Ad blocking—a threat or a golden opportunity for hotels?

According to a recent report by Pagefair, there was an estimated $21.8bn lost in ad revenue in 2015 alone due to ad blocking. And with more and more people choosing to block online ads, what does the future hold for hotels across the APAC region wishing to reach new customers?

To answer this question, it is necessary to look at the reason for the existence of ad blockers. The truth is, advertising brings money. So, a lot of websites started overloading their pages with advertising. The whole online ad world became noisy, intrusive and, frankly, irritating. It’s like going to the cinema, and the advertising slots are as long as the film itself, and worse, they occur intermittently disrupting the film with unrelated content.

This means hotel marketers across the APAC region are going to have to rethink their advertising strategy. Instead of being part of the unwelcome noise, advertising today should be about re-establishing contact with a hotel’s target audience. People don’t mind seeing accommodation adverts if they are relevant to them or their lifestyle. What they don’t appreciate is content they can’t or don’t want to relate to—for instance, promotions for luxury accommodation appearing on a youth-orientated pop-culture website.

To truly cut it in the online advertising world today, hotels need to be thinking about how they make their content catchy and relevant from the outset. That means completely reassessing their digital strategies to get to know their customers down to the brands they love, the places they go, even to the sports team they support. It’s all relevant. Digital marketers in the hotel sector have to start with “where do I get information about customers that I can use to personalize their experience and use as an input to my digital strategy?”

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