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Over the next few weeks guest columnist Phil Butler will be talking us through the fundamental elements of a successful hotel marketing campaign. Here’s number 1!

Every hotel client our company has ever worked with began their digital marketing strategy with a toolbox only half full of much needed customer conversion strategies. I know, that’s a strange thing to say about paying customers.

The good news is, most revenue managers and CEOs respond well to what works. ROI, the fabulous acronym that strikes fear into the hearts of ad men and women, is also a symbol of success no business person can deny at the end of the marketing funnel. Metaphors aside, there are certain fundamental elements any hotel marketing campaign should have.

How in the world can a higher hotel booking conversion rate be sought, using a shotgun approach to marketing and ads? While this may seem fundamental logic for anybody, you’d be surprised at the percentage of tourism entities that advertise and market as if the whole world is chomping at the bit to book their hotel rooms. However, any branding or ad campaign designed to convert needs to be geared to a ‘convertible’ niche – getting those lookers to book.

Consumers are happy for hotels to proactively notify them of discounts and deals

EyeforTravel Mobile in the Hospitality Industry 2014 report

So, identifying this ‘niche’ is a must in order to grab the initial attention of any potential customer. Your hotel has to ‘speak the language’ of your targeted customer first of all. Ask the question: What kind of customer are we trying to attract? Then make sure your ads and dogma, all your marketing content speaks to these customers.

As Jérôme Hiquet, Club Med’s VP of Marketing, North America & Vice President of Marketing & Sales, Mexico points out, it’s essential to cover 100% of the touch points the customer has with the firm, be that through the call centre, on mobile or via social media.

Next steps

Once your niche has been identified, your ‘speak’ toward them narrowed, think always – ‘retargeting’ to increase conversions still further.

There is good reason to do so. Get your ‘speak’ right and consumers are happy for hotels to proactively notify them of discounts and deals; BRIC nations are particularly responsive (63%) – EyeforTravel Mobile in the Hospitality Industry 2014 report

As another means of targeting, your hotel’s best conversions will come in between the ‘research’ and ‘commit’ phases of the customer journey. So, retargeting ads will enhance your conversions by keeping your brand and your value proposition in front of prime targets.

I asked one of the best in the digital ad business, Jackie Lampling, who’s Director of Marketing for AdRoll, to comment on the importance of retargeting consumers:

In today’s competitive digital landscape, retargeting has become a must have for any modern marketing strategy. Using data-drive technology, marketers are better poised to increase engagement, brand awareness, and convert browsers into buyers.

So, correct targeting and sniper-like engagement for the greatest conversion are any marketer’s first priority. Shooting for that impossible mark miles away may be a fun diversion, but it’s not a profitable one. Ask any successful expert.

Watch out for the No.2 element of a super successful marketing campaign: Image: the great differentiator

Jérôme Hiquet, Club Med’s VP of Marketing, North America & Vice President of Marketing & Sales, Mexico points will be speaking at TDS North America which takes place in New York from September 11-12

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