All too often, travel businesses measure the success of their marketing campaigns using last touch attribution. But there is a much more sophisticated way to determine the value of the strategies they employ.

Last touch attribution happens when marketers erroneously credit the last interaction travellers have with a brand before buying a travel product as the reason for the sale. But this is a very basic measurement tool. It also means travel businesses tend to spend most of their budget on sites such as Facebook, and Google search when more niche advertising vehicles could deliver a greater return.

Travellers typically have multiple touchpoints with a brand before they purchase a travel product, these may include broadcast TV, online video, display adverting and social and Google search before arriving at the brand’s website. So measuring campaigns by last touch attribution and cost per acquisition doesn’t deliver marketers a full picture of the efficacy of the campaign.

By contrast, travel firms are able to achieve a much more complete picture of how effective their campaigns are by using different attribution methodologies, in particular collaborative game theory. This technique allows marketers to add or subtract different consumer groups to or from the audience to better ascertain a campaign’s return on advertiser spend (ROAS).


It’s useful to explore case studies to show how this works. In one example, a high-end retail brand sought to achieve online product sales with significant ROAS, drive traffic to its site and increase brand recall among an elite audience.

The audience targeted included frequent fliers with platinum or gold loyalty status and business and premium economy travellers. The campaign also retargeted people who had previously visited the advertiser’s site.

Media used in the campaign included pre-roll video, social media, display advertising and search engine marketing, as well as exclusive, premium onsite placements on travel partner sites.

By adding this target group to the audience, the advertiser’s targeting strategy delivered a ROAS rise of ten times compared to a controlled targeted group that did not include this audience.

In a similar campaign designed to drive engagement and prompt consumer enquiries, adding elite travellers to the audience resulted in the campaign exceeding its goal by 22 per cent compared to a strategy that did not include this group.

As this shows, using a collaborative game theory approach, especially when identifying sales prospects, enables marketers to have transparency of the role of each element of their entire marketing plan and is the most holistic way to measure your campaign and ensure the budget is spent on sites that deliver the highest return.