How to Drive Hotel Customers to Book Direct [Slides]
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How to Drive Hotel Customers to Book Direct [Slides]

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Join us as we delve deeper into one of our most popular blog topics: how to drive hotel customers to book direct. The cost of direct bookings ($2 to $6) vs. OTA bookings ($40 to $120) can have a major ...

Join us as we delve deeper into one of our most popular blog topics: how to drive hotel customers to book direct. The cost of direct bookings ($2 to $6) vs. OTA bookings ($40 to $120) can have a major impact on hotel profitability. In this webinar, we partner with social media educator and former Starwood CRM manager, Victoria Flood, who will present actionable ways to drive your customers to book direct. You will learn how hotels can incentivize customers to sidestep the Online Travel Agencies.

For more content please visit our website: http://www.revinate.com

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  • Welcome everyone and thanks for joining us today for our Webinar about driving direct bookings. My name is Michelle Wohl and I am the VP of marketing at Revinate.Before we get going, I’d like to address a few things: You are all on mute today. You will notice a questions panel in your GTW control panel. Please feel free to ask questions as they pop up and I’ll try to answer them throughout the preso. Otherwise we will follow up with answers after the webinar and post them to our blog. Finally, we will be sending out a recorded version of this webinar tomorrow, so no need to take a ton of notes.
  • Ashley:I would like to introduce our speaker today, Victoria Flood. Victoria began her career in Internet infrastructure and web hosting with uunet.  After earning her MBA she joined Deloitte Consulting.  In 2005, she joined Starwood Hotels to help manage 14 property sites and Customer Relationship Management for the Hawaii region.  Her love of the hospitality industry continued when she left Starwood and began a consulting business for independent hotels, ownership groups and restaurants.  In addition to her role contributing content to Revinate, Victoria runs 1 day social media management workshops for Hotels and Restaurants. She teaches MBA level Marketing for the John Sperling School of Business and blogs about blending social media strategy with traditional marketing.   Victoria thank you for joining us. Victoria: Ashley, thank you for that wonderful introduction.  As a follow-on, I want to stress to our listeners that my opinions and the content today contain my personal views and recommendations only and does not reflect the views of any of my former employers, and former or current clients.   Ashley: Thanks for the clarification Victoria
  • Ashley: For those of you familiar with Revinate, you know that we provide a software service for hotels to manage their online reputation. We don’t supply a booking engine or a POS system… so you might be wondering why we are presenting on this topic. Well, we are all about social media and ORM and work with brands such as kimpton, hyatt, wyndham, trump, and may more. We also realize how crucial a good reputation is to diving booking on both OTAs and your own site. In addition to having a single dashboard to see and respond to online reviews, we have a Twitter client, Facebook integration and a foursquare integration. And we are seeing that the linkages between social platforms and travel are increasing. We’re seeing more people say that they’re booking travel based on feedback from friends on social networks. Here’s an example from my Facebook page and I’m sure you have your own examples. People love to read and react to recommendations of friends.
  • Ashley: We know that the majority of customers consult reviews before booking.TripAdvisor, the leader in online reviews, reported that 88% or customers consult reviews before booking. And the influence that these reviews have on guests is astounding. At Revinate, we enjoy being active review-writers ourselves. Here’s an example of the communication that TA sent to one Revinator to let her know how many people are reading her reviews. One of her reviews, for a tiny 5-star hotel in Mexico got more than 7k people reading it. That’s amazing.Victoria: Right Ashley, and there are a number of new realities surrounding the Travel Industry today.
  • Victoria: And the influence of branding is shifting and declining..
  • Victoria
  • Ashley: Now we’re going to talk about the role of OTAs and your hotel.(next slide)Ashley: Let’s pop out and take a quick poll right now to find out what percentage of bookings at your hotel come from OTAs?Ashley will share findings and then Victoria will comment on results to transition.
  • Victoria: Industry wide, up to 1/5 of revenue at a hotel comes from an OTA. While still following their favorite brands on social channels, customers are consulting reviews before booking their brandsNeilsen reports that 90% of trust word of mouth marketing vs. 30% trust online ads
  • Victoria
  • Victoria: Transition at Billboard Effect
  • Ashley: Let’s look at the cost of OTAs today.According to L2 Digital:As a whole, the hospitality industry paid $2.5 billion in additional commission to OTAs in 2010.
  • Victoria: Trending slide
  • Victoria: Lesser role of OTA’s- 13% in Europe vs. 17% in the USHigh level of offline salesSlide Transition- when I am finished with discussing offline sales
  • Ashley: Thanks victoria for giving up a background on the cost of OTAs and their growing role… Now let’s talk about how hotels might encourage customers to book direct
  • Victoria
  • Victoria
  • Victoria: BulletsTransition after V says Social Media IntegrationAshley: How does social integration help drive traffic and a direct booking?
  • Ashley: Here is an example of how two hotels that I follow on Facebook are using this channel to drive direct bookings. On the left, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurant is offering a special ‘surprise’ to any guest staying up to Labor Day that mentioned the ‘password’ slip ‘n slide. In addition to having several likes and comments, we also see that the post was shared 5 times, really highlighting the virality of social perks. On the right, Crowne Plaza Manhattan has a dedicated ‘special offers’ tab that highlights deals and value-add packages that can be booked directly through the integrated booking widget. Ashley: Both of these brands do a great job of meeting the customer where they are spending time online.
  • Victoria
  • Victoria will summarize examples that we’re going to be pulling together.Victoria: Now let’s look at some examples of this type of functionality on direct sites.
  • Ashley: Here is an example of a client of our that’s currently using our Social Buzz application. Social Buzz allows you integrate user reviews and social content into your web site. We did a study with clients where we analyzed traffic and bookings from websites that had social buzz vs. sites that did not and found that…on average, guests that go to the websites with social buzz and visit the reviews page are 26% more likely to visit the booking engine vs. guests that do not look at reviews page.19% more likely to visit the booking engine if they visited hotel’s blog where the property posts content as well guest reviews
  • Ashley: Our next example is Carmel Valley Ranch. This property does great job of highlight all the resorts activities and amenities. They’ve also paired these activities with great lifestyle photo that really pull the guests in and give them
  • Ashley: Finally here is an example from Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Alexandria Virginia. This property provides guests with different themed iteneraries, free of charge, that details out activities that Alexandria locals would partake in. Ashley: I’ve also heard about hotels having mobile concierge service which guests to view concierge information of on their mobile devices. Victoria takes over on 26.
  • Victoria
  • Victoria
  • Victoria: BulletsAshley:While I was on the marketing team at JdV, we worked very closely with our RM team and encouraged them to allow us to offer the best rates and last minute distressed inventory to our loyal guests through our opt-in email channel and social channels such as Facebook and Twitter. So on a weekly basis, we knew which hotels needed the extra push, and did our part to increase their bottom line while improving our customer loyalty.
  • Victoria: That’s a great example here are a few other ways to offer something Unique
  • Victoria:Mention Nor1 Service
  • Victoria:
  • Victoria:
  • Victoria:
  • Ashley:And just to add another example of using these tactics, while I was at JdV, we came up with a special book direct incentive and trained our front desk staff to give guests that booked through third party channels a collateral piece upon check-out that featured a %off discount code to use on their next stay. This piece helped us to educate these guests and turn them in to our loyal customers.
  • Victoria:
  • Ashley:

How to Drive Hotel Customers to Book Direct [Slides] How to Drive Hotel Customers to Book Direct [Slides] Presentation Transcript

  • Driving Direct Bookings Presented by: Ashley Chavez, Revinate Victoria Flood, Avenue Partners©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Guest: Victoria Flood • Background with Deloitte Consulting • Social media educator • Joined the Starwood Hotels Hawaii marketing team in 2004 • Consults with independent hotels and ownership groups • Teaches MBA level marketing • Blogs about social media strategy blended with core business discipline©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Revinate and the OTA Relationship • Linkages between social platforms and travel are increasing©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Hospitality and Social Media Realities • 88% of customers consult reviews before booking • Influence of reviews is astounding • Here, one reviewer influenced over 7,000 potential customers©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Hospitality and Social Media Realities • Influence of branding is shifting and declining • Branding will only take a hotel so far • Quality at the property level supersedes brand reputation • OTAs feature trusted review content – Customers to turn to them first©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Social Media and OTAs According to Businessweek (2012): • 118M people will search for travel via the Internet this year • 57M people use Facebook accounts to log onto TripAdvisor • Facebook linked 15.2M users to hotel pages in 2010 (35% increase from 2009) • 88% of users read reviews before moving to booking©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • OTAs and Your Hotel©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Quick Poll What percentage of bookings at your hotel come from OTAs? • 10 to 30% • 30 to 50% • 50 to 70% • 70% plus©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Transformational Influences • Hotels are depending heavily on OTAs • OTAs are marketing like never before • Customers are abandoning brand allegiances for review monitoring • Word-of-Mouth marketing is the most powerful influencer • Leisure vs. Business Travel – OTA role is different©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Steps of OTA Use (Leisure Travel) 1. OTAs function as a Yellow Pages 2. Initial browsing, leads to determinations of availability and price 3. Travel decision is made – When and where 4. OTA visits now involve more review, quality and price attention 5. Often customers comparison shop between direct and OTA channels 6. Booking is made©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Value of OTAs • Often hotels that are not on OTAs are not considered • Designed with shopping in mind – Buying criteria are well organized • Valuable booking channel for hotels who compete on price, location, and other tangible factors • A viable marketing vehicle for both direct and indirect sales – Billboard Effect©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Maximizing the Billboard Effect Chris Anderson of Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration finds: • 20% lift in direct bookings when properties were listed on Expedia • ADR increased by 2 – 3% when inventory managed • OTA listings should be viewed as a marketing vehicle as much as a distribution channel©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Cost of OTAs • Cost for OTAs is on average $40 to $120 per booking industry wide • Cost for booking on your own site is on average $2 to $6 per booking industry wide Hotels paid $2.5B in addition commission to OTAs in 2010. L2 Digital IQ: Hotels Report 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Online Booking Growing Role of OTA’s (US)©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Online Booking Lesser Role of OTA’s (Europe)©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • How to Optimize for Direct Bookings©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Optimizing for Direct Bookings • Purchase Business Listings on major OTAs – ROI averages between $6 and $20 per dollar spent – Helpful in the mobile segment©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Optimizing for Direct Bookings • Hyperlinked review sites • Concentrate on SEO to capture browsers • Mention social channels in review responses • Real time personalized marketing from OTA search data©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Superior Property Sites Captivate customers on brand sites with: • Powerful web presence • Engaging social interactions • Trustworthy reviews • Destination information • Packages and benefits to direct booking • Social media integration©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Benefits of Social Media Integration • Shopper can pin your hotel to their travel planning board • Customer “likes” you to gain a friends rate or last minute deal before booking • Customer follows you on Twitter to learn about the atmosphere, clientele and mood at your hotel • Make booking easy from social channels and give them incentives to book direct©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Examples©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Prevalence of Social Booking • 64% of hotels offer either full or partial Facebook booking • 12% funnel to brand pages • Booking engines on yielded a 50% increase in traffic L2 April 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Providing OTA-like Functionality OTA Functionality • User reviews • Easy navigation • Streamlined booking Plus Added Value • Destination information • Itineraries and travel tips • Booking direct benefits©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Reviews Through Social Buzz©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Travel Tips and Activities©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Itinerary Example Live Like a Local©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Mobile and Direct Bookings • Same Day Bookings are the new walk-in business • L2 Reports 70% of booking via mobile are for the same day • Google reports that mobile bookings have grown 3000% (2010 to 2011)©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Focus on Mobile • Ensure direct links are possible from OTAs – 2nd browser windows are rare • Consider voice search issues • Mobile booking applications – make seamless without downloading extensive apps • Consider last minute deals via social channels©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Rate Parity and Channels • Best Rate Guarantees are abundant in direct channels • Many OTAs have the same low rates as direct • Make sure RMS is optimized for your direct site and OTAs • Reservation staff often suggests OTAs for booking©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Offer Something Unique • Unique upgrade options • Free parking • Special treatment and loyalty incentives • Packages • Booking direct bonuses©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Example©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Streamline the Booking Process • Test over all platforms, browsers and devices • Booking links from all pages and social channels • Intuitive design • Consider mirroring the OTAs • Keep engaging during booking steps©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Managing your OTA Relationships • Maximize your profile – Images are key – Manage reviews – Business listings – Training reservation staff Success on an OTA translates to Direct Booking Success©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Increasing Your Bottom Line • Consider limiting inventory on non-direct channels • Invest part of your commissions budget in online marketing to benefit direct sales • Driving social media engagement will intensify your relationships with customers and get them to book direct©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Increasing Your Bottom Line Take a top down approach: • Limit non-direct inventory a little each month or quarter • Allocate budget to other marketing such as real time personalized marketing, SEO, social media marketing, or others • Train reservation staff to understand commissions • Create incentives to book direct and market those Social Media focus can drive direct sales.©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Managing OTA Relationships • View OTAs as a Marketing Alliance Partner • Benefits outweigh costs • Direct bookings allow you to own the customer relationship end-to-end • Consider profitability over volume in revenue management decisions • Consider economic shifts as you assess your relationships with OTAs©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012
  • Thank you for joining us! For more info about For more info about Revinate: Victoria: • info@revinate.com • vflood@avepartners.com • Blog.revinate.com • @revinate©2012 Revinate, Inc. || August 21, 2012©2012 Revinate, Inc. August 21, 2012