Trivago said its artificial intelligence-driven brand marketing campaigns launched in late 2023 are beginning to pay off.

Reporting results for the first quarter of 2024, the travel metasearch platform said its branded traffic channel volumes grew year over year in its “Developed Europe” and “Rest of World” segments.

The successes came amid a 9% dip year over year in total revenue for Q1 to €101 million while referral revenue decreased 8% to €100 million versus the same period in 2023.

Expedia Group brands accounted for 37% of Trivago’s referral revenue, while Booking Holdings’ brands accounted for 39%, down from 43% in Q1 2023.

Trivago reported a net loss for the quarter of €8.4 million compared with net profit of €9.9 million for Q1 2023. Adjusted EBITDA was reported as a loss of €9.2 million, down from EBITDA of €18.6 million in Q1 2023.

Total advertising spend increased €19 million to €84 million in the quarter, attributed to higher brand marketing investment. Return on advertising spend dropped 49 percentage points to 119% for the quarter.

The company said it is relying less on performance marketing channels with branded channel traffic volumes continuing to gain share. It added that Google advertising changes have made it less attractive for Trivago, but it will continue to invest “opportunistically.”

The company’s strategy is to continue to invest profits into its marketing strategy to bring revenue growth. It is expecting adjusted EBITDA to break even for full-year 2024.

See below for a discussion on metasearch in travel at The Phocuswright Conference with Trivago CEO Johannes Thomas:

The Innovation Dilemma with Skyscanner and trivago – The Phocuswright Conference 2023

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