If you are measuring your marketing success today the same way you did last year, you are not providing the value that your external stakeholders and ownership expect and that your internal business partners, like sales and revenue strategy, deserve.
It is not enough anymore to measure how many guest rooms are booked per dollar spent on your paid marketing. Instead, focus your attention on two specific areas:
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1. Are my marketing plays moving the needle relative to the competition in the channels of business that are actually booking right now?
2. Are the dollars invested really changing the overall revenue picture of the hotel?
Change in Hotel Marketing Mindset
To truly evolve to a comprehensive commercial strategy approach where sales, marketing, and revenue management are on the same page, we must align towards shared goals and KPIs.
You can run a marketing campaign with stellar awareness, traffic or return, but the hotel as a whole could still be underperforming. Work with your sales and revenue management team to identify the gaps in market segments that the hotel needs exposure from and what the competition is getting. Once you are able to pinpoint holes in your conversion funnel or flywheel, you can supplement where there are gaps.
It is time for hotel marketers to think about more than just ROI (Return on Investment). Challenge yourself or your hotel marketing person or agency to look more holistically at where the marketing is making an impact. This mindset change will force you to analyze other factors outside of money spent:
● How your competitors position themselves
● Your content and imagery
● Conversion and cancellation metrics
● Overall visibility
Granted, there is no “silver bullet” and it is likely multiple marketing strategies are needed to move the needle. The point is you need to be looking comprehensively at your performance.
KPIs to Consider to Determine Hotel Marketing Performance
While a strong Book Direct strategy is still key to reducing your reliance on OTAs, the percentage of business you get from your Brand website as part of your channel mix alone is irrelevant. That percentage is neither good nor bad until you can:
1) Compare your brand.com production against yourself
2) Compare your brand.com production against your competitors
In the current days where the RevPAR on your STR report may not be something you can hang your hat on, you can/should be focused on outperforming your competitive set based on who is actually traveling.
Hotel marketers traditionally have a more direct impact on transient travelers, thus should be reviewing the performance of the following channels: Brand.com, Expedia, and Booking.com. A hotel marketer’s efforts should be seen in gaining ground on the competitors in these 3 channels.