News | Distribution | Technology | OnlineMaking every second count in mobile travel marketingThis article was originally published onBy Viewpoints | November 13, 2014 Traveling is the ultimate mobile experience, both in the physical sense and in the way that we access information. Think about how many times you check your smartphone while walking in an unfamiliar city.Whether it’s to get directions, find a place to eat or change your travel itinerary, smartphones have become an indispensable travel companion.In fact, a recent eMarketer report revealed that approximately 26 million US consumers will book travel through a mobile device in 2014. This, combined with a recent Criteo report finding that travel ad click-through rates are higher on mobile than desktop, highlights the scale of the opportunity for marketers.NB: This is a viewpoint from Jason Morse, vice president mobile product, Criteo.Companies in the travel industry – particularly comparative search engines for plane tickets, hotel rooms and more – have worked hard and spent significant amounts of money to keep pace with the mobile boom. However, they’ve struggled to cater to the particular needs of their mobile customers.For mobile travel consumers, time and convenience are necessities. They’re on the move and are looking to make a purchase in a matter of minutes or hours, rather than far in advance.Performance advertising has long allowed travel companies to recapture lost value from the segment of consumers who search for trips on the desktop but don’t convert. Until recently, a lack of technology hampered those efforts on mobile. This article explores how travel marketers can leverage three recently-developed technological advances to monetize their valuable app user bases.In-App AdvertisingBeing able to immediately display a dynamic, personalized ad within an app enables marketers to offer the kind of highly relevant consumer experience that is so crucial to conversions.Travel companies have invested significant time and money in developing mobile apps and user bases. Thanks to in-app performance advertising, they can now deliver the same highly personalized and relevant ads to in-app consumers based on their browsing habits in the same way that they could with desktop users.Why is this significant? It provides these companies with a way to not only drive engagement and conversions from their substantial mobile user bases, but also to reach mobile users within the very narrow time-frame that their use pattern demands, such as when purchasing a last-minute hotel room.Dynamic AdsThere are two key issues that plague the majority of today’s mobile advertisements. First, they are largely impersonal and frequently irrelevant. Users are often shown ads for apps they already have installed on their phone, or worse, for apps they have no intention of ever installing. In general, the heavy volume of “app promotion” ads forces many users to completely ignore in-app ads entirely.Second, mobile ads can be difficult to interact with as they often feature a vague call to action, along with branding. For instance, many of today’s mobile ads drive users to a homepage or company website that requires additional clicks to get to the right page in order to make a conversion. This increases the likelihood that the user will stop engaging with the app and the initial click will be wasted.These ads are not practical for converting mobile travel shoppers who may have only minutes to compare prices and make a purchase. Instead, marketers can now use highly targeted dynamic ads with creative that’s customized to the user’s individual experience. Instead of seeing an ad for a metasearch provider, a user might see a specific offer for the plane route that they were just browsing. This provides them with a significant increase in value and boosts the probability of a conversion.Deep linkingMobile deep linking creates a direct link to any location within an application. For example, if a consumer was previously viewing plane tickets to the Caribbean, a dynamic ad will be displayed showing a specific offer and after clicking will lead them directly to the purchase page in the travel company’s app. What makes this so important? This process substantially reduces the number of network hops and redirects, providing the highly time-sensitive user with immediate access to specific content.While travel companies have worked hard to create user experiences which cater to the mobile consumer by building apps that surpass the mobile web experience and make the search, comparison and purchase process simpler, conversion numbers have lagged. Now, marketers can drive ROI by recovering users who have expressed purchase intent with customized performance ads that drive customers back into the app to the precise page where they can take action.Driving ROIWhat do these advances mean? Travel marketers don’t need to work harder to create a mobile experience that perfectly emulates the desktop. Instead, they can focus on driving revenue from the mobile customers who use the platform for its speed and convenience rather than for its user experience.If you’re a travel marketer, evaluate whether your mobile user base is as engaged as you’d like. You may consider adjusting your marketing efforts to better reflect the behaviors of your target consumers.NB: This is a viewpoint from Jason Morse, vice president mobile product, Criteo.NB2: Stopwatch image via Shutterstock.