Virgin Atlantic Improves Web Performance, Tracking

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic has solved a problem common to all travel sites -- slow page loads and misplaced commissions -- via the hiring of TagMan. 

Nearly all retail travel sites have dozens of ad tags/pixels on most of their pages. (Tags/pixels are pieces of code used by the entire digital advertising industry to track the performance of online campaigns and analytics). Too many tags slow down page loads, which can kill incoming traffic and hurt sales. With Google now ranking Web pages by the speed with which they load, this is no small matter for marketers.

Excess tags also can cause retailers to be unable to see where their conversions are coming from (natural search, paid search, affiliates, display, email, etc.). Up to 25% of a typical e-commerce site's commissions are duplicates because the true path to conversion can't be seen.

All this can be resolved with a universal container tag (into which all other tags that normally sit on the site are placed). Veronica Brown, e-commerce commercial manager at Virgin Atlantic, appointed TagMan last fall to help it manage and track the online campaigns it has running across all its sites, which cover 25 markets around the world. Both companies are based in London.

TagMan serves as the universal tag across all its sites to act as a single page tag and system that housed all the pixels used to track based on Virgin Atlantic's online campaigns, including display, paid and natural search, affiliates and email.

"We are pleased to be working with TagMan as this system will enable [us] to add, edit and remove tracking tags more efficiently and, in so doing, save huge amounts of time and energy in the implementation and management of campaigns," Brown tells Marketing Daily by email. "Being able to quickly amend our tracking tags is key for us, as, globally, we continue to deliver a high number of marketing campaigns."

Virgin Atlantic and its partners also wanted to be able to see the entire path to conversion that any user takes to buying from one of its sites and so "deduplicate" between channels that claim commission from the same sale.

In six months, both objectives have been achieved, Brown says. In the tracking of eight separate cost-per-acquisition channels used by Virgin Atlantic, TagMan has helped the company cut its CPA commission payments to affiliate partners by 21.1% through the identification of duplicate sales, achieving an ROI on TagMan of 41:1.

"We made the investment in TagMan for its benefits in pure tag management and to free us from the bonds of incumbent technology providers such as ad servers," Brown says. "But, to be able to say that this investment delivers a return of more than 40 times on CPA commission duplication alone is fantastic."

Airlines and travel companies are 99.9% online transaction companies. They process many consumers browsing and booking flights, and they invest much in marketing their service. TagMan's technology addresses these two areas head on, TagMan CEO Jon Baron tells Marketing Daily by email.

"By reducing the number of tags on a site, consumers have a faster web page experience and faster pages means better consumer experience," Baron says. "For airline marketers, they finally have control and clarity of all their online marketing to see all the interactions of the consumer between their marketing and their onsite experience. Using this insight, airline marketers refine their budget investments."

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