Most online verticals have evolved from an early emphasis on targeting media to a belated recognition of the importance of optimizing and personalizing on-site and "point of sale" content and experience. Travel marketing online has followed a somewhat different route until now, as Doug Miller, vice-president of global media solutions at Expedia, explains.

"Reaching someone contextually at point of sale has been, for obvious reasons, the core of travel targeting tactics," Miller says. "When you buy a ticket to travel, for instance, it's a magnificent opportunity to talk to consumers about rental cars and hotels, for instance."

"In-store you try to hit consumers at point of purchase all at once, but what's been lacking is an ability to extend and deepen that conversation," he says. "So our goal is to find ways to more effectively put our ad partners out in front of consumers more extensively throughout the funnel."

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