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”
“Great…another lame social networking site. I don’t have time for this stuff! Heck, I hardly use my Facebook account…how do people manage to keep these things updated anyway?” exclaims a fellow hotelier. On some days and with certain social networking offshoots I’d be inclined to agree. However Twitter is truly something else.
Although it’s hard to take a count, there are at least 140 ‘popular’ social networking sites, varying in community focus, from business networks to friend feeds to photo enthusiast platforms. MySpace and Facebook lead the pack, with Compete.com ranking Twitter the 3rd largest, with a population of approximately 6 million users and 55 million visitors per month.
Continue reading “Social lessons from Twitter”
I did a quick survey recently called the Twitterati Dozen. This was basically an online survey with 12 questions addressed to prominent and very active Twitter users, to obtain their thoughts on Twitter use, connections, peeves, best practices and more. A big thank you to those of you who participated – the survey link was posted on Twitter and 100% of the results obtained within the first 24 hours. The majority of survey respondents who were contacted directly are based in the United Arab Emirates / Dubai (60%). Other geo-locations include France, the Netherlands, Spain, UK and USA.
Continue reading “The Twitterati Dozen Survey Results – Twitter Use and Hotel Best Practices”
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.
Continue reading “Hotel Recession Marketing – When the going gets tough, Hotel eMarketers play harder”
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”
5 Future Developments that will revolutionize Online Hotel Marketing: “For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today”, says a famous proverb…and what better fit to apply this than in the world of technology and marketing?
The breakneck speed of tech evolution is inspiring (and often scary) but the two keywords that will set winning developments apart from the ‘also ran’ are ‘love’ and ‘simplicity’. It doesn’t take a degree to understand that people adopt technologies that fuel their imagination & passions…and the rate of adoption is in close sync to the simplicity of its interface and operation. Great technology needs to adapt to the needs of the user and future breakthroughs will bear testament to this.
Continue reading “5 Future Internet trends that will change Hotel Internet Marketing”