Searching for a perfect travel experience.
James Villa Holidays understands and engages customers by integrating search and web under Adobe Experience Cloud.
Adopt an integrated technology stack to unify customer data from multiple silos
Improve decision making across the business with insights into the customer journey
Stand out from the competition in a crowded travel industry
Develop more targeted content to resonate with a broad and diverse audience
Increases marketing team productivity by automating management of more than 500,000 keywords
Improves decision making by creating visibility into customer behavior across touchpoints
Strengthens competitiveness against companies with bigger budgets by spending ad dollars more wisely
Delivers more targeted experiences with the right information to increase bookings
“By integrating Adobe Advertising Cloud with Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target, we’re gaining audience insights we can use to improve the experience and attract more customers.”
Head of Digital Marketing & Ecommerce, James Villa Holidays
Attracting travelers with moments of inspiration
As people search for holidays online, they want to be inspired. They have virtually limitless options, but the choice comes down to a feeling that a particular holiday is the right one. Travel and hospitality companies must provide a powerful experience with just the right information to inspire people—and stand out from the competition.
James Villa Holidays knows how important it is to stay relevant to its customers. The company launched in 1984 with a single rental property in Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands off the coast of Northern Africa. Today, as part of The Awaze Company, James Villa Holidays boasts 3,000 villa properties across Europe, the Caribbean, and Florida. It has provided more than 540,000 holidays for customers, offering flights, car rentals, and other types of private transportation, in addition to rental properties.
Over the past 35 years, James Villa Holidays has adapted to a rapidly changing travel and hospitality industry by keeping its focus squarely on customers and using technology to its advantage.
“Our customers have very high expectations, so relevance is key,” says James Drake, Paid Search and Analytics Manager at James Villa Holidays. “When they don’t immediately see what they’re looking for on our website or ads, they’re very quick to click away and browse the competition. We want to keep them engaged, so they don’t feel like they’re wasting their time.”
To attract customers, James Villa Holidays needs to know what customers want—for example, what type of holiday they’re looking for, which destinations pique their interest, when they want to travel, and what their decision process looks like. The company targets a broad audience, including large groups, families, retirees, young couples, and LGBT travelers, so sending messages that resonate with each can be a challenge.
“We need to reach a wide range of people, all with different ideas about the perfect holiday,” says Martyn Ansell, Head of Digital Marketing & Ecommerce for James Villa Holidays. “By integrating Adobe Advertising Cloud with Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target, we’re gaining audience insights we can use to improve the experience and attract more customers.”
Part of Adobe Experience Cloud, Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target are new additions to the James Villa Holidays technology platform. The products replace siloed Google Analytics and QueBIT tools, bringing paid search and web analytics data together for the first time and providing a clearer view of customers wherever they encounter the James Villa Holidays brand.\
“We are getting smarter with our data. By combining Adobe Analytics with Adobe Advertising Cloud, we can compete more effectively against companies with bigger budgets.”
Head of Digital Marketing & Ecommerce, James Villa Holidays
Building on a foundation of paid search
James Villa Holidays has used Adobe Advertising Cloud Search for years to manage paid search advertising. The tool enables a team of five people to manage more than 500,000 keywords, adjust bids, and run multiple campaigns simultaneously, all while constantly looking for ways to improve.
The Adobe Advertising Cloud Performance Optimization feature automates bidding in response to variables such as keyword demand and search volume, allowing for much faster reaction times across a greater number of keywords than would be possible otherwise. When it’s time for budgeting, the marketing team relies on the Performance Forecasting feature to calculate projected results and offer recommendations to optimize spending. The features are powered by Adobe Sensei, Adobe’s artificial intelligence and machine learning technology.
“Adobe Advertising Cloud enables us to forecast months ahead, helping us justify budgets, look for new opportunities, and automatically ramp up to maximize our return,” says Ansell. “It also enables us to ramp down when demand is low, keeping us from overspending.”
But it was only after James Villa Holidays connected the tool with Adobe Analytics, part of Adobe Analytics Cloud, and Adobe Target, part of Adobe Marketing Cloud, that it was able to form a complete picture of how different audience segments research holidays and book trips. The combined data provides a crucial piece of the puzzle as the company works to target diverse audiences.
“We’re using Adobe Analytics to share data between the website and paid advertising, so we can deliver more relevant experiences,” says Ansell. “For example, if someone clicks on a paid ad featuring Tuscany as a destination, we know to serve up content related to Tuscany when they arrive on the landing page.”
By the same token, website behavior—where people click, which pages they view, how long they stay—now informs paid search advertising. For example, a visitor who chooses Menorca, an island off the coast of Spain, as a destination from the drop-down field might subsequently encounter paid ads for holidays in Menorca or similar locations.
“Instead of simply increasing ad dollars to extend our reach, we are getting smarter with our data,” says Ansell. “By combining Adobe Analytics with Adobe Advertising Cloud, we can compete more effectively against companies with bigger budgets.”
Generating insights for the whole business
In combination with Adobe Advertising Cloud, Adobe Analytics has opened a new world of insights for the entire business, not just digital marketing and advertising. From sales and product teams to content teams, departments have started to examine data at a more granular level. The company has even integrated its call tracking system ResponseTap with Adobe Analytics to pull customer call center interactions into the mix.
“The Analysis Workspace within Adobe Analytics is a powerful and intuitive tool for James Villa Holidays,” says Drake. “With custom report suites for each department, people are getting a lot more comfortable ingesting and interpreting the data to drive important business decisions.”
The reports answer a host of questions about the customer experience. By stitching together multiple sessions, Adobe Analytics helps the company recognize visitors—and even families—across devices and see how they behave at different stages of their research.
The digital marketing team can see how visitors arrive at the website, what engages them, and the implicit intent in their behavior. Trending topics and destinations in search engines and on the website offer starting points for campaigns. The content team can measure the performance of individual assets and use the feedback to guide content strategy. The commercial team can find out how pricing changes affect bookings across different audiences and different locations.
Ultimately, the insights help make sense of how people make decisions about their holidays, so James Villa Holidays can better serve their needs and stand apart from the competition.
“Our holidays are high-consideration purchases, so people don’t generally make a reservation on their first visit. They may need to check with the rest of the family, request time off work, or organize funds,” says Ansell. “The integration of Adobe Advertising Cloud, Adobe Analytics, and Adobe Target enables us to monitor customer engagement from beginning to end—finding out what keeps them coming back and what drives them away.”\
“We’re excited about the power of Adobe Sensei. Not only is it optimizing our paid search marketing, we look forward to exploring its potential for finding new high-value audiences through lookalike modeling.”
Paid Search and Analytics Manager, James Villa Holidays
Smoothing the path toward a great holiday
Adobe Target will play an important role in the digital experience, enabling James Villa Holidays to test different content and layouts using audience segments from Adobe Analytics. The goal is to provide all the information visitors need to take the next step and ultimately book a holiday, while removing obstacles that could drive them away.
“Experience is everything for James Villa Holidays. We need to inspire people every time they are exposed to our brand, whether that’s in an ad, on the website, or in display media. Adobe Target enables us to create just the right experience, delivering all the information and inspiration our audiences need to make a decision,” explains Drake.
James Villa Holidays is eager to use Personalized Recommendations, an Adobe Target feature powered by Adobe Sensei. The feature serves up relevant recommendations to visitors based on their past behavior. For example, if a visitor clicked on an ad featuring Lanzarote, the recommendation engine might offer similar packages in the Canary Islands.
Adobe Sensei will also play a key role in reaching new audiences. As Drake explains, “We’re excited about the power of Adobe Sensei. Not only is it optimizing our paid search marketing, we look forward to exploring its potential for finding new high-value audiences through lookalike modeling.”