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The pressure is on. Recent mergers are putting fear into the minds of not only their top competitors, but independent and boutique hotels with less brand awareness. However, the fight for travelers attention may not be as scary as it seems for smaller hotel properties. In fact, MMGY found that 59% of millennials stayed at independent hotels last year, which is 20% more than baby boomers.
1. Determine key segments of traffic
2. Analyze traffic less likely to book
3. Personalize messaging
4. Test content across audiences
5. Determine value for each segment
6. Do it again!
Finding a hotel room online has never been easier. In fact, 60% of all hotel bookings are now done digitally and the online travel database continues to grow (failteireland). Getting caught in the middle of the booking battle between OTA and hotel is the new reality for travelers. There is no doubt that booking giants such as Expedia and Booking.com are great at consolidating travel information and displaying seemingly low prices, however, the main issue for hoteliers is that these websites have a primary purpose of booking hotel rooms, not pleasing travelers.
Over the past couple of months hoteliers have been battling over the disruption caused by Airbnb, bringing in an estimated revenue of $900 million in 2015. With the recent change in demographic of travelers it seems that the sharing economy has become the trendy option and millennials are attracted to the personal feel sites like Airbnb and Homeaway. However, many travelers are forgetting all that independent hotels have to offer. When creating marketing content, hotels should focus on these factors that differentiate their services from the home sharing options available.
The 2016 Digital Marketing Strategy Conference brought together some of the most innovative minds in the industry to discuss where travel is heading. The common theme was disruption. A successful digital front is now the norm and a basic expectation of the consumer, and it’s apparent that hotels must now innovate their digital channels to produce the most personalized and responsive content for their guests.
The last twelve months have been full of change for all sectors of the hotel industry. Acquisitions and mergers are a growing topic of conversation in the industry as many expect them to pave the way for hotel marketing in the coming years. One major impact being considered is the changes to be made in regards to customer loyalty programs. With a new direction and promise for personalization, independent hotels and small brands must customize their rewards programs to compete with the big players.
People travel for many reasons, but normally travelers can be separated into two main segments- business and leisure. Identifying the motives behind these two demographics gives marketers valuable insight into how to better engage and give the best experience to each visitor looking to book. We researched some of the top trends by type of customer to evaluate the best ways for hotels to market to each.
Customer loyalty is sought after across all industries. But the recent mergers, acquisitions, and importance of being “big” in the hospitality space, has made brand loyalty increasingly important for hotels. With the new generation of millennial travelers, loyalty programs can be key to building customer engagement for hotels. A 2013 survey revealed that 87% of consumers report wanting some type of loyalty program, and that number has only shown to grow with the new era of travelers (Talech).