Motel 6’s audio campaign generated 2,000% ROAS by reaching the right audience segments

Audio is an extremely powerful part of the marketing mix, with brands getting massive results time and time again. Most recently, SXM Media worked with budget lodging leader Motel 6 to deliver a return on ad spend (ROAS) of over 2,000%. Here are three key steps you can take to achieve impressive ROAS in your next campaign.

Be clear about your goals

When SXM Media first sat down to discuss the company’s goals for its advertising campaign, it was clear that brand awareness was not at the top of the list. After all, budget-conscious travelers are already familiar with the iconic light that Motel 6 leaves every day, as well as its offering of clean, comfortable rooms at an affordable rate, making travel accessible to everyone.

But in 2021, Motel 6 wanted to be more than a low-cost lodging option, instead changing the perception and driving direct bookings. The motel chain wanted to develop a campaign that would give budget-conscious travelers an emotional connection to Motel 6, a place they would go the extra mile to stay.

With those details worked out, the next step was to find out who her audience was and what it would take to impact them. Interestingly, for Motel 6, this meant a shift in perception with a more diverse audience, as the majority of its guests identify as multicultural, a unique feature relative to the category.

Specifically, Motel 6 wanted to reach the Hispanic segment of its multicultural clientele, as well as those looking to get out and explore the road, from family travelers to winter sports enthusiasts. It was also crucial for the motel chain to focus on income level and, of course, pet owners, as pets stay free at Motel 6.

Finding the right audience was key. Here’s how:

  • To connect with Hispanic travelers, SXM Media used its 1P MC Affinity segment to connect with Latin Enthusiasts.
  • SXM Media also sued adults who actively used travel booking sites to lock down their trips.
  • SXM Media tapped into its 1P Pet Owner targeting to ensure it connected to all listeners who adore their furry friends.

Develop creatives that appeal to your target audience

Once SXM Media knew who it was talking to and how to connect with them, it was time to focus on spreading the message of Motel 6. The brand came to SXM Media wanting to create audio, because Motel 6 has an iconic 35-year-old audio campaign and tagline. It was time to bring this iconic audio to life in digital. By leveraging SXM Media’s first-party data layers, key audiences at Motel 6 were reached. And remember, a good design makes all the difference.

For those traveling with their pets, the team grabbed listeners’ attention and inspired them to hit the road with the offer that “pets stay free” at Motel 6. It was essential to ensure that the creation corresponded to the target audience with the two Spaniards. – and English announcements. All of this further proves that Motel 6 is committed to knowing, helping and celebrating its guests and the way they travel.

Thank You Dog radio ad by Motel 6 and SXM Media
Thank You Cat Radio Ad by Motel 6 and SXM Media

Prioritize and strategize to achieve your KPIs

Measurement is one of the first things marketers need to consider. Without measurement, marketers wouldn’t have a clear picture of what worked, what didn’t work, and why — all the answers needed to optimize and drive better results.

Even in a consideration campaign like this, the brand still had to prove that the audio drove people to book a hotel room with Motel 6, and standard measurement methods don’t always work. To show that audio is an impactful channel in the consumer journey, SXM Media used Artsai, Pandora’s third-party tracking provider, which allowed Motel 6 to see beyond clicks and impressions. This tracking pixel is a piece of code placed directly on mobile web and desktop landing pages, providing visibility into where the Pandora listener has been on Motel6.com and measuring “heard” conversions.

“Traditional measurement technologies won’t work for digital audio because there are no cookies,” said Erik Lundberg, CRO, Artsai. “Artsai’s predictive personalization unleashes the power of Pandora’s robust data, uncovering the optimal ad creative and audience targeting to maximize ROAS for each marketer’s campaign.”

When people listen to music or podcasts, they’re usually doing things that make it hard to visit a website at any given time, like driving, working out, cooking, or cleaning. But with Artsai Pixel, if a listener took action later in the day, it’s still possible to track the conversion to Pandora and SoundCloud.

The results you expected

With a measurement solution in place, Motel 6 was ready to see results, and the results certainly speak for themselves.

“Audio is a proven tactic for Motel 6, so expanding to Pandora made sense,” explained Jenna Berg, vice president of brand marketing at Motel 6. “However, it exceeded expectations with the campaign of three months achieving over 2,000% ROAS.”

If those numbers sound crazy, you’re right, they are. The ROAS Motel 6 their audio campaign benefited from was phenomenal, featuring updated creatives that seamlessly transitioned from traditional to digital and demonstrated their commitment to their guests. And now, with these key secrets, your next campaign can do just as well.

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