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6 Hotel Marketing Takeaways from HSMAI in Pictures

I recently had the pleasure of attending both the Adrian Awards and HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy Conference in New York City. I presented a sneak preview of our new report From Search Engine to Booking Engine: Sojern’s 2017 Hotel Report and talked with hoteliers about the biggest challenges facing the industry. Here are six trends and takeaways from the two-day event:

1. It’s time for marketing to get agile.

Scott Brinker, author of Hacking Marketing, opened the conference with findings from his latest book. He advocates for Marketing departments adopting more of an Agile framework. Agile is a style of project management used by tech companies.

By holding short stand-up meetings every morning—as opposed to longer weekly or monthly meetings—team members can discuss their challenges and change plans quickly and easily. This style can help marketers stay on top of the ever-changing marketing landscape.

2. Travel planning is cross-device.

Google’s Shaun Aukland discussed the importance of cross-device for travel, noting that 94% of leisure travelers switch between devices as they plan or book a trip, while 46% of mobile travelers say they make decisions on mobile, but then book on another device.

Hoteliers and travel marketers need to start thinking ‘mobile first’ about their marketing strategies to reach all these cross-devices planners.

3. Triptease dominates with the swag.

Who doesn’t love socks!?

4. It’s important to consider all points in the traveler’s path to booking, make content that speaks to them, and reach them at the right time.

We had the honor of speaking at the Digital Marketing Strategy Conference and gave a preview of our now released report. We walked attendees through the findings—showing the kind of searches that are done throughout the path to purchase—and offering content that matches.

For example, early on in the planning stage travelers are looking to be inspired. Later on, when they’re comparing options, they are looking to be educated. Creating pieces that offer both experiences is key to matching your content to guests shopping journey.

5. We clean up well.

NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 21: Scenes from HSMAI’s 2016 Adrian Awards Gala at Marriott Marquis on February 21, 2017 in New York, NY. (Photo by Mark Woodward/HSMAI)

6. Fun and authentic storytelling wins best in show.

Courtyard by Marriott won Best in Show for their NFL Father’s Day Video:


It has heart, humor, and showcases what makes the Marriott brand unique. Want to learn more about the ad? Check out our case study where we demonstrate how we served the video on Youtube.

Catlyn Origitano

About Catlyn

Catlyn is Sojern's Senior Content Marketing Manager. She loves playing video games and hiking with her dog, Dottie. Her favorite part of travel is the food, preferring street food to fine dining. She holds a PhD in Philosophy.