Today’s travel industry is a rapidly changing environment. Travellers expect more and more from their hotel stay, while the information available to them online is becoming ever more abundant and accessible. It begs the questions: How can hoteliers stay competitive? How can they continue to increase their bookings? The answer to both: With value-based marketing and trivago Hotel Manager PRO.

Because travellers, with their high expectations and ability to quickly compare hundreds of hotel deals online, are looking to buy an experience. They make their decision based on what is important to them, therefore you have to appeal to your customers’ values.

Value-based marketing is a customer-centric approach to promoting your hotel. It’s is how you can identify your target customers, and how you can promote your offerings to those specific travellers, appealing to their specific needs. Let’s see how you can use it to boost your hotel’s success.

The gap between their expectations and your offerings

You might have exactly what travellers are looking for—but if you aren’t aware of it, how do you communicate it to them? If they aren’t aware of it, how will they know to book with you? Value-based marketing is all about closing the gap between your customer’s expectations and your offerings.

Where do you start? At the beginning, with the very first place where your guests find you: on trivago.

trivago is a booking channel for hotels and an important part of value-based marketing

As the above graph illustrates, trivago is a marketing channel through which you can increase both direct and indirect bookings; it’s also the starting point of the user journey. If there’s a gap here, they won’t know you’re their ideal hotel (if they even find you at all). If they don’t find you, they’re far less likely to book with you in the end.

To be able to close this gap, you need to have a thorough understanding of two things: your target customer and their wants and needs, and how your hotel and its services can accommodate them.

Who are your guests, and what do they value?

What countries do your potential guests come from? Are they travelling for business or pleasure? How many nights do they typically book for a hotel stay?

You actually already have all this information if you’re using trivago Hotel Manager PRO. One of the advanced features of PRO is the Visitors’ Profile, which gives you the demographics of all the trivago users (your potential guests) who click on your hotel profile. Your Visitors’ Profile might tell you, for example, that most of your potential guests are from Germany, Italy, or France; and that 60 percent of them are business travellers while the other 40 percent are weekend travellers.

So you know your target audience; now think about what such consumer groups expect; what services, amenities, and conveniences will these guests expect in their hotel experience? For the business traveller, it could be access to a conference room, a printer, or high-speed Internet. For the weekend traveller, perhaps it’s late check-in and check-out options or a famous attraction nearby.

Armed with this understanding of your guests and their needs, you’re ready to take the first step in applying the customer-oriented techniques of value-based marketing: optimising your presence on trivago, to show travellers you’re their ideal hotel.

How do you show guests you meet their expectations?

You edit your profile’s your profile’s Hotel Information with trivago Hotel Manager. The Hotel Information includes your Description, Images, and Details, and you can tailor each area to appeal more directly to your potential guests.
So if most of your visitors are from Germany, Italy, or France, make sure to have your description professionally translated into German, Italian, and French. Have images of your business centre to entice your business-traveller audience, and images of your pool to attract users looking for a weekend getaway. And under your hotel details, check off all the services and amenities that your guests value and you can offer—do your rooms have desks? Check. Internet? Check. Do you rent bikes? Offer late check-out? Have direct access to the beach? Check, check, check.

The more languages your description is available in, the more customer-focused your images are, and the more hotel details you have checked off, the smaller the gap between your customers’ expectations and your offerings will be.

How do you set yourself apart?

What if your competitors are also using similar data to target the same consumer groups? What if they have and promote all the same offerings as you?

In a word: differentiation.
With trivago Hotel Manager PRO you can publish exclusive Hotel News that sets you apart, and it’s visibly displayed on your hotel profile. Perhaps you can offer potential guests a complimentary drink or amenity; perhaps you can give them discount vouchers to a local attraction or event. Whatever your unique selling point may be, use this feature to let travellers know that you don’t just meet their expectations; you exceed them.

Another approach to differentiation is pricing. Compare your rates against your competitor’s with the Rates Benchmarking feature in order to set competitive prices that still fit with the current season and what your hotel offers. Just remember: don’t focus on price alone. Customers weigh the price they pay for their hotel stay against their perceived value of the experience—and they expect them to match up. By communicating the value of your offerings to your potential guests (and not just trying to show them the lowest price), you’re setting yourself up for not only more guests, but also happier guests; guests who will leave you positive hotel reviews.

What else can you do?

Is there anything else you can do to attract the attention of more travellers and drive more direct bookings using trivago Hotel Manager PRO? Of course.

You can increase your visibility and direct bookings by having your Contact Details listed prominently on your hotel profile. When potential guests see your hotel, along with its Description, Images, Details, and Rates, they’ll know it’s their ideal hotel. When they see your phone number and email address clearly displayed, they’ll know how to get in touch in order to book directly with you.

As a follow-up step in your value-based marketing strategy, make sure that the content on your official website is perfectly aligned with what you have on your complete, completely-optimised hotel profile on trivago.

And so there you have it: how to use value-based marketing to close the gap between your customer’s expectations and your offerings and as a result, drive more traffic to your hotel profile and more guests to your hotel. If you still need more evidence that it’s a good marketing strategy, consider this: Alexander Schuster, Digital Marketing Manager at 25hours hotels, saw a remarkable difference after applying this approach to his own marking strategies. “trivago Hotel Manager PRO has helped us overcome the challenge of targeting the right customers with the right offers. Combine this with our price parity visible via the Rates Benchmarking, customers are more likely to make a booking as well.”

In addition, hoteliers who actively use trivago Hotel Manager PRO enjoy a 28 percent increase in clicks to their hotel profile and three times more clicks to their official hotel website.

Interested in trivago Hotel Manager PRO? Find out more and request a consultation today

Do you have any questions? Feel free to ask them in the comments below. Want to stay make sure you get all our tips on metasearch and value-based marketing? Follow us on Twitter.

Menelaos Moustakas

Menelaos heads the Global Product Marketing team at trivago. Born and raised in the hospitality industry, he recognizes that every hotel is unique and therefore requires a unique marketing strategy in order to realize its full business potential. With his customer-service background and business degree, Menelaos strives to enable hoteliers to get everything they possibly can out of trivago Hotel Manager and metasearch marketing, so they can improve their online performance and maximize their revenue.

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