It might be tempting to place all your marketing efforts into the digital space given how fast it’s developing and the benefits of online efforts. But don’t make the mistake of neglecting bookings via travel agents and other offline means.
Offline marketing and revenue can still represent a significant portion of your hotel’s overall income. With the right company strategy, you can cover both online and offline booking efforts, maximising the revenue you generate and allowing you to tap into far more customer segments. While more than half of travellers choose to research or book hotels online, forgetting your offline options can mean losing profitable sources of reservations.
Here are some easy strategies to implement if you want to keep a toe in both traditional and online marketing.
Create Integrated Campaigns
Why separate out your campaigns between digital and non-digital, online and offline?
Integrated marketing plans that consider both methods can be extremely powerful and effective at gaining bookings. Prepare campaign briefs that include a core message, end goal, and a list of valid communication channels, as well as any assets which will be required during your campaign. Once the brief is approved, you should share it with all relevant staff members in order to ensure a symbiotic relationship is cultivated – this will in turn help ensure the success of your campaign. You might choose to include channels such as your website, e-mail and participating travel agents within your offer – perfect for a well-organised and well-implemented campaign blending offline and online methods.
If you’re offering an exceptional deal to customers or have increased your level of service, you want to make sure all your potential leads know about – this is where an integrated campaign helps. It gets a message out to a greater number of prospects.
It’s of vital importance that your branding remains identical both online and offline, helping to create a unified message and establish a brand identity. Whilst a multi-channel campaign can be of great value, this only applies when your customers are able to identify your branding regardless of which channel they are personally engaging with.
Digital marketing for hotels should meet a guest’s expectations, so your activities need to also match up with what your customers have come to expect from your establishment. Whether producing a video tour or providing an offline brochure, the branding should be all your own.
Allow Different Booking Methods
Whilst this could be more difficult to trace with less advanced revenue management software, facilitating multiple methods of booking helps you maximise all potential revenue strands. It would be wrong to suggest that those who purchase offline are automatically technophobic – data suggests that all segments use travel agents to some degree. By making this a real possibility you avoid alienating potentially profitable customers from your hotel offering, and boost the likelihood of real, in-person bookings. Ensure your digital channels include multiple methods of contact and for making bookings. This will help to reassure less technologically-savvy guests whilst also making the most of your online platform.