Using Always-On Strategies to Complement Seasonal Campaigns
Always-on is always thinking ahead, and capitalizing on potential bookings.
Travelers today are bursting with ideas on where they want to travel, who they want to visit, and what they want to see. People are planning trips 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and it’s time for travel marketers to be strategic in this reality. Always-on is always thinking ahead. Your property may be at 98% occupancy now, but turning "off" your digital marketing means you're missing out on potential bookings in the future. Taking a dynamic, always-on approach to digital marketing can take your strategy to the next level.
Always-on marketing uses first-party data to segment your audiences and then analyzes the intent signals of those audiences to better understand how and when to engage with them. The way travelers are planning trips has changed, and always-on strategies ensure you’re getting in front of travelers likely to book even in the low seasons.
“Instead of advertising only during certain windows to drive peak bookings, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be advertising in the low season, and finding new reasons to attract travelers. Traditional booking patterns—like the idea that people book for spring break in January—are shifting, so the same tactics no longer work,” says Noreen Henry, chief revenue officer at Sojern.
As we try to reach travelers at every touchpoint, travel marketers need a strategy capable of anticipating a traveler’s motivations to then share the most relevant information at the right time.
Always-on strategies can easily complement your seasonal campaigns. By segmenting your audiences and listening to what the data is telling you about them, you can engage them with relevant messaging year-round. Then, when you run a seasonal campaign and they start narrowing down their options, they will choose you when it’s time to book.
This dynamic approach allows you to shift your thinking away from achieving campaign performance during a certain time frame to making gradual improvements over time. By taking away those limits, you can better understand your audiences and continuously optimize and improve performance.
With this data-driven approach, you can make informed marketing decisions based on the numbers. But, without continual testing, you might still be making assumptions about your audiences.
By testing your campaign learnings, you can establish performance baselines and then test your decisions. Without it, travel marketers can miss out on intent signals that are critical to improving their ad targeting, performance, and scale.
“When it comes to optimizing your marketing campaigns to get the best performance, testing plays a critical role. We do a lot of A/B testing on different elements of the ads to see what works best—whether that’s the images used, the ad copy, the calls to action, or various design elements. By implementing different versions of the ad we’re able to see which ads are converting,” says Henry.
It’s time to use data and technology to your advantage and expand your marketing strategies. Implementing seasonal campaigns and a continuous, always-on strategy allows you to reach travelers the moment they start dreaming about their next trip.
To learn more and access the full interview with Henry and other industry experts, hospitality customers, and digital marketing partners, check out our recent report with Skift, 6 Ways Hotels Can Maximize Revenue in an Evolving Data Landscape.
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"Working with Sojern has been smooth sailing since day one. It’s a no brainer because we only pay Sojern a commission on completed stays that they drive. Our direct bookings have more than doubled compared to when we started working together."
“The data that Sojern provides and their understanding of the target audience is one of the strongest points of the company. The insights they presented after the campaign are very valuable for our future projects.”
“Sojern has become one of our closest partners when it comes to performance. I don't think we have a single campaign where Sojern is not the key partner. If it's not broke, don't fix it.”
“I really appreciate how easy it is to use. The direct bookings just keep coming in and there’s not a lot of upkeep on my end, which is nice being a busy property with multiple departments.”
With today’s competitive market, it’s imperative for us to find tailored marketing solutions that both amplify the distinctive stories across our diverse portfolio and support hotelier efforts to drive direct bookings. Sojern’s customizable offering makes it easy for our collection of independent hotels to gain visibility and drive business in key digital acquisition channels.
“The Sojern team has been great at providing insights and helping us to make more data-driven decisions. They’re ahead of the game in connecting multiple data points and solving this puzzle for the tourism industry.”
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