Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Hoteliers discuss importance of online marketing effectiveness

A recent series of summits found that measuring the effectiveness of online marketing activities was the number one concern expressed by hoteliers.

More than 250 of SynXis’ customers attended five global revenue and distribution summits around the world to share ideas and best practices for staying competitive in a difficult economic environment.

Topics included revenue management, pricing strategy, GDS marketing and Internet marketing, including strategies for leveraging social media as a distribution channel. with some notable trends emerging:

  • Where there once was a clear delineation between revenue management and marketing responsibilities, it appears a convergence is taking place with two-thirds of the attendees responding that they oversee and/or influence both revenue management and marketing activities.
  • In every region, one of the top three biggest areas of concern was measuring the effectiveness of online marketing activities; yet less than a quarter of the attendees use web analytics or reporting as an integral part of their daily business.

Other top areas of concern for the attendees included: competitive actions, business mix and shorter booking windows. These concerns were consistent throughout all regions whilst more than half of the attendees had experimented with social media for their hotels as they search in this environment for a form of differentiation, increased customer loyalty, and incremental bookings.

“The traditional marketing role has evolved and is today, more fiscally accountable than ever before,” said Bruce Hyatt, of SynXis. “Marketing initiatives need to return a good level of investment and there is a lot of pressure to find new ways and new technology to make and save money for the company. An integrated marketing and distribution strategy is paramount in achieving this success”

James Kennedy of Bookassist Scotland couldn't disagree with any of the findings, "Managing Revenue and marketing online now go hand in hand and measurement of online marketing activity such as web traffic, blogs, Twitter and Pay Per Click camapigns are critical in ensuring good growth in online reservations. At Bookassist we recognise that improving understanding of the correlation between revenue management and online marketing is critical and in Scotland our new Relationship Builder programme has been built to encourage the very differentiation, customer loyalty and incremental bookings that the hoteliers discussed."

You can get more information on the Bookassist booking engine for accommodation providers at www.bookassist.org/sco or contact james.kennedy@bookassist.com

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