The guide to digital marketing for hotels and resorts in a multiscreen world

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Hospitality marketers already face myriad choices in how
to reach their guests and targeted travel shoppers, whether
through search, social media, display media, or email marketing. And recent changes in how consumers access information only serve to compound this challenge.

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The guide to digital marketing for hotels and resorts in a multiscreen world

  1. 1. DIGITAL MARKETING FOR HOTELS AND RESORTS IN A MULTISCREEN WORLD Produced by Tim Peter, President & Founder of Tim Peter & Associates, LLC in conjunction with Joe Hyman, President & CEO of Vizergy Travel shoppers and guests constantly research and book rooms on multiple screens and devices, often shifting from screen to screen without even thinking about it. The opportunities available to hospitality marketers due to this “anytime, anywhere” access to information far outweighs the downsides — so long as you take advantage of them.
  2. 2. 2 / Digital Marketing for Hotels and Resorts in a Multiscreen World The Multiscreen Environment Hospitality marketers already face myriad choices in how to reach their guests and targeted travel shoppers, whether through search, social media, display media, or email market- ing. And recent changes in how consumers access information only serve to compound this challenge. These changes have been driven by the emergence of new devices that allow con- sumers to access media and services where and when they want, using one — or more — of four key screens: • Television • PC (desktop or laptop) • Mobile (specifically 3G, 4G, and Wifi-enabled smartphones) • Tablet computers (such as the iPad, Nexus, Galaxy Note, or Kindle Fire ) This “4 screen” landscape offers a variety of challenges for hospitality marketers. However, the opportunities avail- able to marketers due to this “anytime, anywhere” access to information far outweighs the downsides — so long as you take advantage of them. According to recent research, nearly 90% of all media consumption every day occurs across these 4 screens. Televisions, PCs, mobile devices like smart phones, andtabletshavereplacednewspapersandmagazinesasmany consumers’ go-to source for information and entertainment. Your ability to reach your customers going forward depends on your ability to reach across these 4 screens at the right time to engage and attract potential guests. This paper seeks to help you adapt your efforts to do just that.   Core Questions Because of the growth of multiple screens and mobile technology, the digital travel lifecycle now encompasses all steps in your customer’s journey, including: 1. Research. Guests discover options for where to stay. 2. Booking. Guests choose the property that meets their needs and reserve their stay. 3. Experience. Guests arrive on-property. Mobile and multiscreen allow effective marketers to reach guests on-property in ways that haven’t existed before. 4. Relive. Guests post photographs and share stories with friends and family on social networks, reliving their experience again and again. 5. Return. Guests engage with the property post-stay, increasing the likelihood of a return visit. Throughout the aforementioned digital travel lifecycle, provide the right content in the right screens to nurture and grow travel shoppers into return guests.
  3. 3. 3 / Digital Marketing for Hotels and Resorts in a Multiscreen World The most effective marketers going forward will be those who adapt their efforts to reach their customers at each step in the process and on each screen. While this may seem a daunting task, you can meet and exceed customer expecta- tions in the multiscreen world by continually asking these three key questions: 1. What screens and devices do my guests use? 2. How do my guests use that device? 3. How can I support my guests and deliver my message on that device? The following sections seek to answer these questions and provide a framework you can use to continue answering them in your hotel every day. Overall Multiscreen Activity Thanks to the growth of the multiscreen world, your guests can access information about travel when and where they want. Television still represents the king of media-consump- tion devices, with consumers logging more than 43 minutes per day in front of the tube across 114.1 million households. But, TV is no longer “the idiot box” it once was. eMarketer research suggests almost 25% of all US households use Internet-connected TVs regularly and projects that number to increase to roughly 53% within 4 years. In addition, due to multiscreen shopping behavior, guests don’t need a “smart” TV to connect with the information they want. Today, many consumers use 2, 3 or all 4 screens at some time during their travel planning experience. According to Google, 77% of consumers use another device while watching TV,withsmartphonesrepresentingthemostcommon“second screen” and tablets close behind. One notable effect of this is that TV often drives search activity (whether on smartphone or tablet), based on what consumers see on-screen. As the IAB states, “...[d]igital dominates product research; 72% of [4 screen] respondents’ sources are online.” Over time, both the actual screens your guests use and the total number of screens used may shift. In fact, according to Nielsen, TV ownership has declined by over a million homes in the last two years as consumers watch more video online, and smartphone use now trails TV by only a small margin. Additionally, just as television ownership has declined slightly, PC sales have fallen over the last several years due to the introduction of inexpensive but powerful tablet computers (and, in some cases, mobile phones). By contrast, it’s possible that Google’s Project Glass and its competitors — computing devices worn like eyeglasses or wrist- watches — may take the place of a consumer’s smartphone. In any case, the following data from Pew Research illustrates how common Internet-connected devices have become: i  Device Mobile Phone Smart Phone Tablet computer (iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, etc.) Desktop computer Laptop computer % Of American Adults Who Own  i 85% 45% 25% 58% 61%
  4. 4. 4 / Digital Marketing for Hotels and Resorts in a Multiscreen World This all adds up to tens of millions of consumers in millions of households that are using multiple devices and screens to research and book travel. Your Guests' Multiscreen Activity Of course, none of this data matters if it doesn’t reflect your guests’ activity. Fortunately, many tools exist to help you understand and react to that activity. We recommend the following steps to find and reach your multiscreen customer: 1. Review your website data to drive your digital marketing decisions. Industry statistics may be helpful at times, but nothing is more relevant than your customers’ actual activ- ity. Your web analytics provide actionable insights into the devices your customers use both today and in the future. To- day, mobile often accounts for 10% to 20% of website traffic. Work with your agency to review your data for the past 6-9 months and note both the total amount of mobile traffic and the growth in that traffic. While no growth curve continues indefinitely, the data outlined previously suggests mobile volume will likely continue to increase over the next several years. Ultimately, marketers achieving the greatest success with multiscreen guests do so by letting the data drive their decisions. As the market continues to change and as guests adopt an increasingly diverse set of devices, you can no lon- ger rely on instinct or feel to know what’s most appropriate. Monitor your site’s data regularly and use that data to drive your digital marketing decisions. 2. Target your actions to your guests’ most common devices —  and their expected outcomes. Research from Google shows that guests use the device most appropriate to their goals at a given time. Additionally, 90% of consumers move across sev- eral screens to accomplish those goals, starting on one device and moving to others as location, available time, and desired goals shift . For example, roughly 75% of travel shoppers use tablet computers in their home, as opposed to the almost two- thirds of smartphone shoppers who use their device outside the home, with the single greatest percentage of that time (28%) spent in their car. These different contexts lead to very different consumer behaviors. Among “true” mobile users (as opposed to those using tablets), 33% look to purchase within the same day, reflecting the “on-the-go” reality these travelers face. Leading brands in mobile marketing across such diverse industries as hospitality, travel, publishing, entertainment, and financial services have learned that success comes from using the best screen available to the consumer at a given time and tailoring your message to that situation. First, review what information these guests are searching for and on which screen (again, your website analytics can help you understand this information). Then ask, “How can I enable guests to accomplish their specific goal (research, booking, loyalty, mapping, calling, etc.), given their conditions (avail- able time, location, etc.)?” For instance, some hotel chains offer “Hotels Near Me” search functionality on mobile devices, allowing guests to find hotels quickly without entering infor- mation already available to the device. Others have removed their requirement for guests to provide a credit card during Additionally, 90% of consumers move across several screens to accomplish those goals, starting on one device and moving to others as location, available time, and desired goals shift . ” ”
  5. 5. Digital Screens Content Development Travel Shoppers Digital Landscape Content Multiple Devices Screens Segments Time Travel LIFE CYCLE What information are different groups searching for? When and how is content accessed? Hotel Internet marketing is complex to say the least. Marketers need to be experts on the various digital devices/screens, the proper content to serve on said screens, and the consumer behavior of travel shoppers, which all converge in the ever-changing digital landscape. When in the cycle is information accessed?  RESEARCH  BOOKING  EXPERIENCE  RELIVE  RETURN Target Market Which screen are they are using, and what are they doing? GOOGLE GLASS Image Credit: Google 5 / Digital Marketing for Hotels and Resorts in a Multiscreen World booking process on mobile devices, streamlining consumers’ ability to book when in a time-constrained environment. It’s also important to put yourselves in travel shoppers’ shoes from time to time. Evaluate your Web presence across each screen to make sure you’re providing seamless transitions and the information needed. 3. Ensure consistent messages across channels. In a world with consumers accessing information on 2, 3, or 4 screens, “offline” rarely exists any longer. In fact, according to one study, 44% of cell phone owners sleep with their phones to ensure they’ve got access to the information they want, when they want it. This “always on” behavior explains why guests shift devicesasneededtoaccomplishtheirgoals.Forexample,while one-third of mobile users book within the same day, that still leaves two-thirds not ready to book who will continue to seek additional information at a later time and, often, on another de- vice. Providing clear, consistent messaging across experiences helps potential guests retain valuable information and “pick up where they left off” as they shift devices. Check out the following infographic that breaks down the digital screens and content development considerations.
  6. 6. 6 / Digital Marketing for Hotels and Resorts in a Multiscreen World 4. Leverage email marketing. Email offers an excellent tool to ensure consistent messaging across devices, and also dramatically increases the likelihood to book, literally putting your brand in your hands. Along with accessing the Internet, reading and sending email remains one of guests’ primary activities across all screens. Additionally, guests opting to receive email communication from hotels and resorts frequently convert at a higher ratio relative to other marketing channels. Delivering timely, relevant and mobile optimized email offers ensures your hotel remains in front of your guests when they’re ready to research, shop, and book regardless of the screen they use to connect with your hotel. Having data with a high level of integrity in your property management system or eCRM system enables you to send targeted and personalized emails. 5. Explore cross-device functionality. Guests frequently access your hotel’s information on several devices across multiple sessions prior to booking. Explore ways to aid them in saving and sharing information across those devices, for example through loyalty programs or customer logins. Make it easy for guests to move across devices and you will increase their likelihood to be engaged and make a purchase. You should also encourage guests at the property level to post, tweet and pin their own user generated content, as mobile devices have made this such an easy task. This way, guests become brand advocates, and their sharing becomes viral, spreading across their social networks like wildfire. 6. Responsive design or separate mobile website? You may have read about or already be using responsive design, where your website morphs and changes to fit any screen in the mar- ket. Responsive design works well in most instances, but can also be complex. Many times, a separate mobile website, in addition to your traditional website, is just as effective. Read more about this topic here “Responsive Website Design for Hotels — Is it Your Only Option?” Future Trends Guest activity across multiple screens continues to evolve. For instance, Nielsen notes, “...the smartphone is not just a tool meant for quick, impulse info and decision making, but that it’s also utilized as part of a longer and more informed mobile path to purchase.“ One mobile use exhibiting surprising growth is video consumption. According to BI Intelligence analysis of Nielsen data, the US mobile video audience increased 77% to 36 million viewers over last two years.” The Nielsen data also shows, “...almost half of videos watched on smartphone screens are 10 minutes or longer.” Recent data from VFM Leonardo supportsthatconclusion,withthecompanynotingguestsusing tablets and smartphone viewed 40% and 50% more video con- tent, respectively, than those on desktop or laptop computers. Additionally, data suggests that “...almost half of mobile travel users go on to make a purchase related to the activities they completed via their mobile device — with 29% completing the purchase on the smartphone itself.” However, for those not purchasing on their mobile device, moving to another screen as part of their shopping experience may mean starting the process over again. This trend may shift over time as screen sizes change and guests become more comfortable booking on mobile devices. Hospitalitymarketersmustcontinuetoexplorewaysforguests to collect information as they move across devices. But, by monitoring your hotel’s website data and targeting your activi- tiestotheneedsandgoalsthatdatasuggestsaboutyourguests, you put yourself in a strong position to meet your guests’ needs, regardless of which screen they choose today or in the future.
  7. 7. 7 / Digital Marketing for Hotels and Resorts in a Multiscreen World Conclusion Serving guests across 4 screens is not simple. As a result, making the transition from a “single screen” marketer will not happen over- night. Guest behavior will continue to evolve as guests themselves grow more comfortable with multiple screens, retire some, and adopt others. Your marketing activities will likely need to evolve with those changing behaviors. But, great hoteliers already know how to listen to their guests and accommodate their needs at any given time. In a multiscreen world,“listening”and“accommodating”simply translate to: • Using your data to drive your digital marketing decisions • Targeting your activities to your guests’ chosen devices and goals • Ensuring consistent messaging across devices, including email, SMS and exploring cross-device functionality. While no one can predict whether guests will use their television, PC, smartphone, tablet, or a combination of devices to find and research their next stay, this framework enables you to find customers and accommodate their needs no matter how, where, and when they choose to connect, today, tomorrow, and in the future. This means to increase engagement and rev- enue for your property. Tim Peter is President and Founder at Tim Peter Associates, LLC, a full-service e-commerce and digital marketing consulting firm. Tim Peter Associates focuses on the growthofthesocial,local,mobilewebanditsimpactonboth consumer behavior and business results. Previously Tim served as Managing Director for the premier independent luxury hotel representation firm and led e-commerce and digital marketing for the world’s largest hotel franchisor. Joe Hyman, President CEO of Vizergy, is an experienced entrepreneur with an extensive background in sales, marketing and management, with over 18 years of hospitality experience. Joe started Vizergy, a leading hotel Internet marketing company that works with management companies, branded properties and independent properties, in 1998. He was named one of HSMAI’s Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing in 2009. Tim Peter PRESIDENT FOUNDER Tim Peter Associates, LLC Joe Hyman PRESIDENT CEO Vizergy
  8. 8. Endnotes g  Open Parachute Blog, http://openmarketing.com/blog/the-importance-of-all-4-screens/, Retrieved December 2012 g  Google, “The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-platform Consumer Behavior,” August 2012 g  Vizergy SEO Super Reporter® Portfolio Stats and Trends, 2012-13 g  Number of TV households declines for second year, Nielsen reports. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/tv-column/post/number-of-tv- households-declines-for-second-year-nielsen-reports/2012/05/03/gIQAdNDyzT_blog.html, February 2013 g  eMarketer, “A Quarter of US Households Now Have a TV Connected to the Internet,” Retrieved from http://www.emarketer.com/newsroom/index.php/ emarketer-quarter-households-tv-connected-internet/#wUtjKLfSB4bdKB3Y.99, January 2013 g  Pew Internet, Mobile data, Retrieved from http://pewinternet.org/Commentary/2012/February/Pew-Internet-Mobile.aspx, December 2012 g  Google, “The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-platform Consumer Behavior,” August 2012 g  xAd, Telmetrics, Nielsen “Mobile Path to Purchase Study,” August 2012 g  xAd, Telmetrics, Nielsen “Mobile Path to Purchase Study,” August 2012 8 / Digital Marketing for Hotels and Resorts in a Multiscreen World About Vizergy® Vizergy is an award-winning digital travel marketing company that empowers hoteliers to know more, do more and achieve more — with the ultimate goal of delivering maximum online revenue. The company uses best practices and data driven decisions to provide strategic guidance in the evolving world of online marketing. Online marketing services include search engineoptimization,pay-per-clickanddisplayadvertising,local marketing, website and mobile website design and develop- ment,reservationsoftwareandadvancedanalytics.Since1998, Vizergy has propelled thousands of branded and independent hotels, resorts and hotel management companies to success. For more information on Vizergy and its services, please visit vizergy.com, call William Bellis at 904.389.1130 Ext. 171 or william.b@vizergy.com. Join us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Do you have any other burning questions that we did not cover? Feel free to write on our Facebook Timeline at Facebook.com/vizergy or send us a Tweet @vizergy. Connect with us:

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