Updated: Jun 9, 2019
Marketing agencies currently emphasize on either maximizing ROI for any digital marketing you do or to shift booking strategy from OTAs to using a “book direct strategy.” All these are important, no doubt, but they should not be the only vital objectives for your hotel. In most cases, growing revenue-per-available-room (RevPAR), as well as increasing bottom line profitability, measures the success of a hotel.
Below are some of the key objectives to consider when planning your hotel’s business strategy:
Your competition and where you rank
Before allocating funds to any marketing strategy, you need to know your hotel’s competition, where you rank, and where you can reach with your budget. Many hotels with an upper-funnel engagement are shifting from paid search to social as search spaces are becoming more competitive.
To maximize on the clicks, one needs to factor in not just the keywords but also the audiences data. With this, even when you spend more dollars on your upper funnel targeting, you will be reaching people you know about more.
Apart from this, have a sound understanding of your hotel and where it positions in the market. This is the only way you can be sure of what to expect when you do an awareness campaign. Succeeding with this strategy requires your existing customers to be treated with exceptional services. A 4-star rating on Google reviews or TripAdvisor is highly likely to convert potential customers to actual stays.
How do you want your hotel to grow?
There are two strategies to choose from when handling your market; increasing the average daily rate (ADR) or driving occupancy to grow your business. However, there are particular durations when both strategies need to be in play.
Do not overlook OTAs as they are useful, especially when the hotel is lagging behind the STR Report Occupancy Index. Most users only use it to search for rates, and you can capitalize on this to drive bookings back to your hotel.
ADR is the strategy to use if your hotel is doing well with occupancy alone. Your marketing strategy will be all about encouraging prospective customers who had already considered your hotel to go ahead and book directly.
What about seasonality?
Seasonality will not always have a positive impact on your hotel’s performance. The best way to fill the rooms on the right dates is by partnering with your revenue team. This way, you will know the timing when the digital marketing effort is required.
Fitting ancillary revenue into the mix
In digital marketing, online booking is the easiest to measure compared to converted meeting RFPs, i.e., events/meetings/weddings. However, this should not make the former your primary media investment since the latter provides significant ancillary revenue for many hotels.
Bottom line is the digital marketing agency you work with has to partner with your business to help you get the right objectives in place. Understanding your business and its competition is the only way they will give you the right business strategy for your hotel.