Air France Internet Marketing:
Optimizing Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and Kayak Sponsored Search
Sharon Bernstein, director of insights for Media Contacts, had recently briefed Griffin on the situation:
Air France’s revenue from online ticket sales continues to grow. Our reports demonstrate Media Contacts’ success at driving a growing volume of visitors to Air France–affiliatedWeb sites. As we continue to make decisions regarding allocation of funds toward search marketing, my team is eager to focus our analytic marketing expertise on increasing Air France’s net revenue gained through online advertising as well as ROA. As you know, the cost-per-click of search engine keywords is continuing to increase and there are more new players entering the market. I would like to seeour campaigns be even more efficient at driving visitors to Web sites and converting them to customers while keeping click costs minimized.
As Griffin digested Bernstein’s comments, he thought about how SEM had become an advertising phenomenon, with North American advertisers spending $9.4 billion in the SEM channel in 2006—62 percent more than they had spent in 2005.1 But Griffindid not take this bullish growth for granted; although he was pleased with his company’s performance to date, Griffin wanted to make sure that the team kept its edge and could deliver the results Air France expected. Griffin agreed with Bernstein that a more effective mix of tactics could improve the efficiency of Media Contacts’ campaigns and continue to deliver positive net revenue and ROA forAir France. Griffin knew the data Media Contacts had been collecting on its search campaigns
1 Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, “Search Engine Marketing Is a Rocket,” February 8, 2007, http://www.sempo.org/news/releases/02-08-07.
©2009 by the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. This case was prepared by Lisa Egli, Andy Gieraltowski, Jessica Lambert, JasonMiller, Liz Neely, and Rakesh Sharma, in collaboration with Rob Griffin, senior vice president and U.S. director of search for Media Contacts, under the supervision of Professor Mark Jeffery. Some facts within the case have been altered for confidentiality reasons. Cases are developed solely as the basis for class discussion. Cases are not intended to serve as endorsements, sources of primarydata, or illustrations of effective or ineffective management. To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, call 800-545-7685 (or 617-783-7600 outside the United States or Canada) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, used in a spreadsheet, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical,photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without the permission of the Kellogg School of Management.
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Rob Griffin, senior vice president and U.S. director of search for Media Contacts, a media solutionsprovider, examined a report containing this month’s numbers for the profitable paidsearch campaign his agency had managed for one of its top clients, Air France. Executives at the French company were pursuing an international growth strategy and were looking to increase their share in the hyper-competitive U.S. air travel market. Although they were pleased thus far with the results that Griffin and histeam had delivered during the engagement, the pressure was on Media Contacts to continuously optimize performance and return on advertising (ROA) dollars spent for search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns.
rP os t
AIR FRANCE INTERNET MARKETING
for Air France could be analyzed to optimize future campaign performance; now he had to decide how to move forward.