October 19, 2021

Prepare for the New Hotel and Travel Marketing Challenges of the 2020s Decade

A short welcome message This is my first article on the Hospitality Net platform. You…

A short welcome message

This is my first article on the Hospitality Net platform. You are among the first to read my articles here.

It is always a privilege to address fellow hotel management professionals like yourself. Sharing thoughts among industry experts has been always an important part of keeping hospitality management progressive, and I believe we can all benefit from discussing our views.

The main reason I decided to share content on HospitalityNet is to bring attention to the ongoing changes in hotel and travel marketing. From time to time, we need to slow down and observe how the world is changing. This helps to keep our industry, as well as our managed hotel brands up to date. We live in exciting times, where the post-pandemic travel rebound is not the only challenge for hotel marking professionals.

Although hospitality is known as a late adopter of technology and know-how, I was always lucky enough to have progressive and forward-thinking hotels among my clients. Our hotel brand and marketing management programs and business development programs always had a strong emphasis on thinking out of the box and adjusting to macro-trends.

We need to maintain an open mindset to look ahead and re-evaluate the status quo, beliefs, “proven best practices” and to avoid gimmicky solutions we never even needed.

Hopefully, you will find valuable thoughts and information in the content that I will be sharing here in the coming months. Your feedback, comments, and opinions are always welcome – so feel free to connect with me any time on my website.

The 2010s are over – the hotel marketing challenges of the 2020s are different

The hotel and travel marketing challenges of this decade are not the same as those of the past decade. Most hospitality experts talk about pre-pandemic and post-pandemic times, however, the most fundamental hotel marketing changes have little to do with the pandemic.

Long story short, your hotel brand needs to cut through the online noise to reach and engage those people who would be happy to become your guests. It is way more than doing the basic Google Ads & Social Media combo that used to be the standard hotel digital marketing setup of the 2010s.

Before thinking about advertising more, or setting up better campaign, you need to understand the new environment your hotel brand needs to adjust to.

So what are the factors that we need to observe to adjust our hotel brands and marketing?

  1. Generation Z has a fast growing share of the travel market and they see the “millennial” way of thinks miserably outdated, let alone “boomers”
  2. Changes in travel philosophy and behavior
  3. Changes in luxury consumerism philosophy
  4. Hotel marketing technology and solutions became commoditized
  5. Too many hotel brands making noise online
  6. and many more…

Today, we have matured online distribution systems, revenue management tools, excellent website booking engines, reliable and transparent advertising technology.

Online hotel sales, marketing, and distribution tools are available for minimal monthly fees. Right now, the hotel technology market is going through a commoditization phase, making once-expensive tools and solutions cheaper and cheaper.

Technology should not be a problem for any hotel at this stage. If your hotel or resort still struggles with basic hotel marketing technology and know-how, then you have serious disadvantages to sort out.

The hotel online marketing challenges of the past decade

Looking back to the late 2000s and the early 2010s, those were the digital transformation times of the hotel and travel industry. But today, our marketing challenges are entirely different.

During the past decade, hotel brands were busy setting up channel managers, revenue management tools, e-mail marketing automation systems, and other technical prerequisites of a functional digital hotel sales and marketing setup.

Same with online advertising. Hotel marketing teams used to have difficulties using Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Instagram, and other popular advertising tools. These days, it is common knowledge.

The new hotel marketing challenges of the 2020s

Before getting comfortable with a functional hotel digital marketing setup and basic ad campaigns, we must not forget that the same hotel marketing technology and know-how are available for every other hotel.

That means doing average things and copying other hotels is not going to set your hotel brand apart. Today, even the simplest hotels can set up direct booking funnels, e-mail marketing automation, semi-automated social media content sharing, and beautiful websites.

As a result of all hotels moving their marketing online, the online competition is more intense than ever. The hotel and travel marketing business is a mature sector today, and there is a lot of noise in it. Travelers are barraged with hotel and travel ads as soon as they look up vacation ideas. Those guests who would love your hotel see ads of dozens of other hotels, and your property will be just one of the many.

What are you doing to capture the attention of your ideal guests? Do you even know who are your ideal guests, and what hotel experiences are they searching for?

The new challenge we face is how to connect with potential guests, how to get their attention, and how to make them interested in choosing our hotel?

  • What to show to your guests?
  • What to say to your potential guests?
  • How to craft our hotel marketing communications and brand experiences to win their liking and desire?

During the past 10 ten years, I have guided a number of high-end independent hotel brands through digital transformation, and on top of that, purposeful brand and marketing communications had been always a priority.

We have grown new hotels like The Anam in Vietnam into iconic status with superb marketing communication and product presentation. I have been involved in moving the Corinthia Group with all their 5-star luxury hotels online, with laser-targeted Google Ads. I have made Ayada Maldives into a top-performing resort, beating most independent hotels and chain-resorts in the Maldives.

Welcome to the decade of purposeful hotel brand management

With so much noise in the hotel marketing space, purposeful branding is more important than ever. Building on the technology and analytical insights, progressive hotel marketing are all about attracting guests by addressing their needs, wants, and desires.

Sounds good – but how to do that?

In the coming months, I am going to share several articles, opinion articles, and information content about:

  • Brand growth
  • Developing your brand voice and marketing communications
  • Making use of consumer insights
  • Developing multi-channel marketing strategies that grow performance on all sales channels
  • Auditing what potential guests like and dislike about your hotel product
  • Crafting a relevant and attractive product presentation for your key guest segments
  • Evaluation of your hotel brand and marketing effectiveness

These are the important topics to discuss when it comes to hotel marketing management today. Should you be interested in learning about these topics, stay tuned for the content I will be sharing exclusively on Hospitality Net.

I will be sharing by-weekly articles – sometimes sharing tips and tricks that we learn by managing brand growth and online business for our clients. Meanwhile, feel free to connect on my website, or look me up online.