We recently attended Travelmedia Congres in Brugge to meet with hoteliers and exchange insights with other hospitality industry experts. Those who attended got to see trivago data on traveller search behaviour, learn about the importance of affordable and intuitive hotel technology, connect with travel experts, and gain access to the latest insights on hotel marketing.
For those not able to attend the Travelmedia Congres 2017, here are three takeaways that every hotelier should be aware of when marketing their hotels, wherever they are in the world.
Mobile conversion rates need to improve
According to Google’s Maxime Heutz, consumers now expect fast, relevant, and frictionless experiences, whenever and wherever they ask for it. And that’s exactly the question you should keep in mind when selecting the right technology for your hotel. Start mapping the customer journey and the customer experience. What is their booking experience on a mobile device? One of the main conversion killers on mobile devices is the time it takes to load a page. 53% of consumers will abandon a mobile site if it takes more than three seconds to appear on the screen. Do you know how mobile friendly your site is? Here’s a site where you can test that.
This statistic is the irrefutable proof that it’s time for hoteliers to embrace the digital world. As technology changes the world and travellers’ booking behaviours, hoteliers who aren’t able to adapt to these changes will find it difficult to compete. Those who do adapt to the online traveller journey, on the other hand, will find they can generate more direct bookings than ever before.
Daytime-only customers offer a whole other revenue stream
Hotels are for more than just nighttime sleeping. Julien Siegfried from Dayuse, once a hotelier himself, realised hotels were missing out on whole other revenue stream when he saw an empty pool and a quiet restaurant during the day. At the same time, these hotels were wasting money on idle staff with nothing to do but wait for guests to check in.
Hotels located close to an airport can be marketed to travellers stranded because of flight delays or airline strikes, or to those with lengthy layovers. There’s a good chance that businessmen and women would be happy to book a conference room for a few hours to catch up with clients, and that families would rather spend five hours at a hotel pool instead of Gate 23.
Destination marketing organisations can provide leverage for hotel marketing tactics
Many destination marketing organisations now focus on storylines instead of stand-alone campaigns. Take, for example, the Flemish region in Belgium, Flanders, which is renowned for craft beer and picturesque bike trails. The tourism marketing organisation of this area is now heavily targeting bike fanatics and beer lovers. The aim behind these activities, explained Tim Bottelberghe, head of the marketing department of Tourism East-Flanders, is to build a community online of travellers who want to share their Flemish beer-filled or biking adventures with others looking for similar experiences.
Hoteliers can look to such storylines for guidance and leverage with positioning their hotels to the growing online market of travellers. Returning to our Flemish example, hoteliers located in Flanders can use their websites and metasearch profiles to position their hotel bar as a place to sample the famous brews. Similarly, they can use their online presence to promote their hotel to travellers looking for a place to stay while on a scenic Belgian biking tour.
For more industry highlights with hotel marketing insights into how hoteliers can better market their hotels and compete online, check out this section on the blog.