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What digital marketing solutions should be considered for domestic business?

June 24, 2020 | Ask Duetto Team

After what has been a very challenging time for our industry, it’s time to look at generating demand again. But is now the time to start reinvesting in hotel digital marketing campaigns? The answer to that question will depend on your market and the virus situation in your region as well as in your feeder markets.

Before setting up your digital marketing strategy, keep in mind that the profitability of any campaigns will require time and you might also be exposed to potential cancellations. However, it is important to be ready for recovery by protecting your brand and maintaining contact with potential customers.

Under this new set of challenges presenting limited demand, your focus as a revenue professional has definitely pivoted from optimizing demand to generating demand through the most profitable channels. Now is the time for the revenue strategist!

A good digital marketing strategy needs to assess what type of demand you should be after—existing or new. (If you need assistance choosing a partner to help drive your digital marketing, Hotel Tech Report offers insights and advice here. And here are some blogs we've written about digital marketing, too: Hotel Owners Understand the Need for More Digital Marketing, How to Optimize Your Hotel’s Presence on Google, and Can I Use Revenue Data to Drive Digital Marketing?

Generally speaking, Google offers hotel owners tools to gain visibility in channels historically dominated by OTAs. There are two options: 1.) Hotel ads (i.e. Current Demand) and 2.) Promoted hotels (i.e. New Demand).

When comparing Google against social media, Google can provide access to clients who have never stayed with you. Social media, on the other hand, will require a strong content strategy to attract new clients, otherwise it will probably only attract clients who already know your brand.

To support a digital marketing strategy effectively, revenue professionals must rely on a variety of tools and techniques including those listed below.

  • Determine what type of demand you have and what type of demand you are trying to attract. Flexible segmentation and easy access to reporting to slice and dice your business is crucial to make the best decisions in real time.
  • Understand ‘new’ business patterns. With the absence of corporate business as well as that of meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (mice), day-of-the-week patterns might be behaving differently for the foreseeable future. Special events, which would rely on mice business, will behave differently moving forward. Understanding the gaps in demand will help define your digital marketing strategy to attract business in need periods.
  • Evaluate domestic vs. international travel data. Most international feeder markets have been impacted by travel restrictions that are ever changing. Easy access to your own hotel data will be very important to understand the impact of your different bidding strategies and online campaigns.

To align your digital marketing strategy with your revenue strategy, consider the following:

  • Opaque channels will offer a great opportunity to keep brand integrity and work with new partners.
  • Try to replace segments that have dried out with new segments you did not focus on in the past. Mice vs. campaigns, promoting longer stays, and meeting space with virtual set up are good examples.
  • Avoid a price war with competitors by dropping rates and potentially harming your value proposition and brand. Focus more on profitability per booking.

Collaboration among teams is also going to be more important than ever. Management, digital marketing, sales and revenue functions will need to work together and align their goals to ensure the best possible results for your property. Consider the following to help break down silos and unite your team:

    • Create a clear strategy supported by consistent messaging
    • Share and work with the same data sources 
    • Implement strategies and measure results

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This question was answered by:

Juan Ruano
Director of Hospitality Solutions, EMEA

Juan’s current role overseeing the Solutions Engineering function within the EMEA region at Duetto follows on almost 4 years in Customer Success supporting some of our most valued customers. Prior to joining Duetto he worked for a specialist Revenue Management consultancy supporting many of the best known hotels in London (United Kingdom). Juan’s hospitality career has included working in operations internationally for some famous hotel groups such as Mandarin Oriental, Como Hotels and Resorts and The Savoy.

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