The secret to getting direct bookings is to target and engage travellers who are planning to visit your destination in the near future. Big data does not capture these buyers as eHoteler confirms – the answer lies in smart data marketing. MARKHAT offers a winning strategy for advertising and re-targeting.
Winning Strategy for Direct bookings by Ian R Clayton
Big Data is Not the Answer
This article has two salient point and a lot of common sense argument that direct bookings is good for business. It concludes that bid data, which is the hot button word right no, w is not geared to helping get direct bookings because it is focused on past guests. That is where the BID data comes from. Unfortunately that is not the BIG opportunity as the number of repeat guest for small independent hotels is below 25%.
“On average, on any given night, only 15% – 25% of guests at a typical independent hotel are repeat guests, the rest are first-time guests. For branded hotels the percentage of repeat guests at any property is higher, but still below 30% – 40%, not counting loyalty members who have stayed at other properties of the brand.”
For more like this see our blog Big Data Marketing for Hotels
How to Find New Guests
Hotels need to engage and with repeat guests for sure and building lookalike Personas is a key use of Big data. The bigger issue is how do you find and influence travelers who don’t know about you yet. On this there are no breakthroughs, but first one must recognized the need for marketing based on Intend Data: “Intent Data i.e. targeting and engaging travel consumers who are “in market” and planning to visit your property’s destination in the near future. Intent Data is crucial to engage and acquire first-time guests, which generate the bulk of room nights at the property.”
The solution are not fully explored in the article so I will add a few suggestions from experience.
A Winning Strategy for Direct Bookings by Ian R Clayton
- Facebook targeting. Your prospects are on Facebook. You can create a look alike audience – just give Facebook the emails of your very best clients and ask them to create a “look alike” audience. You can then advertise directly to these customers
- Adwords keyword targeting. Figure out what keywords guests are using to find hotels in your location. Choose keywords that are Buy words – Hotel Accommodation is too general – but villa holiday in St. Lucia is more focused – more specif the work the more likely they are ready to book
- Re-targeting- Run both the Facebook and Adwords together and run a re-trageting campaign at the same time. You can use a service like Adroll to re-target – they will place a bit of code on your site and all the people who visit it from Adword and Facebook will see your Adroll ads on Facebook and other site they visit on the Adroll network
Advertising/Re-targeting at $$$ Per Click
It will cost and you may end up paying several dollars for a lead (someone who click the ad and get to your site, but it is a great way to get seen and get known. Only 2% of visitors book, many are just planning and looking around. For many it is to early, they just are not ready to book. That is why re-targeting is important. It puts your property in front of people who have shown interests and may well book later on.
Of course in today market dominated by online Travel Agents we are always fighter with the false perception that the OTAS offer the best rate, Hotel must have strong messaging to overcome this. Check out our latest article on BookDirect Straetgies …. Here >>
If you like the ideas here you can buy the book and contact me anytime.
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