Save Money and Build Relationships with Direct Digital Marketing
By Brian Deagan
Despite unpredictable economic conditions, one truth endures for the hospitality industry – there is always room for improvement to the guest experience. In tough economic times, improving the guest experience is a worthy investment because the seeds of loyalty blossom into a strong relationship when the spending freeze thaws. In ideal economic times, competition peaks and the key differentiator guests evaluate when determining where to spend their time and money is the experience. Positive statements about “improving the guest experience” are a constant in marketing meetings – but how? When resources are scarce, but investment in the guest experience is paramount, an efficient and accountable approach is vital. The most modern, effective, and accountable approach for improving the guest experience is found in direct digital marketing.
Direct digital marketing is a digital marketing method that delivers relevant marketing communications that are addressable to individuals through the primary online channels of email, Web, and mobile using an email address, a Web browser cookie, and mobile phone number, respectively. Hotel guests value personalized, relevant interactions whether they are on property, reading an email, booking a stay online, or reviewing a text message.
Two elements are necessary to properly execute the type of direct digital marketing programs that appeal to guests.
- First, avoid perpetuating organic market inefficiencies by seeking individual relationships for email, onsite targeting capabilities, and mobile marketing. The right direct digital marketing software partner must have multi-channel campaign delivery and management capabilities.
- Second, the content and campaign execution capabilities must live in the same software platform as the data environment. More, that data environment – usually referred to as a universal profile management system – must be designed specifically for direct digital marketing programs. Centralizing all important marketing data into the same on-demand software the content is in enables the truly unique segments and message targeting capabilities guests consistently respond to. For example, building a segment that takes a guest’s email activity, website browsing behavior, mobile interaction, past stay data, and preferences into consideration is ideal for creating a personalized and memorable guest experience.
As the world gets harder, better, faster, stronger in many respects, so do the ripple effects of world events. The recent attacks in Mumbai are a prime example – hotels the world over are now scrambling to take a re-look at their security measures. In terms of broader trends, the worrying shifts in climate pales in comparison to the economic downturn now upon us. Experts claim that this recession is the worst since World War II. The world has always gone through natural economic cycles where every decade or more we take a step back and reevaluate just where we’ve been going wrong…but with increasing interconnectedness, reliance on virtual financial models and technology, the house of cards has become ever so precariously balanced.
The great thing about tough times is that it separates the boys from the men! It’s a cleansing process so to speak…one that rids us of old inefficiencies and forces us to look at better, smarter ways of living and doing business.