In the ever-evolving digital advertising landscape, the hotel industry must remain up-to-date with the tools and strategies that drive success.

NB: This is an article from three&six, one of our Expert Partners

Google Ads, a pivotal platform in the hotel marketing toolkit, provides a variety of attribution models to help hotels understand how their ads contribute to bookings. We delve into the different attribution models available in Google Ads and offer valuable insights on what hoteliers should be cautious of when working with agencies that may use tactics to inflate conversion data for their own benefit.

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Attribution models are the compass guiding hotels through the intricate customer journey. They illuminate the interactions and marketing channels that shape a guest’s path to booking. By selecting the appropriate attribution model, hotels can allocate their advertising budget effectively, fine-tune their campaigns, and make data-driven decisions tailored to the unique needs of the hospitality industry.

Exploring All Attribution Models 

  • Last Click Attribution: This model gives full credit to the last interaction that led to a booking. While it’s straightforward, it may not always capture the entire booking journey, which can involve multiple touchpoints.
  • Data-Driven Attribution: Google Ads leverages machine learning to assign credit to touchpoints based on their actual impact on bookings. It’s adaptive and dynamic but requires a substantial amount of data to perform optimally.

Data-Driven Attribution Model in Action 

A potential hotel guest is planning a weekend getaway with her family. She’s been considering various destinations and browsing online for the perfect hotel. During her research, she encounters a hotel’s Google Ads campaign.

Touchpoint 1: Discovery

She initiates her journey by searching for “family-friendly hotels in [destination]” on Google. Then she clicks on a Google Ads link for a hotel which appears in the search results. 

Touchpoint 2: Engagement

The potential guest then explores the hotel’s website, browsing through room options, amenities, and guest reviews. She doesn’t make a booking at this point but signs up for the hotel’s newsletter to receive special offers.

Touchpoint 3: Further Research

Over the next few days, she receives a promotional email from the hotel, enticing her with a limited-time discount. Intrigued, she revisits the hotel’s website by directly typing the URL into her browser and navigating to specific room details.

Touchpoint 4: Booking

A week later, the guest decided to book her stay at the hotel. This time, she doesn’t click on any ads. Instead, she directly types the hotel’s website into her browser, recalling the name from her earlier research, and proceeds to make a reservation.

Attribution with Data-Driven Model:

In this scenario, the data-driven attribution model takes into account all the touchpoints the guest has had with the hotel, including the initial click from the Google Ads campaign, her engagement with the website, the newsletter sign-up, and her direct return to the website for the booking.

Read the full article at three&six