March 5, 2009, 12:00 AM

Expedia gives advertisers a passport to personalization

Expedia`s new PassportAds allows advertisers to target shoppers based on browsing activity on Expedia.com. The service segments consumers by behavior, such as those who searched for hotels in Hawaii, so marketers can show relevant ads.

Forget a free trip to Cancun. What advertisers really want from travel booking web sites is information about visitor behavior.

Expedia.com answered the call recently with a new service for advertisers called PassportAds.

The behavioral marketing product allows advertisers to target shoppers based on their activity on the Expedia.com site. The service builds segments of consumers based on behavior, such as those who searched for hotels in Hawaii, then targets shoppers as they navigate the web and prepare for their trips. Marketers can follow the consumers not only on the Expedia.com web site, but anywhere on the Internet, Expedia says.

"PassportAds offers unrivaled reach to consumers actively in-market for travel. Now advertisers can create highly tailored messages that target travelers during the entire vacation planning and booking process and throughout the entire online experience-from reading the news to checking their weather forecast or shopping for clothes," says Doug Miller, vice president of global media solutions, Expedia. "We`re focused on offering clients the ability to deliver behaviorally and contextually relevant advertising to the largest and most valuable audience of in-market travel consumers in the world."

23.3 million unique consumers visit Expedia web sites each month, and Expedia connects with 50% of all online travel shoppers, the company says. The new service, launched by Expedia’s Media Solutions unit, is available to travel and non-travel advertisers.

PassportAds follows Expedia’s other ad service, TravelAds, which uses shopper search behavior to deliver targeted ads at the point-of-sale. Introduced in 2008, TravelAds allows hotels to bid for top placement in hotel search results on Expedia.com and Hotels.com.

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