to new heights with Bing Ads platform

A new way of doing business

Booking a flight with your phone used to require the patience of a saint. Then along came the internet and broadband. Now, in just a few minutes, you can choose a flight, book a hotel and download a good read for your journey.

For the airline industry, such a fast and fluid sales makeover has transformed the competitive marketplace. In many ways, the playing field has moved from airports and tarmacs to searches and websites. That makes establishing an online presence of the utmost importance. “We need to ensure that our clients can find us whenever they search for something related to traveling,” says Javier Morales Muñoz, the e-business performance marketing manager at LATAM Airlines Group. To accomplish that goal, LATAM relies on the power of search engine marketing (SEM) and platforms such as Bing Ads.

Bing offers a number of alternatives and strategic solutions to ensure that at any given moment when customers need something, especially in this complex and ultra-competitive scenario, we will be able to provide it immediately.

— Javier Morales Muñoz, e-business performance marketing manager, LATAM Airlines Group

One and one make one

LATAM Airlines originated from the merger of Chile’s LAN Airlines and Brazil’s TAM Airlines in 2012. Both airlines bring with them a long history of quality service. TAM first started in 1976. Amazingly, LAN dates all the way back to 1929.

Based in Santiago, Chile, the new group, widely recognized as Latin America's leading airline, has become the world's second largest airline by market value and one of the largest in terms of network connections, providing passenger service to approximately 138 destinations in 25 countries.

To help guide LATAM’s SEM marketing and rebranding, the group relies on Graphene by IPG, an agency specifically created for LATAM by Interpublic Group of Companies. Led by McCann Worldgroup and IPG Mediabrands, Graphene works to unify LATAM’s brand, media planning, creatives, digital media and customer relationship management (CRM) worldwide.

The value of SEM diversity

As almost any agency will tell you, SEM success depends in large part on not putting all your eggs in one search engine basket. Each platform offers nuances that can prove valuable to a company. For Graphene, it incorporates Bing Ads for its flexibility, feature set and granular control to help LATAM reach its target audience.

Leaders at Graphene had seen Bing Ads being used in the U.S. with positive results, so they started testing it in key markets such as Argentina and Chile before successfully rolling it out throughout the region. “Bing is very important within the media mix we manage, in which the main focus is search engine marketing,” says Pablo Contreras, digital account director at Graphene. “We can easily reach customers who prefer the Bing search engine to other ones and have the intention to make a purchase.”

Bing Ads platform helps LATAM Airlines achieve lower CPCs than other SEM solutions.

— Javier Morales Muñoz, e-business performance marketing manager, LATAM Airlines Group

The cross-platform factor

According to different leaders at Graphene, one of the Bing Ads platform’s greatest strengths comes from its ability to easily connect with other SEM management tools, making it easy to import and manage campaigns. “In addition to the innovation of the entire structure, new products and local team support, we rely on Bing Ads for its cross-platform nature,” says André França, the media director at Graphene in Brazil.

For example, before using Bing Ads, LATAM already had designed well-structured campaigns with Google AdWords. Graphene wanted to replicate those campaigns using Bing Ads. “It was so easy that it just took a couple of clicks to start running the campaigns with Bing Ads,” recalls Iván Cofré, strategy director at Graphene Chile.

We've been rolling out Bing Ads remarketing as a best practice to all markets, always with stunning results.

— Javier Morales Muñoz, e-business performance marketing manager, LATAM Airlines Group

First-class results

However, Graphene uses Bing Ads for more than cross-platform campaigns. “Bing Ads is part of our planning due to its own merit,” says França. “Actually, the reason is simply because it works.“ Remarketing in Paid Search in particular has delivered impressive results. “If one customer has already visited our site and becomes interested in a product, we want to be able to find that customer again in the most efficient way possible,” says Morales Muñoz e-business performance marketing manager at LATAM Airlines Group. “We've been rolling out Bing Ads remarketing as a best practice to all markets, always with stunning results.”

Ad extensions, including Sitelink Extensions and Image Extensions, have also delivered stellar results. “We think about more than just our position with campaigns,” says Morales Muñoz. “Ad extensions are attractive, get travelers' attention and become part of their journey to plan their next trip. We can also use them to cost-effectively communicate additional information in our ads, including the LATAM logo, to increase our visibility online.”

With the high volume of campaigns, LATAM finds Bing Ads advanced control better than other online platforms. To this end, Bing Ads Editor helps a lot. “Bing Ads Editor provides us with a host of features, such as bulk changes and cost per click (CPC) adjustments, that make our daily work so much easier,” says Cofré. Bing Ads reports also help Graphene obtain a verifiable result in its return on assets (ROAs). According to Contreras, LATAM has seen a return of close to 15 times its investment in search with Bing Ads.

Reaching its target audience

LATAM statistics at Bing Ads

LATAM statistics at Bing Ads

To date, Bing Ads has proved to be an important asset for LATAM. “With Bing, we’ve already achieved a month-to-month improvement of nearly 50% of our revenue and a 30% improvement in the cost per sale,” points out Deborah Pecsi, performance media supervisor at Graphene Brazil. “And we’re still paying less per click.” Some keywords, for example, ended up with CPCs 50% less than other search platforms with the same conversion levels.

Looking ahead, Graphene plans to let the results drive its investment in the platform. With the growth it has seen and the tools it has used to date, LATAM expects the relationship to continue to blossom in the future. “Bing offers a number of alternatives and strategic solutions to ensure that at any given moment when customers need something, especially in this complex and ultra-competitive scenario, we will be able to provide it immediately,” says Morales Muñoz. “Without a doubt, it is one of the paths for a solid and robust strategy that saves us money and provides a high return on asset.”

See a summary

View or save the infographic to discover how LATAM Airlines uses Bing Ads for a higher return on assets and a lower CPC cost than other SEM platforms.

  Download the infographic