TUI Group is the world’s number one tourism business with 1600 travel agencies and over 300 hotels. After much deliberation, TUI decided to embark on an ambitious migration programme and change providers for their travel affiliate business. With the mammoth task of moving thousands of publishers from an indentured system, TUI Group turned to Impact to facilitate a smooth transition. To help grow and realise efficiencies of their mature affiliate programme, TUI needed to minimise the risk and disruption of this massive overhaul by creating a strategy to reduce revenue loss, offer clarity to publishers, and be invisible to consumers.
Impact had clear objectives for achieving a successful migration that reduced disruption. Migration of all revenue-driving partners had to be completed within four weeks and the partner base had to be audited so desired partners experienced a seamless transition within six weeks. With Impact’s expertise as a leading technology provider, TUI expected flexible reporting to enable ongoing programme optimisation and a 0% change in cost-per-acquisition (CPA) to maintain programme efficiency. Perhaps, more significantly, TUI was aiming for 20% partnership programme growth as a result of the migration. Ultimately, TUI was steadfast in its goal to execute a well-oiled migration strategy.
To deliver the objectives, Impact divided the migration into three core areas. These were publisher migration, reporting migration and implementation of an updated commission structure.
Partners were segmented into three tiers so TUI could identify their top-performing partners. Impact Partnership Cloud then automated communication to all but TUI’s top-tier publisher partners, whom TUI contacted individually. MediaRails, Impact’s partner CRM tool was the focal point of the publisher migration. The tool automated communication to lower-tier partners then tracked and assessed the overall migration progress over time.
Automating these partnerships improved programme efficiency and saved TUI vast amounts of time on an otherwise manual task. Simultaneously, Impact collaborated with TUI’s agency Neo to perform a partner audit to trim down the programme to a manageable size and retain only high-quality, highly engaged partners. Impact technology identified inactive and low-quality partners so TUI could reduce programme bloat by removing those partners from the campaign.
Automation also played a key role in migration reporting and TUI sought a practical solution that provided the right data in the right format and eliminated time-consuming data pulls. These reports needed to highlight key metrics to help TUI understand specific partner and category performance, then optimise accordingly. These requirements led Impact to build the TUI Performance Report. This custom report provided a single report that can pivot around multiple KPIs including airport departure and destination. The single report can be configured to include or exclude any KPI’s to give stakeholders a custom view of performance.
To complete the migration, TUI implemented an updated commissioning structure based on Impact’s highly flexible Dynamic Payouts. This allowed TUI to pay out on any tracked data point, or combination of data points. This new structure created improved efficiency for the programme since TUI could commission specifically on the actions and partners that created value whilst substantially growing the programme.
Creativity and innovation
To execute the migration of the UK’s largest travel affiliate programme, Impact knew cutting edge technology and innovation would need to be at the heart of the strategy. In order to meet TUI’s marketing goal of 20% partnership programme growth, Impact extensively leveraged their innovative automation technology MediaRails, to achieve a smooth and disruption-free migration. This automated CRM solution enabled Impact and TUI to effectively migrate publishers by segmenting them into tiers then automating communication. A workflow was implemented to send a drip email campaign to partners alerting them to bespoke signup links regarding commission rates for example. Partners who failed to respond to these initial emails were sent automated reminders with increasingly time sensitive, relevant copy. This ensured that partners were consistently and regularly targeted with messaging to ensure a smooth and efficient migration.
One of MediaRails’ great USPs is its API integration with other providers. Impact built a custom migration tracker that indicated partner-level progress including whether they had signed up to the TUI programme on Impact, started driving traffic and delivered revenue. Additionally, TUI pulled in KPIs from the incumbent network to monitor if the same partner was still driving revenue through the previous provider. This provided a ‘seesaw’ view of each partner showing whether they had fully migrated, partially migrated or not yet started, and the communication they had received.
TUI could then create partner workflows dependent on certain scenarios. For example, if a partner had active revenue in the last 30 days but for some reason their revenue dropped to 0 in the last seven days – TUI could reach out to them.
Migrating five brands and thousands of publishers from an indentured affiliate network was no easy feat. Fortunately, as a result of Impact’s expertise and innovative automation technology, TUI was not only able to migrate the programme smoothly, they also achieved a phenomenal 49% revenue growth in the month after migration. More significantly, Impact was able to successfully migrate 95% of revenue-driving partners in half of the targeted time period.
Impact’s updated commissioning capabilities allowed TUI to improve optimisation and achieve the goal of remaining CPA neutral and subsequently reduce CPA by 4%.
MediaRails automated communication helped to effectively migrate publishers, while Impact’s custom automated reporting eliminated time-consuming data pulls and manipulation.
The audit of the publisher base was successfully completed within the targeted timeframe and significantly reduced the number of partners by 70%, improving programme hygiene and leaving TUI with a set of partners that were engaged, on-brand and ready to promote TUI. Ultimately, this led to increased focus on active publishers and improved growth.
With innovative automation at the heart of this mammoth migration project, Impact, alongside TUI’s agency Neo, was able to achieve a significant partnership programme revenue increase accompanied by a healthy 30% growth in passenger volume.
Through automated partner communication, custom reporting and improved commissioning structures, TUI was not only able to successfully migrate their programmes, but also to achieve a phenomenal 49% revenue growth. Migration of the UK’s largest travel affiliate programme was no easy task but Impact was able to update, streamline, and optimise in one migration. To meet TUI’s goal of 20% partnership programme growth with minimal business disruption, Impact implemented innovative automation technology to execute a smooth transition for programme partners within half the targeted time period. Ultimately, by partnering with Neo, Impact was able to migrate 95% of revenue-driving partners successfully.