Managing Capacity on LNER with 1PD


As a long-distance rail company, LNER’s customer base (and revenue source) is mostly discretionary leisure and business travellers. On top of this, train operation comes with high fixed costs. To meet business revenue goals, every train journey needs to depart the station at close to full capacity. This makes LNER’s business model incredibly lean, and as a government body, any spend in advertising needs to be as efficient as possible.

The challenge for LNER over the past few years with the disruption of COVID, Engineering Works, and now Industrial Action has become one of demand AND supply. We needed to meticulously match the supply of tickets across every LNER route, with the demand as indicated though platform signals. While best practice PPC buying allows us to adequately respond to customer demand, it’s a model that for LNER means we might be bidding on search queries for journeys that LNER cannot fulfil, or surfacing undesirable prices driven by high demand. To ensure we were maximising revenue on every journey and not wasting spend, our objective was to find a solution to deliver on the below campaign objectives: - Target people only when there is a train available at their station - Connect users with under capacity trains and cheaper prices - Improve the cost efficiency of PPC spend