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Priceline.com's cross-platform revamp lifts off with targeted video on Facebook

Priceline.com is revamping its marketing strategy and digital platforms to better address the shift toward mobile, including introducing new personalization features and embracing Facebook's targeted mobile video solution.

As more consumers lean toward the trend of booking trips and accommodations on their smartphones, Priceline.com is gearing up to accommodate its influx of mobile traffic by revamping the user experience to include additional personalized ? and speedy ? features. The brand is also pre-launching its newest national campaign by rolling out custom video content on Facebook?s mobile targeting platform.

?Facebook brings tremendous scale in mobile,? said Flavie Lemarchand-Wood, vice president of global communications at Priceline.com, Norwalk, CT. ?There are so many reasons why people need to book travel and we developed a Facebook campaign that would leverage these reasons in real-time, from flying to a cousin's wedding or a job interview, to visiting colleges with a son or daughter.?

New year, new strategy
Priceline.com?s 2016 strategy was designed to cater to the modern traveler, a digitally savvy individual who takes more frequent ? but shorter ? trips and typically books via his or her smartphone. The undeniable effect that mobile has had on the travel sector prompted Priceline.com to revamp itself with features that better serve this shift in customer behavior.

The company is introducing a new advertising campaign to commence with Super Bowl 50 this weekend. Its brand message centers on the life choices that consumers make daily, such as flying to a family member?s wedding. 

Actor William Shatner, who has previously done voiceover work for Priceline.com, will remain the narrator for this campaign. The first television spot will air during the pre-show prior to Sunday?s big game, with additional commercials set to roll out as the year?s first quarter progresses.

In addition to traditional advertising methods, Priceline.com is setting its sights on mobile in a big way ? by pre-launching campaign content via Facebook?s mobile targeting platform for the first time in the brand?s history.

The video-centric campaign kicked off yesterday, and taps into Facebook?s ability of targeting users? life moments on mobile. Priceline.com?s video content seeks to connect with consumers via a slew of personalized pieces as they discover friends? life moments from updates or status changes.

Leveraging Facebook?s targeted capabilities is a smart move for any travel brand wanting to market to users while on-the-go. Impulse purchases are becoming more popular with plenty of younger consumers, especially those who may be inspired by seeing photos and videos of friends? trips on social media.

Streamlining user experiences
Priceline.com is also delving deeper into data analytics in an effort to hone in on personalization and speed within the digital user experience. According to research from eMarketer, the average individual books more than 50 percent of his or her travel via a mobile platform, with that number expected to increase year-over-year.

Priceline.com has also found that of average travelers as well as frequent customers, 75 percent of mobile bookings are made for same day or the following day?s check-in.

Therefore, the brand is attempting to eliminate any complexity within the user experience to enable consumers to locate deals more easily, regardless of which channel they are using.

These efforts will build on Priceline.com?s recent digital initiatives, including services such as Tonight-Only Deals, and Deals Near Me, which travelers can use to book a reservation for a room off the highway if they are tired.

Customers will see these changes roll out over the course of the first half of the year. The revamped experience will boast features such as a new homepage, additional deals and content, in-app interactive maps and further discounts for signed-in users, based on their previous trips.

This new strategy comes on the heels of a mobile-heavy year for the travel company.

Last summer, Priceline.com turned its attention to the untapped market of Android Wear wearables by rolling out a companion app tapping Google map technology and geofencing to assist forgetful travelers (see story).

Priceline.com also believes that the growing volume of last-minute getaways booked via its services can be attributed to millennials? browsing tendencies on their smartphones, as well as enhanced booking functions in apps that drive impulse purchases of vacations (see story).

?The modern traveler is taking more last-minute, short duration, and frequent trips for work or pleasure, and we bring them deals, availability and easy-to-use platforms whatever the budget,? said Brett Keller, chief operating officer at Priceline.com.