Travel winner: LNER with MG OMD

A super-smart PPC bidding strategy helped the rail provider ensure its cabins were at full capacity amid challenging macroeconomic conditions, with MG OMD laying the groundwork.

This entry was chosen as a winner of the Performance Marketing World UK Awards 2023. View all the winners, coverage, photos and videos from the night in our special feature section here..

As a leading long-distance rail provider, London North Eastern Railway (LNER) depends heavily on discretionary leisure and business travellers. With high fixed operating costs, it is vital for LNER to ensure that trains depart near full capacity, resulting in a significantly lean business model. Add to this challenges such as Covid-19, engineering works, and Industrial Action, and the company was not just facing issues in terms of catering to demand, but also those of supply.

The solution was to align the supply of tickets across every LNER route with the demand, as indicated through platform signals. Consequently, MG OMD was commissioned to streamline LNER's advertising strategy, ensuring promotions aligned with real-time train availability.

Traditional PPC buying often prompted LNER to bid on non-fulfillable journey queries, surfacing undesirable high-demand prices. MG OMD's innovative approach involved leveraging LNER's live capacity data and using it to inform PPC bid decisions. By matching 1PD capacity data with platform signals, MG OMD found it was better able to target available trains, whilst promoting cheaper prices, and enhancing the efficiency of PPC spend.

The approach taken by MG OMD was both technical and analytical. Leveraging Airflow orchestration and advanced cloud technologies, they meticulously processed LNER's daily capacity data. This extensive data spanned a forward-looking window of 82 days. Post-analysis, each journey was assigned a specific capacity score, systematically categorising them into different capacity levels.

The strategy yielded impressive results: a 128% CTR improvement, 53% CPC reduction, and an astonishing 311% ROAS boost. This collaboration underscored MG OMD's capability in optimising spend and enhancing LNER's efficiency.

Judges’ Comments:

“A campaign with a high level of complexity that has been executed impeccably. The level of personalisation went beyond what many people even think is possible. Great work from the team behind it.”

Highly commended winner: 

  • iProspect with South West Rail 

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