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Best Western mobile ad campaign generates 0.95 CTR

Best Western is relying on location-based mobile advertising to target potential bookers near airports or competitors’ locations.

The hotel brand is running a campaign in the state of Washington that encourages consumers to book straight from their device or view a map of nearby hotels. Best Western is working with PayPal Media Network on this campaign.

“According to Best Western, the booking window for reservations is no longer weeks in advance,” said Sarah Hodkinson, director of marketing and sales strategy at PayPal Media Network, Boston.

“Travelers are now waiting until they are on the freeway to book,” she said. “By leveraging location-based mobile advertising, hoteliers can capture these last-minute bookings by engaging travelers in proximity to their locations.”

Driving bookings
Best Western has geo-fenced ads around its hotels and airports in the state of Washington. Additionally, the hotel brand is running the location-based mobile ads in geofences around competitors’ locations to sway consumers into a Best Western hotel.

The ads show consumers how many miles they are away from a location. Copy for the ad reads “Book now” and drives users to Best Western’s mobile site.

When consumers click-through the ads, a page from Best Western’s mobile booking engine is pulled up. Consumers can pick which dates they are traveling and fill in reservation information to complete the booking.

Alternatively, the ad uses a click-to-map feature for consumers who want to make an in-person reservation.

The highest daily click-through rate that Best Western has seen on its mobile ad is 2.3 percent, which is significantly higher than the average network click-through rate of 0.8 percent, according to PayPal Media Network.

The Best Western campaign will run through the rest of 2013.

Ramping up on mobile
Best Western recently revamped its iPhone app with new navigation and deeper enhancements with companies such as TripIt, TripAdvisor and Bing (see story).

Additionally, the brand relaunched its mobile site last year with additional social media elements meant to smooth out the travel-booking experience (see story).

The hotel and hospitality industry has an enormous potential with mobile advertising to drive last-minute stays by segmenting consumers by location.

An airport is obviously full of potential hotel bookers, but what is more interesting is Best Western’s decision to geofence competitors’ hotels and points to the increasing use of location-based marketing to influence consumers’ decisions to stay at a particular hotel.

This campaign is only running in Washington, but Best Western has also run campaigns with PayPal Media Network this year in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, California, Utah, Oregon, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.

“By examining booking data, hotel brands are getting smarter about when and where to advertise,” Ms. Hodkinson said.

“The ability to pair location targeting with day parts, weather conditions, flight delays and other data sources is increasing relevance to the traveler and consequently, driving conversions,” she said.

“Furthermore, through PayPal’s mobile express checkout, we can now create mobile advertising campaigns that close the loop by capturing payment that is simple and secure for the consumer within the experience.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York