Online travel giant Travelocity has said goodbye to Range Online and hired iCrossing to handle its paid search management, customer analytics and search engine optimization.
The client score by iCrossing comes on the heels of some iCrossing layoffs, but iCrossing spokesman Dana Mellecker said the Travelocity deal proves iCrossing is thriving despite the staff reductions. He said the layoffs, reportedly as many as 60 employees, do not indicate financial problems.
“The company is in an extremely good position,” insisted Mellecker. “What happened was we’ve grown quickly over the past 12 months. We made three acquisitions over the past six months alone. While [layoffs are] never pleasant, this is part of the natural consolidation that often follows acquisitions.”
In December, iCrossing acquired retail paid search player NewGate Internet. In February, it acquired analytics technology provider Sharp Analytics.
iCrossing will provide paid search management for several Travelocity brands including Travelocity.com, Travelocity.ca and Travelocitybusiness.com. It will also provide customer analytics and overall SEO capabilities.
Neither Mellecker nor Colin Turney, iCrossing’s managing director for the southern United States, would discuss the value of the deal. “It’s a very substantial number,” said Mellecker. “This is a big win for us.”
Turney said he did not know the full extent of the work Range Online did for Travelocity, but he said Range provided search services “from the outset of Travelocity.” Turney said Travelocity decided to go with iCrossing because it wanted a more flexible agency.
“They are one of the most sophisticated paid search advertisers I’ve ever encountered and they had some highly specific and detailed reporting and analysis data,” Turney said. “They appreciated our flexibility and combination of technology and talent.”
Travelocity executives “had some very, very specific” goals and tasks in mind and “kept coming back to the need for flexibility,” he added.
He said iCrossing will help Travelocity develop new areas of online advertising. “There’s been an awful lot of progression with dynamic packaging in which all elements can be packaged together,” he said. “We will be providing very specific support for that as well as the other more expected lines of business. The actual number of keywords we are purchasing on Travelocity”s behalf has grown tremendously.”
Range Online worked with Travelocity for five years prior to the client’s decision to reassign its search business. “We continue to have a positive relationship with Travelocity, but this shift will allow our account teams to focus more heavily on the top-tier marketers added to our client roster in the last year,” said Misty Locke, co-founder and president of Range Online Media.
Recent Range clients include Nike, Samsung, L’Occitane en Provence, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.