Is Airbnb Making a Mistake by Cutting Performance Marketing Dollars Now?

Organic success in lead gen brings new challenges as travel demand recovers

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Airbnb’s recent decision to cut performance marketing dollars in favor of spending on more general brand strategy programs comes as the travel industry is poised to rebound, thanks to the increasing availability of multiple Covid-19 vaccines. 

The online rental marketplace’s spending shift has got industry observers asking whether now is the right time to pull back on performance.

The answer is a definitive “yes,” said Adam Morton, managing partner, client services at UM London. He pointed to sports brand Adidas, which made a similar move in mid-2019 after realizing it was too invested in the efficiency of targeting instead of overall marketing effectiveness. 

“The unique conditions of the pandemic influenced Airbnb’s traffic,” Morton said.



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