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Case study

Club Med diversifies their digital strategy with the Microsoft Audience Network

May 16, 2023

The challenge

When all-inclusive travel specialist, Club Med, found itself with a rapidly escalating cost per acquisition (CPA) from its native and display campaigns, Senior Media Trader Gaelle Goedtgheluck had a good idea of where the problem could lay.

At this specific time, our cost per booking entry on all of our channels had increased seven-fold, therefore we needed to diversify our sources of traffic and drive complementarity to our marketing levers” she says. “In this case, native advertising didn’t perform as expected. So, I wanted to try other formats and test new audiences to see if we could generate more of the right kind of impact.”

— Gaelle Goedtgheluck, Senior Media Trader Club Med’s Agency Medialab45

Spending valuable time with a quality audience

Gaelle is part of Club Med’s Agency Medialab45, the internal agency that runs social media and display advertising campaigns for 14 of Club Med’s local market operations across Europe and Africa. It’s her mission to ensure that these campaigns reach the premium travellers who are Club Med’s core audience—and drive not just clicks, but the right kind of on-site engagement.

“Most of the people who book with Club Med will do so over the phone, by talking to the call center or one of our agents, so we have to be quite sophisticated in our approach to conversions,” explains Gaelle. “We analyze site-specific metrics to see that we’re educating people in the right way and driving the behaviors that will lead to a booking. The most important KPIs for us are cost per engagement, which measures the number of people searching on our site and seeing a price, and cost per booking entry, which represents someone taking the first steps towards a booking. Many networks that we work with can generate a lot of engagement, but the ratio of engagement to booking entry can be quite poor—and that’s the metric that matters most to us.”

Gaelle wanted her campaigns to spend quality time with more of the right audiences—and the Microsoft Audience Network provided a destination where that could happen. “We were concerned that contextual ads would be too broad for us—but the layer of artificial intelligence (AI) that the Microsoft Audience Network provides on top of that made the difference,” she says. “It shows relevant ads to relevant people, depending on how they behave online.”

Intelligent targeting powers a more sophisticated strategy

Having explored the potential of the Microsoft Audience Network through an initial pilot, Gaelle rolled out a full campaign for one of Club Med’s promotions—and quickly saw an impact. “Using the Microsoft Audience Network means we can engage travellers showing an intent to book and an affinity with our brand, wherever they are,” she says. “Our pilot gave us key insights into how to leverage that opportunity, and we were able to drive a better performance than we had been getting from the testing phase.”

Going forward, Gaelle plans to use the same high-quality audience and intelligent targeting to drive a more sophisticated approach to native campaigns. “I believe the Microsoft Audience Network could be used to develop evergreen campaigns for each of our destinations that we can switch on and off depending on the priorities for the business,” she says. “This means we can introduce retargeting and tailor our ad copy based on the desires and needs that people have. All of this becomes possible when you have a stronger understanding of your audience.”

We were concerned that contextual ads would be too broad for us—but the layer of artificial intelligence (AI) that the Microsoft Audience Network provides on top of that made the difference. It shows relevant ads to relevant people, depending on how they behave online.

— Gaelle Goedtgheluck, Senior Media Trader Club Med’s Agency Medialab45

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