Many marketers would agree that the pandemic has raised many questions, including how to adapt their hotel marketing strategy to continue to attract and convert guests in an uncertain environment. From first navigating the early days of the pandemic to embracing new vocabulary around hygiene, we’ve all been forced to experiment and try new ways of working.
Throughout this little-known period, collaboration and communication have been essential pillars. Not just with clients or colleagues, but across the travel industry and beyond. At Amadeus, we’ve embraced this too, working with hoteliers and organizations such as HSMAI, HOSPA and the Institute of Hospitality to deliver a e-book series focused on operations, sales, marketing and revenue management. The aim of these eBooks was to combine insights from Amadeus and industry experts to provide hoteliers with practical tips and strategies that could help them build back stronger after the pandemic.
Read on for an overview of six key steps to creating an effective hotel marketing strategy in today’s world:
1. Review your plan regularly
As market conditions change, it’s important to monitor your marketing strategy closely to ensure your communications plan resonates. We created four potential phases to find out how travel could return to the world. By comparing your market to the four stages, you can understand where you are now and what indicators to look for when planning for the future.
2. Make data-driven decisions
With so much uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, use the data whenever possible. It’s the most powerful asset in today’s climate, and every hotelier should review it regularly. For example, a major shift during the pandemic has been a shift in booking windows, with many travelers booking accommodation within seven days of arrival. Marketers could use this information to create last-minute promotions or maintain flexible cancellation policies that encourage uncertain travelers to book sooner.
If you’re new to data, scour the Internet for additional resources that use forward-looking information to analyze hotel and airline performance in major regions around the world. With data influencing your marketing strategy, it becomes easier to trust the decisions you make.
3. Check current and future customer profiles are up-to-date
The shortening of the reservation window is not the only new trend that has emerged over the past year and a half. Consumer motivations and booking habits have also changed. A notable trend is the growing interest in “workcations” and the desire to work abroad for a few days or months of the year. Several chains and tourist offices have adopted this trend, creating new programs or improving facilities in order to conquer this market. As you seek to attract available demand, it is no longer enough to assume that the needs of your previous or future customers remain the same as before the pandemic. Effective marketing requires updating these profiles with any changes. Models such as these are a handy asset to get you started.
4. Create relevant messages
Once you understand your market, who your audience is, and what drives them, it’s time to incorporate that into your message. The important point to remember here is that even if you know what a client is looking for, they should clearly see how your property appeals to them. With such competition in the global marketplace, it will be essential to focus on what sets you apart from the crowd. Once you’ve established that, it’s time to spread the message across a wide range of channels to maximize reach. Some potential channels include the web, email, social media, and your booking engine. Don’t forget to involve the sales team here; make sure they understand this message and have the resources to deliver it in a digital environment.
5. Use marketing to capture demand
Did you know that digital media and advertising ranked as the most useful technology for hoteliers during the pandemic? With many companies Currently facing limited budgets and resources, it’s more important than ever to create compelling marketing that converts. Once your target audience notices your property, pique their interest with a variety of promotions and roll them out across a wide range of channels. As consumers move into the consideration phase, how can you increase conversion? Digital marketing can be particularly helpful here, with tools like remarketing and metasearch. Amadeus partners with key players to help you maximize your success across these channels. Discover some of the ways we recently collaborated to update several metasearch features and help drive more direct bookings.
6. Retention is Key
Once you’ve spent time acquiring new customers or reaching out to previous ones, the trick is to make sure they come back to your property or channel. One way to do this is to communicate regularly. A common mistake is relying solely on communication to encourage bookings or ahead of an upcoming stay. But effective communication includes all stages of the traveler’s journey. This extra effort can go a long way in keeping your property top of mind and increasing overall guest satisfaction. Loyalty programs are also a powerful tool, with features like special member rates that can incentivize bookings and increase revenue. If loyalty isn’t already part of your strategy or you need more guidance, check out the Hotel Loyalty Guide.
The steps outlined in this article are just an overview of what is available in the Rebuilding Hospitality – Marketing eBook. Filled with trends, data points and insights from industry professionals, it’s your one-stop-shop for developing an effective hotel marketing strategy that attracts, converts and retains guests. If you’re looking for additional guidance or are interested in our other e-books on revenue management, operations, and sales topics, visit the Rebuild the trip library.
Amadeus delivers more personalized and authentic travel experiences. Our solutions are designed to enrich every step of the traveler journey and help hotel providers acquire, serve and retain customers by cost-effectively driving demand and converting them into loyal fans.
With over 30 years of experience, we design open, industry-leading software to deliver the most efficient, reliable, and dependable systems to our customers. With experts in over 175 countries, we have deep knowledge of the hospitality industry and want to enable our hotel partners to create memorable experiences for our guests.
To learn more about Amadeus, visit www.amadeus-hospitality.com.