Lastminute.com wants other travel brands to build websites with its adtech sitting at the heart

The travel retailer wants to make it easier for travel brands to monetise content

Over the last three years, Lastminute.com has scaled up its programmatic capabilities and found new sources of revenue in letting other advertisers plug into its adtech stack. Now, it wants other brands build their own microsites that will be powered by its adtech.

The group's media arm Travel People, which services both the sell-side businesses of wider business as well as the buy-side for clients, has developed a content management system (CMS) that other brands can buy into.

The tool was created after it found that 53% of senior marketers and business leaders said they refrained from creating custom website templates because it requires too much technical support.

Dubbed 'ContentHub', the feature is aimed at letting e-commerce and travel brands design their own microsites with built in digital advertising, being pitched as an alternative to “clunkier” offerings that require external plug-ins to run programmatic campaigns.

The product has so far only been piloted by Lastminute's own brands including it's flagship site. However, the company claims that the cloud-hosted platform is particularly well-suited to advertisers who need to manage multiple brands or languages consistently and at scale.

For instance, if a company like Emirates (which has not been named as a partner by Lastminute.com) wants to create content around things to do in Dubai, the brand could use the CMS to build a page to host that information but it could also emulate the design and copy in several languages in just a few clicks.

The big pitch to brands is that they can then also use Lastminute's programmatic stack to "'drag-and-drop" IAB and native ad formats on these content hubs and, in doing do, start to quickly generate publisher revenue for themselves.

Sites built using the tool are also optimised for mobile, SEO and SEM. Video, social feeds and other media can be easily embedded onto pages too.

See the video below for a demonstration of the technology.

So far, Lastminute.com has been trailing the tech on its own site, using the content solution to build branded microsites that highlight travel destinations or host seasonal campaign content. During this experiment, it's been integrating digital ads and travel deals from its travel social network, Wayn.

The group's chief commercial officer, media and partnerships, Alessandra Di Lorenzo explained: “We know how important it is for travel or e-commerce companies to have a solid content strategy that supports customer engagement and drives up customer return rates.

"Yet many brands we’ve spoken to face the same challenges as we did when it comes to managing their content and rolling out dynamic, data-driven and ad-optimised microsites at scale.

"That’s why we’ve combined our competencies and experience in media monetisation as well as travel, technology and design to produce a platform that is functional and aesthetically pleasing - but also very competitively priced."

Lorenzo was tasked with separating the "lookers from the bookers" and monetising the former when she joined the business from eBay in 2015.

Last year, revenues for Lastminute group's programmatic and media division were up 30% year-on-year, with the company having run some 1500 campaigns from over 300 different advertisers.

While Lorenzo didn't reveal this year's target, The Drum understands the business is on track to meet it.

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