Far from ordinary travel experiences.
Redtag.ca uses Adobe Experience Cloud to move its business out of the garage and into the driver’s seat.
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Puts customers at the center of experiences
Supporting ongoing business growth and expansion
Improving insights into cross-channel business activities
Scales capabilities with growing business and brands
Adopted data-driven strategies
Connects each step in the customer journey
A passion for travel
In the late 1980s, Enzo, Joe, and Frank DeMarinis opened a small chain of successful brick-and-mortar travel shops across Ontario, Canada. The endeavor was so successful that, after 13 years, the shops were acquired by one of the UK’s top travel brands, enabling the brothers to retire comfortably. This was far from the end of their story.
After three years of traveling the world and dabbling in various businesses, the brothers’ passion for travel grew even stronger, but the travel agency landscape had shifted significantly toward digital. In 2004, the brothers decided to form a new retail travel agency, Redtag.ca. Roberto Gennaro, now the company’s Chief Digital Officer, joined them to help refresh their approach, gain new customers, and grow a business built around value, unique experiences, and the fantastic service that was the foundation for the brothers’ early success.
“We started Redtag.ca in a tiny office in the back of the brothers’ car dealership,” says Gennaro. “The DeMarinis had limited knowledge of digital channels, and I had little insight into the travel business. We needed to connect the two halves of the business as we grew. Adobe Experience Cloud helped us establish a data-driven culture that gives us deeper understanding of the overall business and drive success.”
“Adobe Experience Cloud has helped us establish a data-driven culture that gives us a deeper understanding of the overall business and drive success.”
Chief Digital Officer, Redtag.ca
The company’s foundation for digital experiences started with gaining actionable insights from customer data. By deploying Adobe Analytics, part of Adobe Analytics Cloud, customer intelligence can drive compelling content and consumer experiences. Early on, the company gathered anonymous data about customers visiting its website, including data on page views, time spent on site, clicks, conversion, and more. Most importantly, Redtag.ca can see which channels and search keywords drive traffic to the site from a campaign, supporting its search strategies.
“We initially only invested 10% of our overall marketing spend on digital and 90% on print,” says Gennaro. “By seeing clear insights and steady wins, and improving communications with stakeholders, we increased our investment in digital marketing to 90% of our overall marketing spend.” Gennaro also notes that digital insights are even shaping print strategies, which now account for about 10% of marketing spend.
For example, for a summer campaign in Toronto, Redtag.ca marketers wanted to feature travel deals to Cuba on bus shelters. However, digital marketers looked at heat maps and saw customers in Toronto postal codes search for Jamaican holidays at much higher rates. As a result, marketers pivoted to redesign ads to highlight Jamaica to increase relevancy and support the company’s overall success.
“Targeting customers, even at bus shelters, wasn’t something that we ever thought of prior to using Adobe Experience Cloud,” says Gennaro. “Heat maps of searches and conversions help us look deeper at our audiences and how we market to customers.”
Insights into traffic from search engines also played a significant role in the company’s digital success. Using Adobe Analytics, Redtag.ca can view where traffic comes from, clicks, and conversion, and then readjust its strategy to increase performance. Not only can marketers boost KPIs, but they can also respond faster to trends and adjust keyword bid strategies.
“Adobe Analytics, enabled by Adobe Sensei, helps us stay on top of significant activity on the site to identify opportunities. With machine learning, we can see beyond basic activities, monitor multiple channels and audience segments, reveal actionable insights buried in data, and act instantly to help ensure we’re delivering the best experiences possible.”
Chief Digital Officer, Redtag.ca
Ready for anything
Redtag.ca knows that its customers have a wide range of online travel agencies available to them, so it’s critical that the company always delivers a great customer experience. Using functionality powered by Adobe Sensei, the artificial intelligence and machine learning framework from Adobe, Redtag.ca is helping to guard against problems, such as poor site speed, while identifying new opportunities.
“Adobe Analytics, with Adobe Sensei, helps us stay on top of significant activity on the site to identify opportunities,” says Gennaro. “With machine learning, we can see beyond basic activities, monitor multiple channels and audience segments, reveal actionable insights buried in data, and act instantly to help ensure we’re delivering the best experiences possible.”
Anomaly detection, which uses machine learning, identifies patterns in customer demographic, behavioral, and conversion data. Intelligent Alerts let digital marketers and systems engineers know if there are any anomalies within data and helps to flag issues within booking paths.
For example, Adobe Sensei understands how many conversions and clicks happen on the site based on which audiences are engaged with different content and offers. If an anomaly is detected, an automated message alerts engineers so they can investigate possible causes immediately using the capabilities of Adobe Analytics. Marketers can also be alerted to potential opportunities, helping them capitalize on a current trend.
Automated performance notifications help keep experiences on track 24 hours a day—especially during off hours. If an issue goes unnoticed for several hours, late at night, or over the course of an entire weekend, it could potentially result in thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue. Most importantly, customers could receive a poor experience that drives them to another travel site all together.
“Having Adobe Campaign and Adobe Analytics work in tandem helps us make sure we are delivering the best experiences possible, across touchpoints.”
Chief Digital Officer, Redtag.ca
Scale with success
“Over the years, we’ve relied on Adobe Analytics to help mature our marketing strategies and grow our business,” says Gennaro. “It’s been so successful that we’ve outperformed our competitors to the point where we acquired several other brands, including the company that originally purchased our brick-and-mortar stores in 2001.” From the original team of six people, the company has grown to more than 1,400 employees and 22 brands—including itravel2000, cruises.ca, flights.ca, and more.
As Redtag.ca and its parent company Red Label vacation grows, Gennaro plans to continue standardizing brands on Adobe Experience Cloud solutions. “Implementing Adobe Experience Cloud across brands enables us to build insights and share information, helping to achieve wins faster,” says Gennaro. “We can also better scale and integrate new capabilities, getting more return on our marketing dollars.”
“Adobe Campaign and Adobe Analytics enable us to remove friction from the overall process, develop true cross-channel experiences, measure engagement, and see where mobile experiences drive more customers to higher-converting channels with higher average order values.”
Chief Digital Officer, Redtag.ca
Widening customer view
The way in which customers engage with travel companies has also evolved since Redtag.ca launched. The company’s customers now interact with the brand through multiple channels—online, mobile, email, and its call center—making customer journeys more challenging to measure and engagement strategies more complex.
Profile data initially wasn’t consolidated across channels and, as a result, Redtag.ca struggled to reach fine-grained personalization based on data, such as a customer’s location, context, preferences, or use of a channel. This need led Redtag.ca to expand its digital marketing platform to include Adobe Campaign within Adobe Marketing Cloud.
“We have to work hard to win customer loyalty in the travel industry,” says Gennaro. “If they see a cheaper deal or have one poor experience, they are likely to move on to a competing site. Having Adobe Campaign and Adobe Analytics work in tandem helps us make sure we are delivering the best experiences possible, across touchpoints.” Gennaro also adds that the company can integrate pre-click email metrics with website behavioral data to give an extended view of customer journeys.
Using Adobe Analytics, Redtag.ca can identify what vacation packages, activities, or offers resonate best with customer segments, including net-new and existing customers. Digital marketers then leverage Adobe Campaign to target audiences with relevant mobile and online content. At the same time, Redtag.ca is retargeting customers via email with personalized offers based on user profiles, interests, and history—a strategy that increases email open rates, clickthroughs, and subsequent time spent on site.
The broad use of Adobe solutions at the travel company also provides a richer view of customer journeys that makes it easier to identify the best cross-channel marketing opportunities and find new ways to enhance customer experiences. For example, after a traveler purchases a trip, Redtag.ca can reengage the customer via email or a phone call to confirm booking information, offer personalized and value-add services, and encourage customer loyalty.
“The insights we gain prompt us to continually reevaluate our approaches, including adopting more of a mobile-first strategy,” says Gennaro. “We see more search on mobile versus desktop, higher-value orders on desktop, and can identify that customers are 50% less likely to buy if they have a poor mobile experience. Adobe Campaign and Adobe Analytics enable us to remove friction from the overall process, develop true cross-channel experiences, measure engagement, and see where mobile experiences drive more customers to higher-converting channels with higher average order values.” Gennaro also notes that customers are more connected to the brand at each step through consistent messages and experiences.
The success from using Adobe Analytics and Adobe Campaign has encouraged Redtag.ca to expand its investment into Adobe solutions to include Adobe Target within Adobe Marketing Cloud. By leveraging testing and automated personalization capabilities powered by Adobe Sensei, the company can further improve customer experiences across channels, drive incremental revenues, and reduce bounce rates. For example, advanced machine learning will enable Redtag.ca to better target the most relevant offer for individuals, such as discounted flights to price-sensitive customers.
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