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Using new technology to help customers Book Direct

Step 1 – Re-marketing.  Do I need to do it?

Yes, Yes, Yes!

I have been asked a lot recently about whether a property should spend the money on re-marketing and like all things ‘tech’ and online, most hotels are wary and to be honest, I was too… But whether we like it or not, the future of our industry in imbedded in tech and imbedded in data and we need to be immersed. As I have said before… the future belongs to those who hear it coming…

So lets look at the facts:

  1. Most people find and book hotels online – fact. At an estimate, if you removed your contracted business, perhaps up to 80% of all transient business is booked online
  2. No matter what we do with Book Direct campaigns, the OTA’s are still dominant – fact
  3. We are fighting a long and uphill battle to try and stop OTA’s bidding on our brand name to secure prime positions on search engines – fact
  4. Facebook, TripAdvisor have and will become more dominant in our ‘hospitality space’ in the next 18 months – fact
  5. AirBnB has and will become more dominant – whether we chose to believe it or not – fact
  6. Google has already changed the Pay Per Click landscape and there is more to come – fact
  7. Due to these changes, even if you do have a strong PPC campaign, you are still being pushed further and further down the rankings – fact
  8. Organic listing is virtually useless if you are hoping that will get you found – fact
  9. None of us have the financial clout to be able to invest in tech in the same way as the Big Boys and trust me, the online landscape is about to change again – fact

And one other fact is that if a company or consultant (myself included) tells you that there is a magic rabbit you can pull out of the hat with their product or advice, please don’t believe them… The truth is that if you want your customers to come direct you have to work hard and have every single duck in a row.  As well as that, you have to be ready for change because even if you do get things right for a while, the sands are shifting constantly and you need to be ready for the ‘next big thing’.

So back to re-marketing. What is it? Well it is placing targeted ads in front of targeted people who we know have an intent to travel to your area or have the intention to purchase a product such as yours. There is of course some ‘magic sauce’ that goes on with complicated algorithms but the long and the short of it is that everything our customers do online can be tracked.  Big Brother is always watching and hotels can and should use this to their advantage.

There are companies out there that can target customers who are looking… have an intent to travel and to your area.  These customers have a social profile, a demographic and we know that because everything that is done online is captured and tracked.  So with sophisticated algorithms, re-marekting companies can place targeted ads for your product in front of people who are ready to purchase. No generalisation… No need for hundreds of e:shots that may or may not spark intent. Imagine that!  Your property being shown to someone we already know is travelling and ready to buy. If a customer clicks on these ads they will be directed to your site and you (usually) only then pay the re-marketing company once a booking is completed. This is commission based and usually less than the OTA’s charge. Win-Win for everyone.

I am not suggesting that this type of campaign should replace your existing Pay Per Click or anything else that you are doing to help with that Book Direct message but it is an option and in my mind a great one.

So if you need any advice, the team at Right Revenue are here to help just: