Hotels Reluctant to Change Will Lose Millions of Dollars
In an industry that lives comfortably at home with the status quo. It is time for hoteliers, especially, sales and marketing managers, to step up to the plate and shed their phobia of digital marketing. This has always been the case but it is now a life or death business matter in the age of COVID.
The fact is individual hotels are leaving millions of dollars of revenue on the table by not making simple changes to their booking process.
Optimizations that mean serious money to their bottom line but choose not to pursue for… For reasons unknown.
For example, a large Chicago hotel I was working with needed to see an increase in direct bookings through their booking engine. People were starting to book but they didn’t finish the process. They were abandoning the booking engine and buying through OTA’s (Online Travel Agencies).
When the hotel reached out to me we decided on making three changes and would measure the impact those had on direct bookings after a couple weeks.
Luckily, it didn’t take long to get results.
The first change was dead simple and netted additional revenue immediately. Within a day direct booking contribution increased.
What was the first change?
We implemented Revenue Recovery right off the bat. What is that?
Revenue Recovery is simply providing an offer to your potential customers when they move to click the “X” or close the screen (abandoning the booking process).
We interrupted the process of exiting our booking engine and…
Provided them with an offer too good to pass up.
You’ll note there are many days when the recovery strategy nets $10,000+ in a single day. Every hotel could afford to add $10k per day to their revenue. In fact, most hotels, especially now, can’t afford not to.
Social Selling and Trust Indicators
Second, we put together social signals on the booking engine that would display recent 4 and 5 star reviews from Google.
These social signals aided in nudging prospects to book and resulted in a 10% increase in conversion rate.
Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
The last optimization we implemented was a custom Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) widget. This notification displays on individual room types in the booking engine and lets customers know how many people are currently looking at the room and if it might sell out soon.
Digital marketing is not a necessary evil for hotels, it is simply a necessity. Sales and Marketing managers need to look to their team for revenue not pretty pictures on Instagram. Followers are as worthless as a sand dune if they don’t buy.
The fundamental problem, as I see it, is ignorance with a dash of unaccountability.
Revenue from digital should be a requirement for the sales and marketing team and they should be able to show, clearly, how their digital strategy serves your hotels revenue goals and supports sales staff. If they can’t do that it’s time to reevaluate personnel and strategy.
I see this as an opportunity and an industry problem.
Having worked with hotels big and small I know the fear of digital ails hotels of all sizes and in all markets. Be the thought leader in your market and adapt to changing demands and buying behaviors to ensure your hotel’s bottom line stays healthy.
By Robert McMillin
About The Author:
Robert is a passionate digital marketing strategist and practitioner. He works with hotels and businesses that want to break free from greedy agencies and create reliable income from their in-house marketing efforts without the hassle, contracts or jargon. Learn more about how you can break through the noise and create your own success online at McMillinDigital.com.