1. Not betting on a direct sales model.
Although it is happening less and less frequently, we still find hotels that only rely on touroperation or OTAs to fill their rooms. However, there are many reasons to become progressively independent of commissioned channels, the main one being more profit through direct room sales.
This, as it could not be otherwise, leads us to design a own website with an optimized booking engine to make reservations in an easy and efficient way in any type of device. And the fact is that not betting on a direct sales model implies losing even the possibility of converting the most curious potential customers who investigate beyond the pages of the commissioned channels.
If you think about it, in the search process tourism consumers, when they are clear about what kind of trip they are going to make, start comparing hotels and establishments. On many occasions they may not be satisfied with the images that appear on the commissioned channels’ websites and look for more content on the site’s official website. In this case, the conversion opportunities are many.
Obviously, it should also be taken into account that each hotel is unique. Each establishment should have a differentiating value offer that retains consumers on its own website, whether they access it out of curiosity or directly.
For this reason, implementing a stable marketing strategy is fundamental. And while it is important to know, in these cases, what the competition is doing, a very common mistake is to think that your business model, your marketing and sales model is the only one that works and is the only one that should be imitated:
2. Copy the marketing model of large chains.
You’ve heard a thousand times say that “what works for some, does not work for all”, right? Well, the reality is that in digital marketing the exact same thing happens, especially in the hotel sector. In addition to changes in generic search trends, specific factors such as the exact location of the hotel, the climate and seasonality of the place, the services and complementary activities available in the surrounding area and, especially, the specific type of customers, mean that we must focus marketing efforts on very specific strategies and campaigns.
To market hotel products and services, it is essential that small and medium-sized chains bet on greater personalization in travel experiences and on a digital marketing focused on the person. For this reason, to be competitive it is not viable to copy the marketing model of large consolidated chains that have been applying the same diversified strategies to a very broad target audience for years.
It is more than likely that you do not have the infrastructure and resources to compartmentalize all the marketing and sales sections and, for this reason among others, the model you must follow must be adapted to your resources and needs, combining efforts between all strategies and departments (content, social networks, reputation, e-commerce, revenue…) to achieve a common goal: a sustainable increase in bookings in the long term.
Therefore, you should opt for a Smarketing model (sales + marketing) which consists of the effective alignment of marketing and sales teams to work together all channels (in which your business is present) to generate more leads, i.e. to get more potential customers.
In this case it is also important to note that, depending on the resources and personnel available, it is better to focus on those strategies that are more optimizable. For example, it is preferable to generate content, interact with followers, monitor conversations and respond to their requests in specific social networks than to try to cover each of the existing ones and do a bad job.
For this reason it is essential to understand how the customer of your hotel is and where he spends time on the Internet. And in order to work the best strategies and carry out a correct alignment of teams and managers it is necessary to avoid the following mistakes, starting with:
3. Not analyzing the type of buyer personas that your hotel has.
As we have mentioned, the personalization of travel experiences is going to be increasingly important in the survival of hotels. And this experience starts, feeds and ends in online channels, where a wide variety of marketing and sales actions can be planned and implemented. However, the mistake