Below is a selection of takeaway thoughts courtesy of Darene Rondeau of Leonardo
Some of the best and brightest stars in our hospitality industry contribute to Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) whose mission is to help increase business for hotels and their partners and to advocate for smart, sustainable revenue growth. This tall order is accomplished through the development of educational tools delivered a number of ways like conferences, smarticles and certification programs to name a few.
As a member of the HSMAI Digital Marketing Council (DMC), I recently participated in our annual Fall Planning Conference along with fellow thought leaders from brands, management companies, technology companies, and marketing firms to discuss issues and trends heading our way and to brainstorm strategies to address the challenges and opportunities.
Here’s a recap of the DMC’s thoughts going into 2017.
Master the Basics:
“Going back to the basics strengthens the foundation”
- It is the boring stuff that really counts here; be bullish on the fundamentals and understand ROI to fight for the right resources
- Part of understanding the essentials is to learn how and why hotel shoppers behave the way they do
- Develop a clear strategy and align tactics to it. For example, is your strategy to increase direct bookings? Acquire new customers? Improve ADR? Or something else?
Mobile has Won:
“If your plans don’t include mobile, your plans are not finished.”
- Mobile websites must be a vital part of every hotel’s digital marketing strategy because of the ubiquity of “on the go” devices
- Apps are better left to the brands where they can be focused on the digital guest experience for personalized service delivery & service recovery
- A growing trend to watch is the appification of the web, which is where an application or a program is packaged so it can be used on a mobile device as either an installed program or SaaS (Software as a Service)
Be Smart about Organic Search:
“I’d rather have a search engine on a deserted island than a game.”
- Leverage brand marketing efforts and avoid wasting money on duplicate ad buys, bidding up placement opportunities, etc.
- SERPs are becoming more and more crowded and competitive
- If you drive traffic to your site and it doesn’t look appealing, you’re throwing your money away
Social “Smocial” Media:
“These days, social media waits for no one”
- Social media is an important channel for branding and engagement
- Social networks play a distinct role in the customer journey, particularly during Inspiration, Validation and Sharing
- Social marketing is often budgeted and planned separately from other digital marketing initiatives; it seems to be out there on its own. Is that good or bad?