Every business looks for ways to increase profits, reduce costs while maintain if not improve upon their service and customer expectations. With 2018 just around the corner we’ve put together a few marketing simply strategies that we think you should include in your planning that will enhance you hotel’s bottom line. Take a look!
Market Smarter, Not Harder: The theory here is that you should focus on big spenders and loyal customers as theses will potentially generate long-term business and low-value customers rarely return because they are always on the lookout for the next best deal. So instead of focusing on growing sales by a certain % in a certain time frame, really you should look at ways to decrease the cost per customer acquisition which will in-turn increase the bottom line. “Target existing customers by offering enticing add-on goods and services that improve the quality of the company’s main product. These high-value patrons are more likely to purchase these additional items because they already believe in the company. This approach not only strengthens customer satisfaction but also boosts sales so that businesses are improving their top and bottom line.” Anita Murphy
Push Book Direct: The book direct message has always been on the agenda but the mantra really has been a continuous talking point over the past few months – and it really should be an important centrepiece of you marketing strategy in 2018, because quite simply, it’s cheaper! And while we cannot discount using OTAs altogether (not yet anyway!) what many people fail to realize is that over half of the guests who discover you on an OTA will click through to your site to personally check out your hotel before booking!
A couple of things that hoteliers can do to push more direct bookings and lower the costs of using OTAs include:
- Make the entire reservation process simple and efficient. You don’t want to put any obstacles in the way potential guests completing their booking.
- Ensure that you website, including the booking engine is mobile friendly.
- For users who leave their baskets before converting, use an abandonment tool so you can remind potential customers of their earlier search and prompt them to compete their reservation.
- For those who did some page browsing on your website, retargeting plays a major role in driving direct bookings as well. Depending on how much customer segmentation the hotel desires, spending can be finely tuned to target the right person.
- Including incentives as to why consumes should book direct can also go a long way to persuade a guest to book direct. Incentives can included anything from free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast, best available rate – whatever they are, ensure that they are prominently displayed.
- Lastly, housekeeping i.e. keep up-to-date with the latest updates and trends, for example, new Google products such as Google Trips and Google HPA have continued to be brought to the forefront so it is worth addressing these updates in your 2018 digital strategy to drive your direct channel.
Personalize Everything!: Okay this one might not be simple or easy, but it’s definitely something that your guests want – a whopping 74% of consumers get frustrated by seeing content that doesn’t match their interests. By providing a one of a kind customised experience will help increase direct bookings, enhance your bottom line and lower the cost of your marketing efforts. To put some stats behind this, it is thought that personalized content converts 10 times better than ordinary, generalised advertising.
The importance of big data is increasing across all industries. Tapping into and investing in user behaviour data analysis will give you the intelligence you need to plan for and deliver targeted, relevant, personalized messages, at all touch points, to your guests, resulting in better engagement, conversions, retention and ultimately satisfied guests.
Mobile, Mobile, Mobile: Guests are increasingly shifting to smaller screens and rely on mobile devices for every stage of the travel journey. It has become a core traffic platform. Quite simply, mobile dominates, it’s no longer an option – it’s mandatory.
When it comes to mobile you need to consider the full user journey, from the initial information search, through to converting, on property and post stay. There is a lot to accomplish but the end result will see a boost to your bottom line.
The first step is to ensure you have a mobile friendly website and reservation system with strong mobile travel content. “Over 90% of travellers using mobile devices will switch to another site or app if their needs are not being met.” Think with Google. Similarly, Google will also reward your site in mobile searches if it is mobile-friendly and punish you with lower results if it’s not. You should also put a digital strategy in place to support your mobile site such as strengthen your local SEO so you hotel is found on mobile search and invest in local mobile spend to capture the last minute customer.
Once you have master your mobile presence for research and reservations then you need to think about your mobile experience in-house such as offering mobile check-in, check out, keyless entry, push notifications, communication via instant messaging etc. mobile is now a key way to develop deep and systematic recognition of guests and the only way deliver back personalisation at scale in both digital and physical channels, helping to boost guest satisfaction and your bottom line.
Okay, so perhaps they are not the most “simple” of marketing strategies but they are also nothing new! However many hoteliers still fail to implement them – and if anything, these strategies will only intensify over the coming year. As guests are now highly connected and multi-device dependent it’s more important than ever to aligning your marketing strategies to focus on credible unswerving trends to take advantage of all revenue opportunities and enhance that bottom line!
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