Software Advice, a free resource for hotel management systems, recently featured an article about what hotel brands can do to get more bookings directly rather than getting bookings from online travel agencies. With online travel agencies, hotels have to pay commissions for each booking that the agency brings in. This idea would seem like a cost containment measure for hotel brands, and cost containment is usually something that appeals to most businesses. With summer travel season getting started and hospitality and travel being one of our key industries, it is the perfect time to discuss this topic.
A number of the suggestions made in the article are items that a distributed marketing software platform can address. For example, 3 of the 6 suggestions that were made were directly related to the Promotion component of the 4 P’s of Marketing. Marketing communication is a major component of a well designed marketing mix, and despite communication, advertising and brand promotion being some of the most emphasized areas of the marketing mix, these items are often not implemented in the real world as effectively as they could be. In terms of the current environment of marketing communication, organizations of all sizes are having one common pain point. Managing, optimizing and distributing content across the wide variety of marketing channels is a challenge that organizations are struggling with, and is a major contributing factor to the growth of the category of marketing automation.
The Software Advice piece called for an approach that features multiple channels, such as email and social media. One example also mentioned a direct mail effort. While email, social media and direct mail were mentioned as their own tactical approaches in the article, the article didn’t directly state that an integrated approach could be a great fit for a lot of hotel brands. Coca-Cola’s Wendy Clark says that “no single medium is as strong as the combination of media”. For example, integrating an email campaign with a social media campaign offers the potential to augment results for hotel brands. A optimized website, microsite and landing page presence serve as crucial ingredients in the marketing communication mix. A print campaign coordinated in conjunction with online marketing tactics can be even more powerful.
With the proliferation of marketing channels, it is challenging for a hotel brand to be everywhere that their potential audience is. A multichannel, distributed marketing automation solution works to ease some of the key pain points in hotel marketing, which can increase organic bookings for a hotel brand, improving their own marketing outcomes and corporate financial statements.