2015 is set to be a big year in digital marketing for hotels with an explosion of new and exciting marketing tools in a rapidly changing environment.
As leading edge practitioners in digital marketing, the team at Net Affinity have identified 15 Hotel Marketing Trends which they believe will feature prominently in 2015.
2015 will see a rapid rise of personalised web experiences. Hotels will begin to use data in more sophisticated ways to develop tailored content & target customers based on their preferences & online behaviour.
2. Mobile isn't a Trend.
Mobile bookings will continue to grow at a fast pace throughout 2015, With a prediction that mobile travel bookings will reach $39.5 billion in 2015, contributing to 25% of the total online travel market.
(Stats Source: www.revparguru.com)
3. Booking Abandonment.
With approximately 98% of visitors to a hotels website abandoning the funnel, booking abandonment tools are the answer to driving customers back through the conversion funnel for 2015.
4. Meta Search.
There is still a long journey to be taken by Meta Search providers to make this an effective channel for hoteliers. The challenge for 2015 is to ensure Meta search channels deliver bookings at a profitable CPA.
5. Mobile payment
2015 will see 'mobile payment' become mainstream for mobile hotel bookings. In the past year, the online retail industry witnessed a surge in alternative payment methods such as PayPal, with up to 1 in 4 mobile transactions now through these channels.
6. Owning your Real Estate
The average traveller journey from research to booking takes 24 days and includes 21.6 touch points. 2015 will see an increased focus.
7. Pay to Play Social Media
Social platforms will continue to make significant algorithm changes which will affect the social reach of promotional and sales driven content, Hotels will increasingly need to pay in order for this content to be seen.
8. Persona Driven Content
Hotel must become customer-centric and look at a hotel through the lens of the customer rather than the hotel marketer. Hotels need to start understanding what their customer personas want & need from a hotel and tailor their experiences around this.
9. New SEO
With google now monetizing 100% 'above the fold'* for hotel search results, Marketers must push the boundaries for organic traffic, 2015 is the year of new SEO - where optimisation moves away from traditional tactics and focuses more on overall customer experience across all channels.
(*Based on Avg Screen Size and currently only in the USA)
10. Programmatic Marketing
We are set for an explosion of Programmatic bidding throughout 2015. Currently 35% of total ad spend is spent on display advertising bought through programmatic technologies. (Stats Source: Business and Leadership)
11. Audio-Visual Content
Studies show that people remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read & 80% of what they see & do, 2015 will see the growth in visual storytelling, allowing hotels to grow a vibrant and engaged community. (Stats Source: Google 2013 Travel Study)
12. Experience Driven Strategies
2015 will witness a growth of experience driven marketing strategies, Today’s consumers want to stay with hotels that acknowledge their preferences & desires…engage your customers through immersive brand & product stories that create excitement & stir their emotion
13. Proximity Technology
91% of smartphone users have their devices within arm's reach 24/7, hotel marketers can take advantage of this by using proximity marketing where various rich media and permission based messages can be pushed out to customers based on location. (Stats Source: www.Viralblog.com)
14. Baby Boomers
Baby boomers* are the wealthiest generation & are becoming increasingly tech savvy with 33% of internet users now falling into this demographic. Its imperative that hotels include this generation when it comes to their 2015 digital marketing strategies. (Stats Source: www.dmn3.com)
*Born Between 1946 and 1964
15. Holistic approach to Revenue Management
The rapid change in consumer behaviour will require hotels to adopt an integrated approach to revenue management by more strongly involving sales and marketing in the decision making process. Convergence of these roles will be crucial to managing distribution channels effectively in 2015.