Flagged properties have surrendered control of their marketing. What happens if results are poor?
Pop quiz… Imagine three hotel properties:
- A beachfront resort.
- An urban high-rise.
- A historic, mountain lodge.
A. Market and drive bookings to these hotels using identical hotel websites, booking engines, marketing campaigns and marketing promotions?
B. Or, custom tailor hotel marketing strategies based on each hotel’s unique target markets, amenities, travel seasons and destination?
If you selected B, congratulations! You’re already making wiser decisions than thousands of flagged hotels who rely on the standardised, generic marketing (created by a remote marketing department) to drive ALL their business.
Relying exclusively on your brand to completely market your unique property limits your ability to achieve the financial goals set forth by the owner/asset manager.
You are not differentiated
Your brand’s marketing team is servicing hundreds of hotels (often several in the same city) and providing the same tools to all of you. Think about that–every hotel in the brand family is getting the same marketing and sales templates, the same loyalty database, the same hotel website design and hotel booking engine. You all receive the same assets, regardless of your amenities, your destination, or your target audience. A convention hotel in downtown Denver presents the same marketing material as their sister property in South Beach, Miami.
Worse yet, when a visitor to your listing on brand.com enters the brand.com booking environment, they are often shown nearby properties flying the same flag… essentially making brand.com an OTA sending business to your co-branded regional neighbors!
You’re still accountable
If your property falls short of its revenue goals, do you think your brand’s marketing team will go to bat and be held accountable for missing the mark? Probably not.
This is why it’s important to take marketing into your own hands and augment your brand’s core marketing assets with your own to aggressively pursue direct bookings. When you rely on your brand’s marketing team, you relinquish control over vital revenue-drivers like:
- Filling sudden periods of need.
- Attracting regional groups and events.
- Creating timely packages or special.
- Posting and marketing special events.
- Publishing user-generated social media content.
- Creating retargeting ads to bring people back to your site.
Normally, this would require you to fill out a request form with your brand’s marketing team and wait days or weeks for ‘your turn,’ losing potential bookings in the meantime.
Your remote brand team is simply unable to deploy effective campaigns capturing your hotel’s unique essence in a reasonable amount of time
Your direct hotel website is generic
Flagged hotels don’t actually have robust websites… they have listings on brand.com.
When your hotel is simply plugged into a brand’s basic template website, there is nothing – besides photos and snippets of copy – that distinguishes your hotel’s individual story, destination, or personality.
You cannot customise every element that conveys your hotel’s unique experience, F&B outlets, meeting and event space, surrounding neighbourhood, local culture, etc.
Your SEO stinks
Leaving hotel marketing to your brand will also place limits on your SEO and traffic generation campaigns. While your brand may conduct search engine marketing campaigns on your hotel’s behalf, they only scratch the surface.
You’re not authentic
Today, people are investing their travel dollars in authentic experiences that immerse them in the local culture and lifestyle. They’re hungry for local secrets, bold adventures and seeing parts of the city that most tourists don’t see.
When your brand has control of your online marketing, they won’t be able to connect with your visitors or convey that local mindset. First off, because they’re not even there. They don’t know what makes your destination so special. They don’t understand the culture, the awesome mom-and-pop stores and restaurants that give your neighbourhood character, or know the local secrets. Only you and your local marketing staff can tell a compelling story that will actually drive bookings.