Today's hotel marketing landscape is changing rapidly; the advent of new distribution channels has created more options to truly personalize a strategy to suit the needs of your property.
With that in mind, it was no surprise when a recent survey of Sabre Hospitality customers revealed that understanding new distribution and marketing trends presented one of the top challenges to their business.
When planning their online strategies, hoteliers regularly look for guidance on choosing the top trends to follow. Mobile, social media conversion, and channel management are three key areas where some of the most significant trends for hotel marketers are emerging. This article intends to provide an overview of each and what to look for as you plan your 2012 strategy.1. MOBILE
This trend is number one for a reason: as computing and communications become increasingly personal and user-customized, the term refers to more than just smartphones with internet browsers.
Obviously hoteliers must consider mobile as an important marketing channel, but must also be aware of the trend to expand on-property with the advent of NFC and other device-activated services.
Below is a list of five tips to help maximize your mobile-marketing strategy:
- Start with an optimized mobile website and booking engine which considers user experience across multiple mobile devices, including tablets. Take advantage of this trend with an excellent mobile site designed to get your mobile visitors to the answers they are looking for quickly and efficiently, with the ability to book on every page.
- Think of mobile as its own channel so you can offer special rates, promotions, product descriptions as well as tracking specifically for this market.
- Take advantage of SMS/text message marketing programs. Guest can opt-in and receive messages pre- post- and during their stays at your property.
- Work with sites with geo-location services such as Foursquare, Facebook, Gowalla, and Yelp to offer promotions. Participate in the free marketing programs that many of these sites offer, such as adding links to your website and other social media accounts, uploading pictures or offering check-in deals and specials.
- Optimize your location for mapping and mobile search. Consider running a mobile targeted AdWords campaign with click to call and tailor your message to mobile users.