Assembling a Custom PPC Management Solution – Hilton Worldwide & Acquisio #RIMC14

Assembling a Custom PPC Management Solution – Hilton Worldwide & Acquisio #RIMC14

28th March 2014

What do you do when you have tried the usual Media Agency / PPC platform combination and you are still left wanting more? If you are Hilton, you go, identify partners and put together a winning solution that addresses perfectly your needs using the right people and customising Technology to your requirements with flexible partners such as Acquisio.

Speakers Profile:

James Harrower

James Harrower (Search Marketing Manager, International – Hilton Worldwide)

James heads up the search marketing program at Hilton Worldwide, leading the International strategy, managing various projects and driving all search revenue into over 300 International hotels across EMEA and Asia Pacific. Prior to Hilton, James headed up the global search marketing program at British Airways.

Laurent Boninfante

Laurent Boninfante (CEO Acquisio EMEA)

Laurent is the Digital Marketing Specialist leading Acquisio’s EMEA & Asia team, delivering support and strategic guidance about the company’s performance media platform. Boninfante was previously Director of New Business and Strategic Accounts for Kenshoo Europe, Head of Search for OMD Digital UK and Head of Account Management at 24/7 RealMedia UK.

Setting the Scene:

Hilton Worldwide had a problem of dealing with scale, they have a lot of moving parts when it comes to their technological capability for search.  They needed to assemble a Custom PPC Management Solution to help control their broad and complex set up. The Hilton Worldwide team manage 470 properties and are live in an eye-watering:

  • 171 Markets

This means that there campaigns look something like this:

  • 20,000 Campaigns
  • 25,000,000 keywords
  • 54 languages
  • 10 search engines

RIMC Hilton Worldwide

The operate on 2 different models:

  • ROI based model
  • America’s CPA Model – Hotels are being costed on a commission basis against the sales that they got.

Hilton Worldwide’s PPC Challenge

  • Size and complexity
  • Accessing daily conversion data
  • Limited optimisation
  • Inflexible systems
  • 300,000 changes per day
  • 1.8 million Daily promotional changes
  • Commitments to hotels, brands, etc

Hilton are growing quicker than any other hotel chains. When combined with their fragmented data sources across:

  • Multiple languages
  • Multiple markets
  • Multiple [Search] Engines

The complexity of this is no small feat…

Approaching a Custom Solution: What Hilton Worldwide Did

Acquisio helped them with API integration and multiple custom connections to help centralise Hilton Worldwide’s processes and create a 360 approach.

Hilton Worldwide 360 Approach

To help manage this complex and multi-faceted process Hilton Worldwide deal with 3 main companies/technologies:

  • Forward3D – Who work on the PPC Management RIMC Hilton Worldwide Forward3d
  • DCStorm – Provide data intelligenceRIMC Hilton Worldwide DC Storm
  • Acquisio – Manage the ‘action’ layer

RIMC Hilton Worldwide Acquisio

3 Main Data Requirements for Customising your Digital Solution

  • Acquire data
  • Transform data
  • ‘Act Upon’ Data

3 Reasons Why would you Consider a Custom Approach?

  • No single platform meets your requirements resulting in a ‘feature wastage’ and inflating cost
  • The data that matters to you is disconnected
  • Through standard platforms and services, you have reached a productivity plateau preventing future growth

Customising allows you to overcome these and move beyond these potential problems.

3 Key Challenges when Considering a Custom Approach

  • You need to gain buy-in from key internal stakeholders
  • While it will eventually pay off, you do need to invest time and resource to develop the solution – there is no short-term fix!
  • The idea of finding the right partners that are willing and able to customise their offering can be a daunting process

The AdTech Iceberg


Do the 10% that matter to your business, don’t do the 90% that doesn’t matter

Why Customise Your Solution?

  • It provides the perfect business fit and ability to evolve with new business requirements
  • A solution that is built on a strong foundation with professional, robust infrastructure and Software Maturity
  • A strong relationship with your partners nutures greater innovation and increases outcomes

Customisation: The Timing is Right

  • Big data makes collecting, plugging and analysing disparate data easier to track
  • Cloud computing enables IAAS and PAAS to be viable scaleable solutions
  • An increasing number of Advertisers/Enterprises are now at the stage of the Tech Cycle where they are starting to consider reinvestment in their Ad Technology

A Summary: What Hilton Worldwide’s Custom Approach Timeline looked like

  • November 2012 – Acquisio is appointed by Hilton Worldwide
  • March 2013 – On-boarding of the first campaigns
  • June 2013 – Over 25MM bulk changes processed in the month
  • July 2013 – Integration of the US CPA system
  • December 2013 – Solution support for the 1st Double-Byte Search Engine

Moving Forward

  • May 2014 – Solution support Yandex launch
  • Q2/3 2014 – Re-marketing for search
  • Q3 2014 – Full integration support for Seznam, Naver and Daum

Are you in a similar position to Hilton Worldwide, where no existing products solve your full needs for a PPC Management Solution. Then maybe an approach like that of Hilton Worldwide’s may be for you. Maybe you need to go for a custom solution for your PPC Management solution…


Written By
Ned Poulter is CEO & Founder of Pole Star Digital, a Digital Marketing Consultancy he runs alongside a number of entrepreneurial ventures. He spends his time developing and overseeing digital strategy for a number of well reputed international clients, developing creative approaches to achieving organic search results, increasing inbound traffic,...
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