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Digital Marketing Case Study:

Digital Innovation Roadmap


Sunwing is a prominent Canadian airline operating in the travel and tourism industry. Recognizing the evolving digital landscape, they sought to future-proof their marketing strategy due to the depreciation of 3rd party cookies, surge of new AI possibilties and a need to drive their digital evolution forward. It would directly affect all biddable and addressable channels taking Sunwing through a 2-year roadmap and keep them ahead of the curve. The project required in-depth investigation with key stakeholders in the data analytics and comms department.


The key objectives were to (1) build a customer-centric & data-focused approach and (2) drive their digital evolution forward. These both objectives are inter-connected by enhancing their audience segmentation but also re-evaluating their current MarTech ecosystem and identify the gaps. A review of our existing audience targeting, creation implementation and tool integration was needed for this project. We also utilize a proprietary tool to assess their dependacy to identifiers such as Cookie, Mobile Ad IDs, Email Addresses and other Universal IDs available with the digital landscape 


Our strategy started with an evaluation of our current data structure and quick wins across all digital channels. Since cookie targeting was the main type of identifier, we conceptualized a different method a blend of external data partners such as Environics and Moneris, in-house data and Sunwing first party data. It helps us identify geographical areas and audience cohorts through a combination of data sets which can influence media delivery (budget) and creative strategy through dynamic content

Additionally, our proprietary tool highlighted and prioritized the high level actions to succeed in a future-proof digital environment. It included the implementation of new platforms such as a CDP, run contextual vs audience-based test and focusing on mobile-first environment to reach a more relevant demographic. We also mapped the entire MarTech stacks with the primary roles of each tool and how the data flows across all of them.


The implementation happened in multiple phases: Many elements in the MarTech ecosystem had to be enhanced in order to adequally targeting users and measure performance. First, our ad server and Google Analytic tags needed additional variables to capture departure & arrival data and passenger information. Then, the enhanced data was parsed to the CDP to create modelled audiences. Combined with the agency and 3rd party partners, we produced a data feed including real-time seat availability but also tactical geographical areas finding HHI and HH size. The DCO setup helped us to turn 15 dynamic elements into thousands of creatives across all media channels. Our approach also included time based upon retargeting and message based on packages and destinations


The implementation of the Conversion APIs dramatically helped to measure accurate performance due to the media platforms becoming walled-gardened. Since we introduce a new measurement framework, we introduced new KPIs segmented by media tactics, messaging and audiences but all consistent across media channels.

Site retargeting became more efficient since we targeted strategy included tailored messaging for highly segmented audiences with 43% higher CTR and 12% CVR. We consistently hit our 90% occupancy rate goal after 2 months within the implementation and helped us identify new opportunities with our media budget to test new platforms.


Our new approach successfully addressed the objectives and future-proofed our marketing strategy by relying on different identifiers. By leveraging enhanced combined audience segments, we achieved better customer targeting and engagement across all media channels and a holistic use of data. The evaluation of the Martech stack enabled us to optimize the MarTech infrastructure, driving improved operational efficiency and campaign performance. The use of our proprietary tool provided critical insights in identifying the high-level actions on short and long term: It creates a 2-year roadmap with a clear vision and totally flexible based on lthe learnings and analysis of our upcoming tests. 


Our proactive approach to future-proofing the marketing strategy by adopting a customer-centric and data-focused approach yielded significant benefits. By enhancing audience segment definitions, evaluating their Martech stack, and leveraging tools, Sunwing successfully navigated the challenges of the evolving digital landscape. This enabled them and us to deliver personalized experiences, optimize marketing campaigns, and build a strong foundation for future growth in an increasingly data-driven and privacy-conscious environment.

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