Project Description

How digital advertising generated 800k € direct bookings

Canaves Oia

The multi-awarded Canaves Oia is rightfully considered one of Santorini’s truly idyllic hideaways. It all began when the area’s 17th-century caves, once used to store wine, were transformed into luxury hotel rooms by the Chaidemenos family.

At first, Canaves Oia Hotel began as 2 renovated caves and, eventually, expanded to 18 hotel rooms.

Canaves Oia Suites soon followed. After opening in 1995 the property attracted A-list celebrities, politicians and royal families.

In 2017, Canaves Oia Sunday Suites launched right next door with eight custom-designed luxury suites.

Finally in May 2018, Canaves Epitome was introduced to Oia’s Ammoudi Bay.

For the future, Canaves Oia is looking to expand to other destinations in Greece.

Panadvert has successfully reached and maintained a global audience of vacationers who opt for Canaves Oia over other accommodation options on Santorini Island.

Aim

  • Increase direct bookings
  • Build brand awareness in a global market (with an emphasis on the markets targeted by the hotel and Oia, as a destination, during recent years)

Strategy

We started out with a moderate budget and generally targeted branded keywords.

During the first year, we created GSP campaigns targeted towards the hotel’s 3 key markets.

Implementation

We advised our client to adjust the budget in order for us to proceed with more display campaigns, videos and generic keywords (for specific periods).

The budget was accordingly increased in January 2018. Specifically, from the start of the booking period, we focused exclusively on branded keywords with an unlimited budget in order to maximize conversions.

Analysis

Advertising began in October 2015. The data below presents the yearly difference of each rate in comparison to the previous year, accordingly (from October to October).

Google Ads

Year Bookings Revenue CPA ROAS Cost
2016-2017 -9% 3% -26% 52% -32%
2017-2018 293% 266% -15% 10% 232%
Total Change from October 2015 258% 276% -37% 68% 124%
  • Thanks to the findings of a previous study performed by our data analysis department we were able to fully track targeting per period and per market as well as online users’ tend to buy per market.
  • Booking pace and occupancy was analyzed, i.e. the frequency with which hotel rooms were available per period.
  • Once we studied the changes in the metrics we proposed a radical budget increase in the beginning of 2018, which in turn led to a sweeping increase in bookings.
  • With improved targeting and bidding Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) gradually decreased and ad performance (ROAS) increased.

Our strategy is best illustrated in the graphs below. Noticeably, the vast majority of the budget was originally allocated towards awareness (generic keywords, display campaigns, videos) and, gradually, towards branded campaigns based on a performance-oriented tactic.

The effect of advertising on the site

Total Revenue Growth from online markets during the period 2015-2016

Total Revenue
2017 30%
2018 34%
from October 2015 75%

In order to measure the impact of advertising on the website and brand awareness, we calculated the ratio of Reservations, Confirmed Reservations and Revenue in relation to the OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) collaborating with the hotel.

OTAs vs. Website Ratio

Year Reservations Confirmed Reservations Revenue
2016 4.67 3.5 1.81
2017 4.01 2.9 1.77
2018 2.82 2.3 1.27

Whilst during the period 2015-2016 OTA’s bookings were 4.7 times more than direct website bookings, by the period 2017-2018, one website booking was the equivalent of approximately 2.8 OTA bookings. Correspondingly, while OTA’s revenue was 1.8 times more (almost double) than the website, the difference gradually decreased and in 2017-2018 the revenue corresponding to OTA’s was 1.3 times the revenue of the website.

Results

The total budget for 2017-2018 was 2.5 times more than originally estimated. ROAS was 14.78 (11.27% higher compared to the previous year). Also, there was a 280.95% increase in conversions.

Also, our client agreed to the unlimited budget, gladly received our suggestions, and showed confidence in our budget management. We communicated regularly to discuss all results and possible new moves.

Technically, reinforcing a strong brand with brand awareness campaigns generates more website traffic and helps increase bookings. Campaigns should consist of quality ads (banners, excellent video productions) that echo the brand’s voice and values.

Budget wise, the idea of an unlimited budget makes sense as long as one is aware of the booking period and implements successful targeting methods. Given that campaigns are set on a daily basis, the budget can be increased for as long as it’s generating good results and, accordingly, be reduced if one finds they are being overcharged. However, we wouldn’t recommend a strategy aiming towards a specific ROAS because all website traffic, if properly targeted, can lead to bookings.

Final metrics και figures

Comparison of periods: Oct.2017 – Sept.2018 vs. Oct.2016 – Sept.2017

  • 800.000€ worth of direct bookings from Google Ads via the hotel’s booking engine
  • 95% conversions increase
  • 27% ROAS increase (Return on Advertising Spent)
  • 76% budget increase

Overall, the campaign was considered a complete success and one of the best to have run for a Greek hotel. It brought more than 800k euros of revenue for the hotel, excluding advertising surplus value.


* The percentage of hotel revenue from website bookings increased within 2018.

** For a total of 3 periods, about 20% of Revenue in commission was given to OTAs, while AdSpent for the entire period was a mere 0.7% of Revenue.