As we enter the fourth quarter of the year, hotel marketers should outline their goals for 2024.
NB: This is an article from Travelboom
Hoteliers understand the importance of budget season, but often dread dealing with the details. Some may not even know where to begin. We’ve assembled a complete checklist of everything you need to create your 2024 hotel marketing budget
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Research & Analysis
Understanding where you exist within the market is the first step to creating an effective digital marketing budget for your hotel. This step is crucial in determining where your opportunities exist, as well as where you may need to reallocate funds to address weaknesses.
Evaluate Past Data
The past can help guide the future – Evaluating historical data will provide meaningful insights to aid in determining future allocations. This should include a thorough review of digital traffic, paid media campaigns, organic search efforts, traditional print, and more. This checklist may help:
- Website Traffic: Review your traffic to uncover potential opportunities that might lead to targeting, partnerships and more.
- Conversion Metrics: Is your website driving bookings, leads, quotes, and/or other success events? You should be doing this on at least a monthly basis, and your annual review should be an even deeper dive into how users are engaging with your website.
- Paid Search: Are you achieving your ROAS goals for PPC, metasearch, local listings, etc.? Are you capitalizing on existing demand, or do you need to allocate additional funds to generate demand?
- Organic Search: Is your website consistently increasing in rankings for targeted keywords? More importantly, is this traffic qualified and/or converting? This data will help dictate whether you need to invest more money in content creation, site optimization, or potentially an entirely new website.
- Social Media: Try to avoid focusing on vanity metrics such as likes or follows. Rather, you need to ensure your efforts here are driving meaningful engagement, traffic, (and revenue).
- OTAs: At TravelBoom we like to think of the OTAs as a new business tool, not a set-and-forget way to fill empty rooms. Are you successfully converting your OTA bookings to direct guests? Is your percentage of OTA bookings in line with your goals? Reducing OTA commissions can be critical to success.
- Email Marketing: While email is certainly not new, it is still one of the most effective marketing tactics. Does your CRM employ feature AI, retargeting, and personalization strategies to improve performance?
- Other: What other campaigns are you running that you can measure, and ultimately improve by increasing or decreasing budget in 2024?
SWOT Analysis for Hotels
Do you have a hotel SWOT analysis? If not, now’s the time to create one. This will offer you a chance to look at your property objectively and identify areas to focus your budget (and overall marketing efforts).
What makes your property stand out physically, digitally, and/or operationally?
- Repeat guests
- Exceptional customer service
- Ideal location
- Renovated or new property
- Optimized website
- Frictionless software
Where is your property falling short physically, digitally, and/or operationally?
- Lack of amenities
- Poor or remote location
- Lousy customer service
- Lack of staff
- Outdated property or decor
- Older website
- Software that isn’t user-friendly
- Parity issue
- Lack of data or customer information
What opportunities does your property have physically, digitally, and/or operationally?
- Few competitors in the area
- Inexpensive drive or fly market
- Press coverage
- Loyalty program creation
- Local partnerships
- Area events
What threats exist that might compromise your bottom line?
- Emerging competitors
- OTA and brand loyalty programs
- Poor culture
- Economic downturn
- Negative reviews
- Press coverage
Creating a hotel SWOT analysis will provide valuable insights into your brand’s competitive position. Don’t skip this step! Further, be sure to include a broad range of departments. From marketing to operations to revenue management, your SWOT analysis should evaluate all aspects of your hotel.