The internet has made us fickle. "Liking" things needs just the press of a button on a never-ending stream of news and updates.
NB This is a viewpoint by Charlie Osmond, chief tease for Triptease.
Did you know that in any given minute there are 1.8 million Facebook likes? And while hotels around the world are amassing likes online at a striking rate, we think there’s got to be more.
An online like doesn’t last forever, but love does. So whether you’re running a ten-room hotel, or in charge of thousands of keys, our advice is simple: rather than chasing likes, start looking for love and get more people booking direct.
You can’t hurry love
Phil Collins was on to something. You can’t hurry love. It takes guts (executive buy-in), investment (in digital), commitment (a team), and most importantly it takes time (longer-term thinking).
Investing in digital is what is moving the oldest hotel brands worldwide forward and providing a new alternative to the sharing economy and to third parties the media likes to scare us about.
Marriott’s #itpaystobookdirect campaign is a prime example of a hotel group that is investing in both its experience and in shifting consumer preferences. The groundwork being done now will pay off as more hotels have the confidence to speak out about the benefits of booking direct.
Real love is more than just a one night stand: no, you’ll just have to wait.
Love don’t come easy
It’s hard to know where to focus your efforts on building online love. As one of thousands of travel start-ups, we’ve heard the sales pitches of many, all vying for a slice of that online pie. It can be baffling. How do you know where to start and what really works?
That’s why focus is so important. The most successful hotels bet on one or two channels that they know will provide the biggest wins.
In almost all cases, brand.com is top of that list. The cost per booking is lowest and it’s the one place guests can really get to know your brand. Lennert de Jong from CitizenM said in a recent white paper that a hotel’s website “is like a boutique. This is where you’ll find the best products”.
Don’t rely on others to convince guests to fall in love with you, invest in your direct channel for better relationships.
It’s just a game of give and take
You’re probably thinking: “Oh Triptease! Of course you’d say that! All you ever talk about is direct bookings”. That’s a fair comment, but with a team including Alexandra Zubko, former head of strategy at IHG, we know first-hand just how tempting it can be for hotels to get caught up with filling rooms any which way possible.
But stay strong. There is a set of taps you can turn on to create a steady flow of guests walking through the door. However not all taps are equal and what comes out of them isn’t the same.
Some carry heavy commissions and produce guests you’d rather not have. Others are more appealing – specifically the ‘brand.com’. We know from speaking to thousands hotels every week that they see a significant difference in guests that have booked direct. Namely, they end up loving the hotel more and stay loyal.
It’s exactly the same as falling in love – don’t settle for the easy route right now because you might end up regretting it in the future.
This is a viewpoint by Charlie Osmond
, chief tease for Triptease
. It appears here as part of Tnooz's sponsored content initiative.
NB2Image by Shutterstock