Hotel Marketing Trends

Earlier this month Spa PR was at The Hotel Marketing Conference to find out what’s new in marketing for the industry. Organised by Martin Evans and lead by Pamela Carvell, President of the Hotel Marketing Association, the event attracted a fantastic turnout of industry experts and marketeers including keynote speaker, Simon Calder, senior travel editor of The Independent and TV/radio broadcaster.

Here are some of the top take-away trends.

Upselling

Upselling is going to play a larger role and we’re going to see more dynamically priced packages.  Current top upsells are:

  1. Breakfast
  2. Food Amenities ie champagne
  3. Late/early checkout/check-in
  4. Parking and transportation
  5. Dinner
  6. Spa
  7. Room amenities

Simon Calder explored this subject further asking if the no-frills format used by airlines would soon come to hotels.

Rise of the SuperApp

In his Google update, Ian Miller, CEO of Crafted advised that the tech giant has had a major revamp of its travel planning tools bringing all of its travel services under one hood – google.com/travel. This is a real ‘SuperApp’ combining our online and offline worlds, advising on directions but also where to eat, shop, discover etc.

As google search is focussed on deals it makes sense to ensure yours are up-to-date.  It’s also a useful tool for researching current prices with competitors.

Ian forecasts that Google Ads for hotels will be an absolute must within a year so worth testing now.

Guest Insights

Having guest insight brings you a 50% increase in operational results. In 2020 marketing will be all about the structured answering of questions for every customer on every subject with guest reviews across the most popular channels of Facebook, Google, Trip Advisor and Booking.com continuing to influence bookings.

Increase web dwell time

Rather than trying to attract new customers all the time, reduce bounce rate and increase dwell time.

Reduce bounce rate by checking speed.  A site should load within three seconds.  Serve images in next generation format; delete unnecessary CSS and consider upgrading to a faster server.  Design should always be secondary to conversion.

Increase dwell time by reviewing exit pages in analytics. Ninety per cent of affluent travellers use video to influence their buying decision. Video increases dwell time and two minutes is the ideal length.

Keep social icons secondary.  You don’t want to attract customers away from your site but to stay on your site.

Encourage users to return and rebook.  Google remarketing is the best method working out about 30p/click to deliver over 50,000 free impressions per month.  This helps to remind, remind, remind as the average booking decision is made over 5-7 hours over 3-4 weeks.

Useful Resources: Thinkwithgoogle.com; Seoptimer.com

Best Day for e-marketing

According to Thomas Landen from Revinate, the best day for sending an email to your customers is Saturday and Sunday with the best rate for conversion, Tuesday!

And some useful info on the Meetings and Conference Market

The UK Conference industry is worth £20 bn (UKCAMS) up from £18.1bn in 2017.  66% of events comprise 50 delegates or fewer, 6% have over 200 delegates.  Average size is 72 delegates

35% of conferences and meetings in 2018 were organised by professional conference organisers or an event management agency.  Top influences were:

  1. Venue with a story
  2. Wow factor
  3. Added value
  4. Virtual 3D show rounds

Ways to convert more business:

  1. Send quotes with a visual ‘mood board’
  2. Find out who is the decision maker and what the decision is based on
  3. Position your space to a specific audience or industry ie a Training Room, Pharmaceuticals etc

Do let us know if any of this information has helped you with your marketing.