Every hotel is happy about the first place on Booking.com or Expedia. But low prices and a great profile alone are not enough.
Yet another discount because of the launch of the new OTA app? Push the next special offer on OTAs? So Booking Genius or Expedia Travel Ads are supposed to do the trick? And what's the point? More distribution costs! The national league table of hotels is passé. Google and OTAs use opaque algorithms to compile different, personalized lists for each user. What can hotels look out for to improve their performance on digital distribution channels?
An appealing and complete profile with attractive images, good guest reviews, available inventory and a solid click-to-book ratio are essential for digital distribution channels. "Subjective" criteria are added:
Travellers' individual search behavior and the cookies on their computers (i.e., past bookings or interests),
preferences and search criteria stored (among others) on the OTA,
the device used (e.g. which laptop, smartphone, tablet ), as well as
geographical information (the IP address!) play a role.
The price-performance ratio is the key to a sustainable profile. If the world around you is becoming more and more unsteady, counter it with steadiness. Don't just show any face, show your face. Show a clear profile. In other words: position yourself!
A small example from the digital world will explain this: The algorithms of, for example, Booking.com or Google "remember" exactly what prices guests are looking for. According to these search queries, the social media channels of these guests are individually flooded with images for the corresponding price categories. If you undercut yourself with discounts, you will no longer reach your target group via Instagram and the like. Your hotel ends up in the wrong social media timelines. Premature discounts are therefore only a stopgap solution. It is all too easy to overlook the fact that they undermine your own positioning. And that has consequences. It's always cheaper. But does that correspond to your brand essence?
Market clamor is at best attractive to a target group that likes it loud. That's why a good price-performance ratio determines how well you ultimately do with your guests and whether they will recommend you to others. Three tips for positioning:
What does your hotel offer in contrast to the competition? What sets you apart in a positive way?
Observe or inquire closely how your guests feel about the value for money your hotel offers. (Pay attention to digital feedback channels such as reviews and the evaluation of your CRM).
Keep a close eye on the value for money of your comp set and don't be pressured by discount promotions. Price alone is not the deciding factor for guests.
Stephan Kohl brings a special passion for the hotel industry and for all the crazy people who work in this field. He is a specialist in supporting new hotel openings and hotel brand launches. Stephan has a broad range of experience from the hotel industry: from the front desk to revenue management for brands such as Hilton, 25hours Hotels and Fraser Hospitality, his revenue journey took him to the other side of the screen: since 2019, he has been working at HQ revenue as Business Development Manager for Germany and Nordics. He helps hoteliers develop their business and pricing strategies.
What changes are we facing? What are the new distribution channels the future might bring? Which technologies will play a role in the selection of travel and hotel offers in the future? What tools will we hoteliers have at our disposal to hold our own in the market?
We created GRANT Magazine to find answers to these questions. After all, the English to grant means to provide insights and fulfill wishes .....
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