The maze of today’s travel sites have made the road to booking a hotel room a long and complicated one.
The modern travel consumer visits more than a dozen places online before finally booking a room – from an OTA to a DMO site, to a last-minute hotel booking app, to Google Hotel Finder – on various devices from their desktops, to tablets, to smartphones.
Obviously, this ever-growing cluster of travel sites and devices have made the search path longer. But, they have also increased the number of last-minute bookings, which account for 13 percent of US hotel reservations.
So, what can hotel marketers do to respond and adapt to these longer search paths, later booking leads and massive clutter of marketing messages?
Here are two important ways to intercept guests more effectively on their path to purchase:
1. Gather Detailed Intelligence
Not so long ago, collecting data on each guest and visitor was a tedious chore that only the smartest and most well-funded hotel marketers were able to do. Now, it’s essential to your hotel’s survival and success. Gathering and managing customer data is both more sophisticated and easier than ever. So, truly, there is no excuse to not know what your guests want, who they are and their preferences. Only armed with this data is your hotel able to effectively break through marketing clutter and appeal to your guests with custom offers that appeal to their tastes. Plus, this intelligence will arm you with the tools to go after “look-a-like” travelers with similar traits.
2. Personalize Your Marketing
Once you start collecting data on your hotel guests and online visitors, that’s when you can make the real marketing magic happen. Invest in tools that will track an online visitor’s behavior on your site so you can deliver a relevant retargeting ad for your hotel. Serve up content that would interest them, based on the pages and areas of the site they visited. Unleash personalized pre- and post-stay emails. Deliver a bespoke experience based on the visitor’s demographics and geography.
Recover abandoned and unfinished reservations. Read: Want an Instant Revenue Spike? Recapture Abandoned Bookings
Never forget that you’re marketing to one person, not millions. With the avalanche of analytics and customer data at our fingertips, the practice of mass marketing is now considered a relic of the business world and major faux pas among professional marketers.
Dedicating your hotel staff to personalizing their marketing efforts will guarantee that your email, aimed to a millennial business traveler, isn’t being sent to a mother searching for a fun family vacation spot, and ensure that a romance-seeking couple is welcomed with appropriate imagery when they arrive at your hotel website.