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Hospitality Insights

Programmatic Marketing for Hotels

07 September 2018


Umi Digital’s introduction to what programmatic marketing is and how it can help to increase direct bookings through your hotel website.


What is Programmatic Marketing?


Programmatic marketing is, in a phrase, the automated buying of web advertising space.

This can be done in two ways:

Real Time Bidding (RTB) – Bidding is undertaken by AIs (artificial intelligence) acting on pre-assigned targeting and algorithms rather than having human media buyers. This means that the bidding is done on an impression by impression basis and that the CPI (cost per impression) is therefore influenced by the perceived quality of the cookie profile of the viewer, webpage and other factors. A cookie profile is an analysis of the persistent data that is stored in your browser. This profile will be made up from the sites that you visit, the actions that you take and other web activities.

Programmatic Direct – This is a more efficient way to access advertising space and buy it directly, it allows you to browse inventory in a much more transparent way and select websites you may not have considered advertising through.

I will be focussing on RTB in this post.

In a nutshell, the process works something like this:


How does it work?


There are a number of key platforms that operate together in order to facilitate this process:


How would it help Hotels?


There are three main benefits that your Hotel will gain from use of Programmatic campaigns:

  1. It allows for you to run display campaigns across a large number of websites to try and attract a certain target audience. This is instead of running one campaign of 1000 impressions on a website that is un-scientifically thought to attract the right sort of audience.
  2. The key difference here is the ability to target an individual persona rather than a fixed advert location. This should improve the quality of impressions and therefore drive up your KPIs as the less relevant viewers are filtered out. It would also allow you to expand the understanding of the habits of your target groups, as well as allowing you to target new groups.
  3. Hotels have a much larger first party data set than a large amount of industries. This allows for much more efficient target modelling and also for copy within these adverts to be more heavily personalised towards previous or potential clients.


Are there any drawbacks?


One issue that was widespread in mid 2017 was adverts for major brands appearing alongside content they would not want to be associated with.

This can be solved by blacklisting certain search terms. I.e. if there is a tragic molasses flood that the business doesn’t want to be associated with then the adverts can be prevented from appearing next to any articles with sensitive keywords.

If a bot is loading a page then the impression is obviously entirely wasted. This could end up costing a business hugely for valueless impressions.

As the technology is AI it has the ability to learn which leads appear to be lower quality and to filter them out of their bidding process.

Whereas in direct digital buying you will be able to say, “I want a banner ad for my fruit company at the top of your article on why fruit is healthy.” with programmatic the ads are bought automatically so this will have to be added into the decision making of the program.


Where can I find out more?


Give us a call on: 0203 6425898

Or send us an email at

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