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Expedia Group & FlipGive Shatter Revenue & Social Impact Goals with Unique Partnership Enabled by CJ.
Expedia Group, the leading traveler technology platform, sees strong results through an innovative affiliate marketing partnership that powered outcomes throughout the customer journey.
|campaign ROAS goal achieved in only 60% of the target timeframe
campaign revenue goal exceeded within the projected timeframe
Of all industries, travel took one of the biggest hits from the global COVID-19 pandemic. International lockdowns created nearly insurmountable challenges for the travel industry in 2020 and 2021. The virus grounded airlines, kept cruise ships at the dock, halted car rentals, canceled hotel bookings, and forced the closure of thousands of attractions worldwide.
But our basic human desire to travel never went away.
As fears of COVID-19 waned in 2022, consumers began returning to travel in a big way. Expedia Group and their CJ affiliate management team saw this significant rebound in business and leisure journeys as a once-in-a-century opportunity to grow revenue and market share through strategic collaborations with high-potential affiliate partners.
Revenue growth for Expedia Group travel brands was at the center of our strategy, but the company also wanted to achieve other travel marketing goals. Expedia Group wanted a campaign that would increase travel share, long-term customer loyalty, and preference across their existing customer base—all while contributing to Expedia Group’s larger brand mission of powering global travel for everyone everywhere.
The affiliate channel has diversified in every direction, encompassing more types of alliances and amplifying diverse touchpoints throughout the customer journey. Affiliate marketing uses publishers that span every channel—including PR, Display, Blogs, Paid Social, Paid Search, and more—and has been proven to amplify results for every element of the digital marketing spectrum. The travel industry experts at CJ knew that the affiliate channel should be recognized for its full business potential as “the channel of channels,” and that in addition to bookings, they could help Expedia Group achieve its larger business goal to drive social impact through cause marketing.
Expedia Group and their CJ team sought the best opportunity to tap into high-potential communities using their affiliate marketing program to find their most valuable customers. The key focus: encourage shoppers to evangelize for Expedia Group and reward them for making travel and hotel bookings.
Enter a strategic partnership with cause marketing affiliate partner, FlipGive.
FlipGive is a shopping rewards app for families that unlocks profitable sales and shopper loyalty through community givebacks. Instead of raising money for sports uniforms and equipment with raffles, car washes, and door-to-door candy bar sales, FlipGive members earn givebacks for their kids’ teams by making everyday purchases from participating brands. The FlipGive model delivers outstanding performance metrics while extending partner brands into cause marketing. More than 900,000 families use FlipGive to support 50,000 youth sports teams across the US and Canada.
Advanced analysis of CJ’s Competitive Benchmarks reporting and Recruitment and Optimization solution offered insights on travel share, opportunity size, and competitive share of voice, identifying FlipGive as a high-potential partner to invest in to drive bookings. FlipGive’s business model complemented Expedia Group’s worldview that travel is a force for good—unlocking the enormous business potential of “the channel of channels”.
CJ enabled FlipGive and three Expedia Group brands—Expedia, Hotels.com, and Vrbo—to form a deep year-long partnership. This combined FlipGive’s highest level of marketing exposure in many high-traffic venues, generous giveback offers, and a healthy schedule of promotion periods to keep traffic and bookings climbing.
Real-time insights and flexibility, achieved through Expedia Group’s advanced integration with CJ, were key elements of FlipGive’s campaign success. Expedia Group leverages CJ’s Open-Ended Locking Actions, which accounts for any affiliate program transaction with a longer lifecycle (such as travel bookings) and creates projections on publisher commissions, allowing FlipGive to view gross booking value for each Expedia Group brand and make strategic marketing adjustments as the campaign progressed. CJ’s Situational Commissioning allows Expedia Group to reward high-value commissioning scenarios based on order attributes and enables FlipGive to facilitate CPA increases to target promotions for a particular line of business under Expedia Group such as hotel bookings or car rentals.
The FlipGive campaign drove year-round sales growth through evergreen promotion in premium placements and kept Expedia Group brands top of mind during peak buying periods—locking out travel industry competitors from high-traffic presences. This increased presence through FlipGive not only shifted customers away from Expedia Group’s direct competitors but also succeeded in shifting the most premium users who make many repeat bookings.
All aspects of this partnership were formed, managed, and tracked through the versatile CJ platform. CJ’s strategic partnership with leading mobile technology company, Button ensured that Expedia Group seamlessly tracked all mobile app conversions that came through the FlipGive app.
The Expedia Group-FlipGive affiliate partnership shattered its performance targets for 2022, reaching its aggressive 12-month revenue goal in just seven months:
Campaign goal of 20:1 was achieved in only 60% of the target timeframe.
Campaign revenue goal was exceeded by 140% within the projected timeframe.
Site visitor traffic from this affiliate partner community also grew dramatically. This campaign is a stellar example of how travel brands can achieve aggressive growth goals and drive strong social impact through an affiliate marketing program, creating goodwill and long-term brand loyalty with existing buyers while attracting many new travel customers from competitors.