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.
Continue reading “Hotel Internet Marketing by 2013 – Are we on Track?”
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!
Continue reading “Hotel Referral Marketing – Hotel Guests are a key Distribution Channel of the future”
Affiliate Marketing has been around for quite some time, but it’s surprising to see how many hospitality sales & marketing professionals are unaware of the tremendous online opporunities that exist. So just what is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is an Internet-based marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s marketing efforts. Affiliate marketing is also the name of the industry where a number of different types of companies and individuals are performing this form of Internet marketing, including affiliate networks, affiliate management companies, and in-house affiliate managers, specialized third party vendors, and various types of affiliates / publishers who promote the products and services of their partners. (Source: Wikipedia)
While Hotels can employ a variety of affiliate marketing techniques, primary methods include setting up their own simple affiliate program where those who generate sales are rewarded with a commission (much like a travel agent commission, but usually lower than the 10%)…or working with established online affiliate marketplace like Commission Junction (CJ.com) to create an affilate program.
Continue reading “An introduction to Hotel Affiliate Marketing”