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Air France Internet Marketing Optimizing Google Yahoo MSN and Kayak Sponsored Search Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
2342 2552 Words (10 Pages) Mark Jeffery, Lisa Egli, Andy Gieraltowski, Jessica Lambert, Jason Miller, Liz Neely, Rakesh Sharma Kellogg School of Management : KEL319
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This case study addresses the online marketing problem faced by Air France. Even though the company has had a good result of marketing, it is targeting towards improving its market share in the US and globally as well. Therefore, it is required to improve the online marketing strategy. Google US was identified as one of the best performing publishers amongst a pool of different publishers through a quantitative analysis. Kayak was identified as the sales converter since it attracted a lot of traffic from people who were looking for low-cost packages in one. Google US had the best keyword targeting strategy through geo-targeting and a high number of keywords. The keywords should be increased in the future along with the placement strategy and wording strategy which can optimize the performance of Air France’s online marketing campaigns and help it attain its short-term as well as long-term goals. 

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. Identify the key decisions that need to be made in the short run and in the long run.

  2. Do a brief SWOT analysis of Air France as it applied to their online campaign (i.e., do not focus on the airline business and competition per se).

  3. Which publishers produce the best marketing campaign results?

  4. Which publishers should receive more marketing dollars? Which should receive less? Should any be eliminated?

  5. Which publishers would benefit from changing tactics i.e., changing keyword, match type, and bid strategy?

  6. Which publishers would benefit from improved copy i.e., improving wording in the search ad or the content on the landing page?

  7. Kayak Click data is not available through DoubleClick. How does Kayak compare to the other search engines? Would you recommend more or less funding for Kayak SEM campaign?

  8. Write your summary recommendations on how Air France can improve their results in the future?

Case Analysis for Air France Internet Marketing Optimizing Google Yahoo MSN and Kayak Sponsored Search Case Solution

1. Identify the key decisions that need to be made in the short run and in the long run.

i. Short-Term Decisions

One of the major short-term decisions that need to be made in evaluating how to maximize the ROI on search engine marketing campaigns, travel aggregator websites, and keyword bids. Through this, the KPIs need to be developed which would help in understanding the campaign performance based on a search engine, keywords, keyword group, and bid strategy. 

Another short-term decision was to assess the impact of keyword-based targeting and examine the best strategy for keywords. This means that they needed to determine the optimal quantity of bidding for branded keywords and invest in SEO for utilizing unbranded keywords and improving the indexing on the search engines. Also, the sponsored searches on search engines and travel aggregators are a short-term decision that Air France needs to make to develop an optimal mix and allocate resources to maximize the return. Therefore, it means devising an SEO strategy that would help Air France to reduce the cost-per-click through the search volume. Also, improve the revenue per transaction and in turn, improve the net revenue of the campaigns.  

ii. Long-Term Decisions

ROI Maximization is one of the key long-term decisions. The decisions are taken in the short term also relate to this long-term objective. This includes planning future campaigns and the usage of different search engines. It also includes reviewing past performance to identify levelers like keywords which will help in optimizing future campaigns. Furthermore, deciding whether to use a uniform strategy across search engines or a different strategy for each SEM tool. 

Another long-term objective is to capture the market share in the US. This includes deciding how to use geo-targeting and keywords specific to the US like “Flights to New York” to improve sales volume in the US market. 

A third long-term objective is driving international growth. This demanded an assessment of the consumer attitudes and behaviors that differ across different countries that could help in improving customer conversion. 

2. Do a brief SWOT analysis of Air France as it applied to their online campaign (i.e., do not focus on the airline business and competition per se).

i. SWOT Analysis of Air France

The brief SWOT analysis of Air France is based on its online marketing activities rather than its activities as an airline service provider. 

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Data that Media Contacts has is also a strength that will be used to optimize campaign performance in the future.

  • The experience of Media Contacts and partners can help Air France to achieve its goals of maximizing the revenue generated through online campaigns.

  • Growing number of consumers relying on online ticket purchasing is a strength that shows the growing potential of online marketing.

  • No differentiation strategy amongst different competitors might not impact the consumer behavior enough to convert to sales.

  • Direct bidding on keywords does not guarantee a higher revenue per click. This is because conversion is based on different factors which increases the need for effective marketing and the use of multiple platforms for running the online marketing campaign.

Opportunities

Threats

  • The USA had a more mature online market as compared to other countries. In 2005, an estimated 32.2 million households had an internet connection showing the huge potential in the market.

  • Air France has the opportunity to develop an optimal mix of marketing including search engines, branded keywords, unbranded keywords, sponsored listings on travel aggregators.

  • Air France also had leased its aircraft on "progressive operating lease". This assures that the airline can reduce its supply in the face of challenges. However, the strategy is not growth-focused which is a threat to the long-term goals of capturing a greater market share in the US market and also internationally.

  • If any search engine was partnered with a travel aggregator, it will have a potential conflict of interest for Air France and will reduce its ROI on both platforms.  

3. Which publishers produce the best marketing campaign results?

The following table includes calculations based on Exhibit 6 of the case study:

Publisher Name

Avg. Cost Per click

Click-Through Rate

Transaction Conversion Rate

Sum of Net Revenue

ROA

Cost/ Booking ($)

Google Global

$1.66

4.03%

1.09%

$808603.9

$6.69

$151.75

Google US

$1.84

4.98%

0.81%

$1391841.20

$3.94

$228.16

MSN Global

$1.08

8.01%

1.15%

$133363.89

$10.97

$94.27

MSN US

$1.49

6.35%

1.30%

$165451.31

$10.28

$114.99

Overture Global

$1.06

0.34%

0.61%

$365788.84

$5.69

$172.84

Overture US

$1.19

0.70%

0.24%

$205457.18

$1.45

$491.27

Yahoo US

$1.01

4.89%

1.45%

$836091.13

$18.10

$69.79

Kayak

$1.26

-

7.33%

$233694.00

$64.51

$17.15

Yahoo US offers the least average cost per click. However, when looking at the sum of net revenue, Google US is the most effective platform, although its average cost per click is the highest. Furthermore, while MSN Global’s click-through rate is the highest, it generates the lowest revenue. Cost per booking is the least with Kayak which also offers the best transaction conversion rate. IT also offers the highest ROA. Kayak is therefore the best performing platform because of offers the best results across three categories of metrics. 

Therefore, the best publishers include Google US because of the high revenue. MSN global also produced good marketing results, however, the sum of net revenue is the lowest. However, because of the high click-through rate, it could be contributing to influencing consumer behavior towards making the purchase decision. Kayak is the best, however; it needs to be combined with other platforms because the good performance at Kayak might be the result of consumer behavior being influenced over a range of different touchpoints. 

Overture US seems to be the worst performer, although its click-through rate is on the lower side. Therefore, a combination of Yahoo, Google US, Google Global, Kayak, MSN Global would be best. 

4. Which publishers should receive more marketing dollars? Which should receive less? Should any be eliminated?

Based on the table above, Overture US should be eliminated. However, Overture Global can be retained because of a low average cost per click and a medium-level profit. Although since it is not the best performer in any of the categories and has the least click-through rate, it should receive the least marketing dollars. 

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