A recent blog post and case study shared by Mirai, on TripAdvisor’s Business Listings option introduced earlier this year. Many hotels have jumped onboard and many others have held off till better information is available about the Return on Investment on these (often pricey) listings.
TripAdvisor Business Listing – not for everyone
On May 6th 2010 in its press release Tripadvisor announced that over 12 000 hotels around the world had subscribed to its Business Listings service and added their urls, emails and telephone numbers. Five months after the launch Paris has taken the leader position wih 13% slice of the total listings with urls, followed by Rome, Florence and Venice.
It looks like a great business for Tripadvisor! According to cautious estimates, the above numbers can mean at least 5 million euros in revenue generated by the new feature. But is it really worth for a hotelier to pay from 400 up to 10 000 Euros per year? Since TripAdvisor launched the service we have received many enquiries from numerous hoteliers, keen to boost their direct sales by placing a link, asking whether it pays off. We decided to check it.
- in Analytics and Reporting, Digital Marketing Strategy, Hotel Affiliate Marketing, Hotel Digital Marketing, Hotel Distribution, Hotel Email Marketing, Hotel Industry News, Hotel Mobile Marketing, Hotel Online Advertising, Hotel Online PR, Hotel Paid Search Marketing, Hotel Referral Marketing, Hotel Search Engine Optimization, Hotel Social Media, Hotel Videos, Hotel Viral Marketing, Hotel Websites and Design, Interviews, Online Marketing Tools, Restaurant and Bar Marketing
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I came across a piece I’d written about 17-18 months ago on the future of hotel internet marketing. The article talked about 5 broad tech trends that I thought would radically alter the way we approached digital / internet marketing for hotels back at the end of 2008. I thought it’d be fun to take a re-look at the article and see how far we’ve actually come in the last year or more and if those predictions still hold water… here goes:
1. Choice is king.
The clear winners of the online distribution race will be suppliers and 3rd parties that provide the most choice to the customer. “Experience building” will become key to the looking and booking process online. This will mean that successful suppliers (hotels) will have to break down elements of their inventory like rooms, dining, sports, spa and supporting services into individual units that can be booked and packaged both internally and externally. The more elements you provide to what I like to call the “Experience Engine”, the better the choice available to customers to personalize and tailor their experiences. This creation of experience units will also allow tourism industry suppliers to collaborate more effectively online, as well as spur the evolution of 3rd party providers who provide superior experience engines, taking destination marketing to a whole new level.
Travel and Hotel Reviews…love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’re here to stay. The question just begs to be asked though…just how long will the user-generated model of referrals really last?
TripAdvisoris used as an example in this article because its simply too big and too well established to ignore. However this piece is not aimed at the company (to be perfectly fair, I love TripAdvisor and have used it on many occasions to find and book accommodations in strange and foreign lands). There are various other travel and hotel booking websites, guides and online travel agencies that also incorporate user reviews to add an element of trust and ‘referral credibility’ to their products.
Image Source: Compete Inc. “Consumer Generated Content in Travel” 2007. Not surprisingly, 82% consumers in the survey indicated they trust other consumer opinions over what a hotel had to say about itself. But interestingly enough, even now, less than 70% really trust the information and barely 51% feel that TripAdvisor content is unbiased.
Article published under the name “The million dollar hotel marketing idea that’s been staring you in the face!”
I’ve been racking my brain for the last few weeks over what to write about. The interesting thing is that it’s not lack of choice that’s been the trouble…it’s too much of it! From the excitement caused by US underdog Barack Obama’s win and the promise of a brighter political future… to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer causing a buzz with his first-ever “holographic” interviews in the newsroom, there’s been plenty going on to keep techies and armchair futurists abuzz. And while CNN’s holograms weren’t really holograms when you cut to the chase…one development is very real…the advancing global recession that we’re slowly coming to grips with.
Hospitality media has been filled with reports about dropping profits margins, especially in hard hit areas and suggestions to hoteliers on how to best tackle the market situation, i.e. tough it out, work smart and dust off your selling shoes. What surprises me, though, is that while the hotel industry continues its distribution war with online 3rd parties with super-deep advertising pockets, it still continues to ignore its most lucrative booking distribution channel…its guests!
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