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Hospitality Archives - NVISION

Digital Trends to Watch for Hospitality Marketing

As digital channels continue to disrupt more and more areas of everyday life, hospitality marketing is facing changes to its models, as well. That’s according to Modern Restaurant Management, who explains that digital travel sales are expected to hit $198 billion in 2018.

With more than 140 million adults slated to research their travel plans online, and half of those expected to do so via their smartphone or mobile device, agility and responsiveness in digital channels continues to become increasingly important for hospitality marketers. While print and promotional physical marketing materials remain crucially important, supplementing those streams with digital is now a foundational competency for marketers.

Here are five of the top trends in digital hospitality marketing.

Digital Channels Are of Primary Importance

As we mentioned above, digital travel sales are expected to reach $198 billion this year. That’s 140 million travelers primed and ready to engage with digital marketing campaigns. Through the entire buying journey, digital is now crucial each step of the way.  According to MRM, 71% of travelers use digital to plan their trip; 79% use digital channels to shop for their travel accommodations; and 83% use digital to actually book their trips.

What’s more, research shows that 61% of travel marketing spend is now committed to online channels. By working with a partner to optimize their digital marketing campaigns, hospitality marketers can capture an enormous amount of business.

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To Win Younger Travelers, Leverage Search Engines

Search engines like Google and Bing are how most of us begin our quests for information these days, and travel planning is no exception. Research shows that 63% of travelers use a search engine at some point in their trip planning. However, search engine marketing is especially effective with younger shoppers.

As many as 57% of travelers ages 18-34 use search engines specifically to check accommodation prices, and 50% of those same travelers are able to recall the travel ads they see on search engines. Compared to just 36% for overall consumers, search engine marketing is a key piece for hospitality marketers.

Smartphone Use Is Rising

As smartphones become more powerful and prevalent, they are impacting every business vertical, including hospitality marketing. Recent studies suggest that 43% of consumers use a smartphone to search for travel accommodations. But when we segment that out into age groups, it becomes quickly apparent that Millennial and Generation Z shoppers have made smartphones an integral part of their buying journey. For shoppers ages 18-34, as many as 78% use their smartphones while traveling (an excellent opportunity for promotional on-site targeting), 67% use their smartphones to plan their trips, and over one-quarter (27%) use their smartphones to actually book their accommodations.

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Visual Content Matters More Than Ever

Travel has always been a very visually appealing industry, and leveraging visual marketing materials is paying big dividends for hospitality marketers. 51% of consumers report that the visual imagery in travel marketing materials influences their decision to book. Not only are images influential, but they stick with shoppers memories much more effectively. 49% of travel shoppers recall a compelling visual image, compared to just 41% who recall a promotional price, and 37% who recall a targeted ad. If you can partner with a supplier who can keep production costs low and manageable, the ROI on visual marketing can be enormous.

Personalized Loyalty Programs Are a Critical Piece

Loyalty programs are a powerful way for hospitality brands to establish repeat customers and renewable revenue streams. In return, loyalty customers expect personalized experiences. 55% of travel loyalty program members acknowledge that program membership influences their decision-making process, so marketers would be wise to leverage it. But how? By offering truly personalized experiences, made possibly by an agile and efficient marketing supply chain.

In fact, travel loyalty program members are more likely to share personal information in exchange for custom-tailored offers, click-through on personalized online advertising, and recall personalized online ads from travel brands. These loyalty members want hospitality brands to leverage the wealth of information they know about the member to offer him or her truly unique, personalized experiences that are custom-tailored to his or her preferences.

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For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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Top Trends in Hospitality Marketing for 2018

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The hospitality and travel industry is a trillion-dollar business, according to Deloitte. As with any lucrative industry, hospitality has become highly competitive, with large chain brands and independent boutique hoteliers competing for customers’ time, attention, and dollars.

And while the way that brands across all industries market themselves begins to change with the rise of digital and other channels, the hospitality industry would be wise to keep an eye on a few trends. That’s according to Jason Dent at Campaign Monitor, who explains some of the biggest new opportunities for hospitality marketers.

Personalized Customer Experiences

The more data you have about your customers, the more you can tailor their experiences in ways that truly wow them, add value to their stay, and win over their loyalty. For example, by leveraging information about their booking dates (are they near a specific holiday or anniversary?) their check in information (are they newlyweds with a single room or business colleagues with a double?), and any host of preferences they can opt-in to providing to you, you can offer them customized onsite experiences.

Whether you want to make the newlyweds aware of the couples massages available at your onsite spa, or let the business travelers know you have a fully-stocked internet café and lounge, when you understand your customers, you can market to them in the ways they love. With a highly responsive marketing supply chain, you can make it a reality.

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Point-of-Sale and Moment Marketing

The unique thing about hospitality marketing is that it’s one of the only industries where, generally speaking, you know exactly who is going to show up where and when. This gives brands with agile marketing operations a powerful opportunity to create compelling moments at check-in and at the point-of-sale. For example, if you know you will be hosting numerous attendees for the same conference or convention, signage and banners in the lobbying welcoming them and promoting certain amenities are strong ways to show you value their business.

This also enables highly agile cross-selling and up-selling opportunities. If your data shows that John Q. Guest often likes to have a drink at the hotel bar, or order room service, a personalized gift card waiting at check-in entitling him to a free drink or appetizer is a great way to encourage him to continue to spend money, and return as a loyal customer.

Millennial Loyalty

According to Forbes, Millennials now make up a bigger portion of travel and hospitality customers than any other generation. That means that understanding and catering to this demographic is of major importance. Millennials feel very strongly about the brands they love, and they are actually more prone to join and actively participate in consumer loyalty programs than other demographics.

To turn this fact into revenue, smart hospitality brands are investing in better integrating their loyalty programs into their marketing materials. Kiosks in the lobby where customers can easily opt-in; offering additional loyalty rewards points for activities Millennials prefer; using new technology like RFID scanners and QR codes to allow guests to link purchases to their loyalty accounts; these are all savvy ways that smart hospitality marketers are capitalizing on Millennial loyalty.

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Hospitality is big business, and that business is changing. By prioritizing the health, agility, and efficiency of your marketing supply chain, your brand can capture more revenue, and win more customer loyalty, than ever before.

Subscribe to the Blog

Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE