Adopting a multi-channel approach helps expand the reach and target different customers throughout their travel journey. However, budgeting allocation for channels varies from between properties. It is also crucial to account goals and ROI expectations while making a marketing strategy.
Multi-channel marketing is a key topic for hospitality but the industry has not found a standard process to divide the marketing budget for optimal outreach.
Marketing budgets need to cater to search marketing, metasearch advertising, display advertising, and social media advertising, among others. But it is crucial to identify the best way for allocation from the budget. It is also necessary to factor in additional costs like management fees and additional creative or productions costs.
Experts suggest setting up multiple ROAS (Return On Ad Spend) targets as they vary from channel to channel and not just month to month. Setting multiple ROAS targets collectively allows hitting the end-of-year goal.
In 2020, it will become essential to integrate metasearch with the digital marketing mix. Metasearch has become one of the fastest-growing digital marketing channels. It has proved to be valuable for top-of-funnel marketing, like reaching customers early in their travel research. It is also an effective campaign tool to generate bookings.
Poor campaign performances are not always as a factor of the channel being used, but mismanagement of the campaign. Directing more budgets to underperforming channels cannot fix the underlying problem unless the problem is low budget! In many cases, a good direct campaign is far more cost-effective than OTA channels. However, many hotels undervalue and underinvest in the direct channel as they are not aware of the true costs of distribution. For 2020, experts recommend adding more budget to direct. Investing in a new website can show a huge difference in direct bookings and profit margins and can help to shift away from high-commission third-party bookings.
The industry is moving at lightning-fast speed, and it is essential to know about new marketing options and how to take advantage of them to help stay ahead of the competition. This makes it very important to have flexible budgets. Sometimes competitors launch an aggressive promotion, or there can be a sudden increase in searches hotels in a particular area or brand name. Fixed budget and no room for change can lead to missing opportunities that drive bookings.
Data analytics can be leveraged to look at the historical data and gain better insights on peak period trends that can help in decision making of annual budget allocation.