The Smart Hotelier’s 2017 Top Ten Digital Technology & Marketing Resolutions
By Max Starkov and Mariana Safer, HeBS digitalReflecting on 2016 and successful hotel digital marketing campaigns that impacted the industry, there was an obvious and substantial emphasis on ‘Book Direct’ strategies. Hoteliers have been testing out multiple strategies to increase bookings on their own websites, from loyalty member-only rates, special incentives, unique packages found only on the hotel website, and more. Why? With distribution costs rising steadily over the last five years due to OTAs increasing market share over 40% (vs. hotel direct bookings), hoteliers are starting to understand this is not a sustainable business model.In 2017, lowering distribution costs (the only cost driver hotels have control over), will be the only way to improve top line revenue and the bottom line. In most of the major markets, increasing ADRs, improving occupancy and RevPAR will not be easy. The good news is that with the right focus and appropriate investments in digital technology and marketing initiatives, significantly more profitable bookings and a decreased dependency on the OTAs can be realized.
To help you navigate what is forecasted to be a challenging year in our industry, we present “The Smart Hotelier’s Top Ten Digital Marketing Resolutions” for the seventeenth year in a row.
Smart Data Marketing, I will balance the use of CRM data with Intent Data (in-market) to engage, retain and acquire both past and future guests.
I will implement a Direct is Always Better strategy and lowering distribution costs at the forefront of my digital technology and marketing plan.
I will structure my 2017 Digital Technology and Marketing Budgetin a way that generates the highest returns possible.
Mobile-First will be a common 2017 theme throughout my digital technology and marketing investments as I know travel consumers are turning to their mobile device more and more to plan their hotel stays.
I understand my travel consumers are going through a planning and purchasing journey spanning across multiple devices and touch points, and will implement Multichannel Marketing Campaignsto reach them across the various touch points of that journey.
I understand there should be the right Balance Between Beauty And Science Behind My Property Website, and that focusing on aesthetics alone will mean my competitors will steal my market share.
I will not treat every website visitor the same and will take Dynamic Content Personalization to the next level in 2017.
I understand that CRM is a must-have componentof overall past and future guest engagement, retention and acquisition.
I will not underestimate the impact of players like Airbnb, and will focus on presenting features and amenities that Airbnb properties lack.
I will choose a Digital Technology And Marketing Partnerthat understands the industry, my property, and how to drive direct website bookings.
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