Momondo Group puts faith in cuddly approach to metasearch

Explore this investment 01.06.16

Jan 6.2016

Momondo Group is celebrating what it claims is a milestone for its Cheapflights brand – half a million visits in a single day.

The company says it achieved the accolade across desktop, mobile and apps for the metasearch service on Monday 4 January – the first day back in the work for many employees after the Christmas and New Year break.

This is a 60% increase on the same day in 2015, managing director Andrew Shelton says.

The increase comes six months after Momondo Group overhauled its almost 20-year-old flight deals provider to become a metasearch service, sitting alongside the existing Momondo business that itbought in 2011 for an undisclosed fee.

But in a tough market, where the group goes up against the likes of Skyscanner and Kayak in various markets around the world, can the Momondo and Cheapflights brands compete?

The group’s CEO, Hugo Burge, obviously reckons it can.

Part of a major push to showcase the pair to a wider audience will come from that old school of marketing – TV ads.

Over the course of early-2016, both will start seeing themselves on mainstream TV channels in ten markets, including the UK, Germany, Portugal, Denmark (Momondo’s home country), Sweden and elsewhere.

Burge says another part of its strategy is turn metasearch as a concept away from the long-held idea that the model is a “utility” and focus more on trying to become an “inspiration” tool for travellers.

“We want to create a brand that people love. And the beauty of metasearch is that you CAN do that.

“It’s not just about conversion – it can be about building trust.”

The Momondo brand, in particular, has made a big play on what its MD Pia Vemmelund says is the “emotion” end of travel search, creating specific types of content and colour schemes to fit the “moods” of travellers.

The task of bringing about some differentiation in metasearch will be a vital component in 2016 for the group, Burge says, not least because after raising a sizeable £80 million round in late-2014 and bringing the two brands under a common platform during 2015, “it is time to push on”.

Another element that the group hopes to begin ramping up during 2016 includes a further focus on personalisation, allowing users to log in to the site and create profiles.

Over time, with various bits of data captured, sliced and diced, users will be able to receive more targeted results and view better (in other words: relevant) content and travel information.

Such tactics all hark back to the idea that metasearch, as Burge argues, can and should be about “inspiration for travel”.