OTAs have been a fantastic solution in the market for large and small hoteliers. But let’s not kid ourselves, our goal is to get as many direct bookings as possible. Twenty years ago, of course, we would not even have considered this premise. There was no other way to make a hotel reservation. Now, however, the difficult thing is to get it without intermediaries. And it is so difficult that the major chains have designed specific marketing campaigns aimed exclusively at direct bookings. Let’s make the most of it. Let’s learn from the greats! Learn about the best success stories in increasing direct hotel bookings.
Do you know which are the major chains that have been the protagonists of the best campaigns to increase direct hotel bookings? Marriott and Hilton, no more and no less.
Marriot surprised us all last year with the #ItPaystoBookDirect campaign which includes these fantastic videos posted on YouTube Love and Directness are in the Air with Grace Helbig and How to Land a Job with Grace Helbig.
They are very funny stories with a clear message: that by being direct you get the best.
Thus, exclusive members of the Marriott Rewards loyalty program who book directly on Marriott.com, the Marriott mobile app or by phone, get the best rates guaranteed and additional benefits such as free wifi or the ability to check in by phone at no additional charge. A direct, clear and interesting strategy that will increase bookings in your hotels, don’t you think?
With this campaign, Marriott managed to give value, strength and integrity to its brand, while creating bonds of loyalty with its customers . Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But in reality, I don’t think it is. It is a complex campaign with a direct, clear and necessary message.
Hilton, another major chain, reached the same conclusion. Earlier this year it announced its biggest advertising campaign #StopClickingAround. A campaign with a simply amazing video. Entertaining, fun and attention-grabbing. It looks like a music video and the song chosen is Satisfaction, by The Rolling Stones.
It is clear that online travel agencies have helped the hotel sector a lot, but the time has come to show our chest and shout “here I am! In recent years, the general public has believed that the most competitive price could be found in the OTAs… And the time has come to change this false belief.
So, if you are a hotelier, don’t wait any longer. The time has come to take the bull by the horns and go for broke. You alone can offer much more. Better price, better treatment, better service. Don’t hesitate, this is your online moment.