Loyalty is no longer a main driver in the consumer travel decision. It may be part of the decision and helps determine the hotel consideration set, but price/value is king. One of the biggest influencers here is that in general, hotels have lost their connection with the traveler to the OTAs.
Hotels can’t compete with the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on advertising by OTAs. Digital marketing basics of PPC and SEM offer an uneven playing field when Google search puts your hotel on an OTA sites before your own brand.com. And there can be 3, 5 or more different third-party listings prior to getting to an official site.
There are just too many intermediaries between the consumer and the supplier (the hotel). Are the intermediaries adding true value to the travel consumer and their experience?
There are ways hotels can start getting control of that relationship back. Here are just 3 of them:
- Understanding the travel consumer and their shopping behavior
- Know your third-party vs direct share for online search as well as bookings
- Monitor the impact of your marketing between direct and indirect channels - from a geotargeting and demographic marketing view
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