Today, we’re talking about…separating the nice-to-haves from the need-to-haves in your hotel marketing budget.
NB: This is an article from Tambourine
The big idea
When the budget gets tight—and let’s face it…the budget is tight—hotel marketers are forced to do what they should have been doing all along. Get rid of any marketing tools and tech that aren’t critical to driving revenue.
No more Mr. Nice Guy
The nice-to-haves should be the first to go. These are tools, tech, and services that found their way into the marketing budget for what seemed like a good reason at the time, but aren’t key revenue drivers.
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Be impressed by bottom-line, not cutting-edge
There’s a time and place to try the latest smart tools like pop up technology and personalization, but are they critical to driving revenue? Or perhaps the better question—is paying for that tool causing you to underfund more critical channels, like Google?
Reduce social to boost individual
Social media marketing is a core tactic, but not everything worth doing is worth overdoing. Hoteliers used to spending $1,500 to $4,500 per month on a social program should ask themselves how much of that program is tied to real revenue. How does the cost of your program compare to how much you pay for your website or generating revenue-driving traffic?
Avoid shiny new toys
Hoteliers rightly look to new platforms or marketing tactics for an edge, but being ahead of the curve shouldn’t come at the expense of the tried and true. Take Voice Search for instance. Cool, yes… but still a little half baked. The dirty secret about Voice Search is that you can’t report on it, and you still can’t book a hotel that way. The reality is, if your hotel directories are correct—and they probably are—then Google, Alexa, and the others are already serving up critical data when people ask for it.
Simplify before you amplify
Sure, a public relations push is a great top-of-funnel strategy if—big if—you’re a big destination resort. But if your budget is tight, before you even think about top of funnel, max out at the bottom of the funnel by interrupting travelers at the point of search.
These are the tools hoteliers absolutely need to put heads in beds at the lowest possible cost, or tools critical to helping your sales team close more deals.
Search, search, search… and support your sales team
Google Search, Metasearch, Expedia and TripAdvisor—These are the critical search engines that cover you at mid- to bottom-funnel (i.e. when travelers are searching hotels in your region). Most hotel digital marketing budgets can/should start and end here. Think about maxing out here before you fund any of those nice-to-haves.
In addition, any tools that help your sales team win more deals are absolutely critical. That means wedding, meeting, or catering photography—key selling tools that somehow get punted year after year. Be careful not to let planner tech and other nice-to-haves take priority over RFP generation or sales support.