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?”
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.
Continue reading “Hotel Internet Marketing Strategy – Practical Tips for Direct Digital Marketing”
“We’ve come a long way, baby” claimed a high-spirited pop idol not so long ago, following up on the claim with an equally upbeat track. And so we have…in the world of Internet Marketing too. From the age of information (think glorified electronic brochure) on the web to the world of snappy online transactions…we’ve now moved into the age of an experiential and social Internet, all great leaps in a relatively short space of time. Hotel eMarketers can lay claim to that cheery phrase too, as far as marketing and distributing hotel rooms on the internet is concerned, in spite of the traditional, people-centric nature of the industry. But despite the eMarketer code to boldly go where no other hotel marketers have gone before, very few venture into the fuzzy world of online marketing beyond rooms.
Continue reading “Hotel eMarketing – Beyond Rooms. Internet Marketing for Spas, Restaurants, Offline Tracking and more”