Multichannel Marketing for Hotels: Making Expectations a Reality
Tips for hoteliers looking to implement an effective multichannel strategy
Travel planners seek information from as many as 38 travel sites before making a reservation, according to Skift. Just under half (15.5) of those searches occur the week before booking. So, it’s fair to say that to be successful in capturing traveler attention, you need to employ a multichannel marketing strategy to keep up with the planning and booking journey.
Conversions double for hotels that have adopted more than one channel—for example, a campaign combining display, social, metasearch, and search engine marketing (SEM). The expectation is that businesses can leverage data from multiple channels to better understand their customers and deliver personalized and targeted marketing messages, leading to higher conversion rates and customer loyalty.
Achieving a seamless strategy isn’t easy. Hotel marketers need insights, technology, and partners to support an effective multichannel approach. In this article, we’ll explore how to meet the high expectations of a multichannel strategy.
An obvious expectation of a multichannel strategy is that it provides hotels with the opportunity to appear in front of travelers from the moment they are dreaming of their stay, to the time they decide to book.
One day, a potential guest may be scrolling through Instagram and see an ad from your property inspiring them to visit. Next, they could be actively searching for your hotel on Google Maps, and you’ll want them to be served your metasearch ad ahead of the competition. No matter where a potential guest engages with your ad, you want them to have a seamless and cohesive experience.
As consumers seek more personalized communications from hotel marketers (over 70% say they expect personalization from companies), the experience and messaging needs to be consistent from start to finish within a multichannel campaign.
Each channel has its own unique requirements, which means coordinating and aligning messaging, teams, and technologies can be complex and time-consuming—often requiring expertise or resources that many smaller teams don’t have in-house. For example, you may come up against challenges when integrating data, or knowing how to optimize the multichannel campaign once it is up and running, and look to partners like Sojern, to help support these efforts.
By leveraging multiple channels, you can expect to increase reach, engagement, and conversion rates, as well as enhance customer loyalty and retention. The performance of a single channel can be amplified when partnered with other platforms rather than when used in silos.
Multichannel strategies come with the expectation of a ‘unified view’ of campaign performance and attribution. The ability to analyze cross-channel performance from one source of truth, helps marketers avoid duplication on conversion tracking, and prevent wasted spend as a result of being charged for the same interaction twice.
Top Tip: For brands looking to understand more about the sustainability of their marketing efforts, and improve their carbon footprint, there is research that reveals that 15% of brand ad spend is wasted, which contributes to increased carbon emissions.
In today’s crowded and somewhat confusing marketplace, the reality of multichannel marketing is that managing numerous channels can be overwhelming.
A multichannel strategy calls for content that is tailored and optimized to each channel, meaning marketers need to stay up-to-date with the ever-evolving intricacies of multiple platforms. Often, those tasked with managing the marketing efforts for a hotel also have many other responsibilities such as front desk management, or customer service, which means less time to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in the digital marketing world.
In order to maximize spend and margins, hoteliers may turn to a third party to help guide their multichannel strategy. Taking this task away from internal teams allows them to focus on creating an exceptional customer experience, without spending unnecessary time on
When implementing a multichannel marketing strategy, you can expect to collect a wealth of traveler insights and clean data that you can use to inform future decisions. By adding more channels to campaigns, you can gain a more holistic and comprehensive understanding of traveler behaviors, preferences, and interactions, which can be used to optimize marketing and business strategies.
If you’re not used to dealing with data, knowing what to do with multichannel campaign findings can be complex. Each channel has its own way of presenting campaign insights and results, and in some cases, the data formats may vary. Various tools are also often required to analyze the data collected, which complicates the data analysis and integration process.
Without a clear understanding of the data and how to interpret it, it becomes challenging for hotel marketers to make informed marketing and business decisions, negating one of the key benefits of a multichannel campaign. It is important for hoteliers to spend some time looking at the campaign insights, and deciding what behaviors and performance indicators are important to them as a business in order to optimize their future strategy. Due to the technical and analytical nature of the task, it can be helpful to partner with a third party who deals with traveler insights on a regular basis, ensuring that you get the most from the valuable data you’ve collected.
Overcoming these realities requires a commitment to ongoing optimization, the ability to adapt to ever-changing market dynamics, consistency in messaging, and the time and resources required to implement a strategy effectively. The benefits of multichannel campaigns are huge and now is a perfect time for hoteliers to take the step towards including them in their future strategy.
Sojern helps thousands of hotels achieve a seamless multichannel strategy every day. Reach out to our hotel marketing experts to find out more about starting your multichannel journey.
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“With any product and service, you have to spend time and resources to grow your customer base. Sojern provides us with an extremely effective way to increase our direct bookings and maximize guest lifetime value. The platform delivers impressive results, achieved with minimal time and resources invested by the team. It's a great product and service that I never have to sell to ownership–the results speak for themselves. Sojern seamlessly integrates into our marketing distribution, freeing us up to focus on other initiatives. When a program performs this well, I know we're making the right marketing investments.”
“Sojern is the top performing conversion partner that we've run for travel specific activities. I would definitely recommend investigating how to work with Sojern to my agency peers with travel clients. Their team is really proactive, and very quick on everything we need. We value the great quality in terms of reports and support the team provides, and on top of that, we also see activities perform incredibly well. So clearly, there's a lot going on in the back end to make sure we're hitting and meeting all of Sandals’ KPIs.”
“We were seeking a partner that could help us increase our direct booking share and reach, as well as overcome seasonality challenges. We looked at Sojern, which was very well recommended, and I can definitely say we made the right choice. Working with Sojern is so easy and reliable and the entire process is incredibly smooth and straightforward. Since joining Sojern we consistently convert new guests looking to visit the Caribbean, regardless of seasonality.”
“Working with Sojern, it’s not just a cookie-cutter solution, as Sojern listens to our needs and recommends what’s best for our hotel. We have someone to bounce ideas off of, and Sojern gives us a higher-level perspective on how we can get the best value for our investment.”
“We love the simplicity of the solution and how clearly we can see results. The technology works so well that it leaves us to do our other day-to-day jobs. We are seeing increased interest in our superior and deluxe rooms as a result, which is improving the overall average booking value. I think we will be long-time customers for as long as Sojern continues to perform the way it does today!”
We’re ready to help you take the guesswork out of your digital marketing. Contact us to tap into the travel industry’s most intelligent marketing platform.