Paid Search Bullseye! Reaching and Closing Your Ultimate Customer

The gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender segment can also be known as Double Income No Kids (DNKS) and the "Dream Market" to some market researchers, meaning they have no dependents and more disposable income than most. What that means for hoteliers is targeting promotions to a very lucrative and accessible segment:

  • Gay men spend 14 hours a week on the Internet. Lesbians spend 11 hours a week
  • 39% of gay men respond to ads on LGBT blogs
  • LGBT users generally have one the largest amounts of disposable income. Therefore, consumption consist of discretionary items, like vacations
  • Although 4-10% of all Internet users self-identify as LGBT, 90% of this market segment are heavy Internet users

For example, a case study was shown how the LGBT portion of an online travel agency (OTA) capitalized on this market segment when Sweden legalized gay marriage in 2009. The OTA optimized PPC landing pages, keywords in content and ad copies, display advertising on gay-related websites, and their social media profiles for keywords like "gay Sweden" or "gay Stockholm." During that time, the OTA ranked the first for those keywords, and provided them a high ROI for gay travel. Conclusion: for the LGBT market segment, hoteliers need to optimize campaigns, display ads, ad groups, and socializing with gay specific keywords and promotions. A good starting point for research is news sources, like pride parades or the progression of gay marriage.
Meanwhile, the African-American and Hispanic market segments are also lucrative segments:

  • Hispanics are the fastest growing market segment in terms of Internet usage, following the pattern of growth amongst the US population
  • More than half of Hispanic Internet users defined English as their primary language
  • Multimedia and travel are among the top 5 reasons for Hispanics to use the Internet
  • African-American users tend to be older than the average user, and will social through discussion forums.
  • Younger African-American Internet users tend to use mobile devices more often than computers, and are drawn to products associated to retail and music

A case study was shown to display how an alcohol company´s partnership with a music venue used mobile strategies to draw in attendance to a music performance. The advertiser did display ads, which were point-of-sales widgets, on local radio sites. The widgets also offered opt-in capabilities where the user entered a phone number. If the user did not purchase tickets at point-of-sale, the company then used the users’ phone number to send a reminder text to purchase tickets. In 8 weeks, the company collected 1,133,510 opt-ins.

A challenge may be hotel brands may fear alienating other market segments by catering to any of these 3 market segments. However, a case study was presented about the airline industry. A major airline company recently became one of the first airline companies to first introduce gay travel packages, and has since then dominated the LGBT market. Conclusion: Hoteliers do not need to fear alienation – in fact, being the first to target underserved market segments whose Internet usage are promising can, in the long run, provide a consistent ROI.

Event: Search Marketing Expo – SMX West, March 2-4, 2010
Session: Paid Search Bullseye! Reaching and Closing Your Ultimate Customer
Bill Carter, Partner, Fuse Marketing
Graham Mudd, Vice President Search & Media, comScore, Inc
Thomas Roth, President, Community Marketing, Inc.

Conclusion: It goes without saying that all marketing campaigns need to cater to a specific market segment. But how? By understanding the statistics on each market segment’s usage of Internet – whether it being display, PPC, search, mobile – hoteliers obtain a better understanding of where to go and how to connect with a given market. Use the previously mentioned statistics as a starting point for ad copies, keywords, and product placement. Each creatively campaign must hone in on the target market’s purchasing behavior, which in turn, can leverage the hotelier’s market share.

Contributed by: Nelson Toriano, Milestone Internet Marketing

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