Lastminute.com Group has launched a new media brand to complement the OTA side of the business.
The Travel People has been established to help advertisers reach the 35 million monthly unique visitors to the group’s network of online travel brands, including lastminute.com, Rumbo, Volagratis, Bravofly and Jetcost, which operate across 40 countries in 17 languages.
Former eBay Advertising commercial director Alessandra Di Lorenzo has been appointed to lead the new business unit. The Travel People’s 40-strong team is headquartered in London, with additional teams in Milan, Madrid, Paris and Munich.
Di Lorenzo said the aim was to help other brands both in, and out, of the travel sector reach “lucrative travel and lifestyle audiences across Europe”, which The Travel People is “uniquely equipped” to help them do.
The Travel People will use audience information and re-marketing technologies to engage its customer groups on site, and to re-connect with them when they are browsing other websites before, during and after travel.
Speaking to Travolution, Di Lorenzo gave the example of travellers searching for a trip to a wine region.
“With the technology we’ve implemented brands can connect with our customer throughout this journey,” said Di Lorenzo. “For example the tourism board may be interested in talking to that customer before they travel, when they’re at the airport and maybe when they get home.
“Or a supermarket may be interested in offering a discounted bottle of wine from that region when the customer comes home. It goes beyond just the booking.”
“Seamless sequential targeting across channels” will also be a key focus for the new business.
Di Lorenzo said: “With the Travel People we’re bringing something really new. The big players are doing similar things but the edge we have is our ability to customise.
We’re not as big and we specialise in Europe which gives us an opportunity to be almost like a boutique.
“We can offer really customised solutions, which I don’t think our competitors can. We can offer the reach too and have the scale. Our brands capture a young and relatively affluent audience which gives us an edge as well.
“Our core audience groups are 25 to 34 and 35 to 45 – if you’re travelling it means you can afford to travel, and you’re passionate about something. We can offer targeting based on passions and interests, rather than just the destination which is different to what our competitors and we ourselves have been offering.”
Di Lorenzo said the concept of a media component of the business was created at the beginning of the year.
“We’ve got a large operation of sales people, media experts, marketing experts, a creative hub we’ve just built, graphic designers and data scientists,” she said. “We’re focusing on making this a very cutting-edge unit within the travel industry.
“We’ve traditionally worked with the tourism boards, the major airlines, all the big brands in travel. The challenge and opportunity is to offer new things to these guys that we’ve been working with and to broaden the opportunity to all those brands who may also be interested in working with us.
“Travel insurance, swimwear, sunglasses – these are all types of businesses we’d be interested in working with.”
Fabio Cannavale, chief executive of Lastminute.com Group, added: “The Travel People is a fantastic addition to Lastminute.com Group and demonstrates our ambition to invest in and grow our unique portfolio of brands.
“Ten million customers enjoy travel and lifestyle experiences with us every year, making us the perfect partner for brands wanting to reach purchase-ready travellers across Europe.”