Over the last few years, the customer journey has been a major topic and how important it is for us as marketers and hoteliers to reach people at every stage of that journey with relevant messaging. If this is a new concept for you, I encourage you to start here.
Understanding the customer journey and all the opportunities to get in front of your hotel’s guests has opened up doors for new technology companies to provide specific touchpoints and push travelers through the funnel. Examples of this are companies like Podium, Zoottle, TrustYou and even CRM specific companies like NAVIS and Revinate. All of these companies provide meaningful services to hoteliers all in an effort of improving the guest experience and ultimately incremental revenue to the property. (Check back soon for a full run-down on all the tech companies GCommerce recommends.)
Outside of these customer-centric technology companies, most hotels have a digital marketing agency managing their paid media, their search engine optimization, content generation, and social media marketing. So the question then becomes “How do I, as a time-starved hotelier, manage both my digital marketing agency and these other 3rd party partners?” The answer? You don’t.
I can tell you after working with hotels for the last 12 years, you as the hotelier should be looking for digital marketing agency partners that want to be your digital marketing arm, not just take orders and manage your paid search campaign. I recently was in a meeting with a luxury hotel brand and they explained how overwhelming and time-consuming it is to first understand all the different tech companies that exist and what they do but also to understand how they overlap with technology they already have and to identify what the right mix is.
Of course, I am biased and I am not ashamed to say so. That does not diminish the argument that hotel digital marketing agencies (should) have the capability to help you navigate the digital landscape and help you identify the correct tech-stack for your property. Further, your tech-stack should look a lot different than the hotel down the street and their agency is hopefully (or maybe we hope they aren’t) helping them understand what they need and what partnerships will actually improve their guest experience and ultimately increase their bottom line. My point is it should be a custom approach that is grounded in a deep understanding of what’s possible and being able to orchestrate all the tools that exist into a fine-tuned program to maximize your hotel’s position in the customer journey. And, this program should ultimately improve your customer’s journey both before arrival and after.
Here’s my homework assignment for you - on your next conference call with your hotel’s digital marketing agency, ask them the following questions:
- Do we have the right tech-stack?
- Are we doing everything we should be to be ever-present in the customer journey?
- What else can we do to increase bottom-line revenue for our hotel?
I encourage you and your hotel’s digital marketing agency to forget about ROAS for a minute and think about your digital presence start to finish. What is the guest experience when travelers interact with your property online? Could it be better with less friction? It’s certainly worth some thought.