The Versa Blog

How Performance-Based Marketing Is Taking The Travel Industry to New Places

September 20, 2016

In the dynamic world of travel, brands are always looking for a way to stay nimble and on the cutting edge of different marketing techniques. Of course they are doing all of this while still optimizing the methods and strategies that they already have in place.
The simple model of affiliate marketing is still quite relevant…yet platforms like mobile apps, comparison-based shopping and social media are expanding and encompassing the traditional ways.
How do the largest and most successful travel brands incorporate all these cutting-edge methods while still monitoring, qualifying and quantifying all of their investments? With a little help from the experts, of course…


Performance-based partner marketing is a remarkably concise and comprehensive direction for travel brands, according to this recent study by Performance Horizon and WBR Digital.
Quite simply, performance based marketing works amazingly for brands. Currently, the top 7% of digital travel brands generate 80% of their annual revenue through performance marketing programs. This is a staggering return on a brand’s investment.
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Best part is, it’s easy to track….if you have the right data and the right program managers. An expert marketing program manager knows all the ways and has all the tools to mine the relevant data, glean the useful insights, and allow you to focus your time (and money) back on the business. In fact, 61% of all the businesses surveyed say they use and trust neutral 3rd party organizations to provide unbiased and impartial analysis as to what channels and methods are working and why.

What This Shift Actually Looks Like

As more and more companies shift their marketing strategies (and investments) towards performance-based compensation, it becomes crucial to develop a solid compensation model. This case study shows that 90% of travel companies would rather pay their partners according to specific performance, while 83% plan to adopt that model with all new partners they begin relationships with. Point is, it’s growing in popularity and effectiveness. With all the different channels and ever-diversifying marketing methods in the digital world, payments based on performance can effectively simplify your investments, cut waste and reward the true talents in your group. Everybody wins.
This type of partner marketing has long been an established method of acquiring new customers. But did you know that it’s rapidly becoming an effective way of retaining those customers? Due to diversification across multiple channels, performance-based partner marketing uses these authentic third party voices, reward programs and more to engage and retain customers at an ever-increasing rate.
The study also shows that while 40% of these travel companies are successfully using affiliate and performance-based marketing to acquire customers, a surprising 20% are using the same models to retain customers. This is sure to increase as companies see the return on their investments grow, and gain the confidence to continue investments. According to the survey, 30% of travel companies are spending more than 60% of their media budget on performance-based marketing; a sizable number, considering all the ways that money could be spent.
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Power of Data

Marketing departments are under increasing pressure to show how and why these investments are working. This is why performance-based compensation makes so much sense. The wealth of analytics available to the right eyes can show how everything works. Transparency, proper and adequate compensation, fraud protection. All these moving parts can be tracked and fool proofed, especially in the expert hands of a program manager. 93% of companies surveyed reported that this data lets them make better business decisions. Now that’s an impressive testament to the power of data.
Speaking of numbers, the data available in this report tells the whole story. Acquiring and retaining customers, generating revenue, rewarding the right people and running a tight ship…performance-based partner marketing is doing all this, and doing it better and faster than many other methods. Is your business doing it right?

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