Of the most pressing issues facing hotel marketers, internal stakeholder communication and education about digital marketing continues to be often overlooked and neglected.
Especially with budget season moving into high gear, now is a great time to help general managers and owners better understand the basics of the customer journey (what customers do in the digital space when planning and booking travel), why we need to invest where (it’s not all last-click…), and the costs of acquisition of the various channels in our toolkits.
HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Council recently discussed the question of, “What are the digital developments that every GM needs to have at least a basic understanding of?” From the very basic to the more advanced, here are their top 8 recommendations:
- First and foremost, understand your own hotel’s digital landscape. Through which channels (brand.com, OTAs, meta, etc.) does what percentage of your business come? For those largest pieces of the pie, focus your attention on understanding what is driving them, and the digital trends and developments happening there.
- Understand the digital marketing funnel, and the difference in ROI between efforts directed at filling the top of that funnel and pulling business though the bottom of it.
- Pay attention to the impact of the guest experience, reputation management, and social media on your hotel’s digital outreach and pricing power.
- Especially if you are part of a brand and/or management company, be very clear on the company’s overall strategy when it comes to natural search, websites, and more. Understand the tools and resources already available to your property from the brand and the management company. And for goodness sake, don’t sign up for extra products, services, or channels without understanding what the umbrella company is doing.
- Realize how ads work on Google (and other places). When you’re online, don’t click the ad result for your property because you’re burning up your own marketing budget!