|TRIVAGO N.V. filed this Form 20-F on 03/06/2018|
geographies. If we are unable to effectively preserve and increase our brand awareness, we may be unable to successfully maintain or enhance the strength of our brand.
In recent years, we have engaged successful broad-reach TV marketing campaigns. We expect to continue to invest in TV marketing campaigns, including in geographies where our brand is less well known. As we make these investments, we may observe increasing prices in light of increased spending from competitors or may see reduced benefits from our advertising due to, among other things, increasing traffic share growth of search engines as destination sites for users. In addition, our advertising efforts may become less cost effective or less efficient than they have been historically.
In order to maintain or increase the effectiveness of our TV advertisements, we may need to develop new creative concepts in our advertisements, and these advertisements may not be as effective in terms of return on advertising spend as those we have used in the past.
In addition, our competitors may increase their spending on advertisement campaigns, which could cause the marginal returns on our advertisements to decline. This may occur even if we make substantial investments in innovation in technology and concepts in this area. Increased advertising spend by our competitors could also result in significant increases in the pricing of one or more of our marketing and advertising channels, which could increase our costs for advertising (which already consume most of our revenue) or cause us to choose less effective marketing and advertising channels for reasons of cost.
TV advertising accounts for a large percentage of our advertising expense, and often has higher costs than other channels. Our marginal returns from TV advertising may also be negatively affected over time by declining viewership in certain age groups and changes in viewing patterns that reduce viewer exposure to advertising. If TV advertising becomes less effective or if we experience diminishing returns from TV advertising overall or in key markets, we may instead invest in other, more expensive channels, which may not be as successful. In order to maintain our brand awareness, we may also need to invest in new advertising formats, such as online video, with which we have less experience. If we are unable to maintain or enhance consumer awareness of our brand or to generate demand in a cost-effective manner, it may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.
In addition, we intend to continue expanding our operations globally, including in countries where we have limited operating experience, that may have different competitive conditions and where users may have different travel preferences. Users in other countries may not be familiar with our brand, or may be less familiar with our brand than that of a competitor, and we may need to build brand awareness in such countries through greater investments in advertising and promotional activities. To the extent we have limited experience in these countries, we may be slow or fail to find the most effective and cost-efficient advertising channels there.
We are currently taking steps to increase advertiser diversity on our marketplace. If these measures are unsuccessful and we are unable to integrate additional inventory to our platform, or successfully to monetize that inventory, our financial performance could be materially adversely affected.
We have recently taken steps to increase advertiser diversity on our marketplace, including increasing the representation of individual hotels into our inventory, making investments in our advertisement relations team and integrating the vacation rental inventory of HomeAway, Inc., or HomeAway, onto our hotel search platform, with the aim of integrating additional inventory of alternative accommodation, such as vacation rentals, going forward. Increasing the representation of individual hotels on our platform requires large, skilled, multi-lingual sales teams that, even after the investments we expect to make, will still be substantially smaller and less experienced than the advertising teams of many of our competitors. In the case of vacation rentals, we face challenges in integrating these properties into our platform since those properties have attributes substantially different from hotel rooms, our traditional area of focus. In addition, the online vacation rental market is rapidly evolving, and if we fail to predict the manner in which that market develops or if large vacation rental providers are able to acquire a larger share of the alternative accommodation market at our expense, our financial performance may be harmed.