With an industry changed by COVID-19, hotel marketers have overcome unforeseen challenges with furloughs and lay-offs, drastic cuts to marketing budgets, and limited—if any—revenue.
NB: This is an article from Sojern
For the first time, STR predicted RevPAR levels to surpass 2019, and the hospitality industry is bouncing back. But challenges remain on the horizon, with political and economic uncertainty, and the impending cookieless world, which will change how marketers reach and engage with their customers.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and stay up to date
Hotel marketers must leverage first-party data, continue to drive production efficiently, and optimize their websites to gather additional data.
Leveraging First Party Data
Throughout the pandemic, we learned how to evolve with a changing landscape. With the third-party cookie going away, travel marketers must lean into first-party data to learn about their audiences–their interests, search behaviors, travel preferences, and more.
But, what is first-party data? First-party data is information gathered from consenting users that engage on your owned digital channels. Here are benefits of using first-party data:
- It’s owned by you and helps you understand your audiences better.
- It gives you the information to segment and target the right users.
- There is accuracy and control over who receives your messaging.
- It ensures you’re compliant with privacy laws and protecting user data.
- You create transparency, strengthening your relationship with guests.
By ingesting your first-party data and combining it with Sojern’s data, we can create full-funnel audience segments to reach people beginning their travel search, planning their trip, and completing bookings.
Focusing on first-party data, hotel marketers can create meaningful and trusting relationships with their audiences because the data is appropriately managed and gathered with consent. Travelers are searching for a personalized experience with privacy still top of mind.
Driving Production Efficiently
Hotel marketers must focus on efficiency to reduce costs and drive profitable bookings. It’s the reason why our platform was built to maximize the value of your marketing efforts through the use of data, intelligence, and insights, helping hoteliers find new audiences and bring back repeat guests. Our data gives hoteliers an expanded view of their audiences to show:
- Traveler personas (business, luxury, adventure, family, etc.)
- Top prospects
- Who’s in market for the destination
- Top existing customers
- Top scoring site visitors (recent site visitors scored on likelihood to book with you based on traveler behaviors)
- A combination of the above for specific campaign needs
This advanced segmentation allows hoteliers to be thoughtful about their content and promote to very specific audiences. These audiences also help hoteliers create a balance between upper- and lower-funnel content to make the best use of marketing spend.
Website Optimization to Gather Additional Data
While focusing on creating relationships with their audiences, hotel marketers must produce thoughtful and quality content as well. To build credibility with audiences and increase the chance a user will share additional data, content must be engaging and easy to find. A strong multichannel marketing strategy and high-quality website can create an experience that feels relevant and personal at the right time in the user’s journey.
Optimizing your website can be as simple as finding a balance between what is too much information and what is too little information to give users. Simplify your website to make it easier for travelers to book directly with you.
Driving Repeat Business
Generating repeat business is a key trend for thriving in a post-cookie world. The tactics above–leveraging first-party data, driving production efficiently, and creating optimized websites–are crucial to bringing back repeat guests. Not only can marketers find these travelers through targeted audiences, but now they can draw them in and engage them throughout the buyer journey.