• Products
    • Products

      We offer thoughtfully crafted products that exceed the industry standard

    • Booking Engine

      A booking engine based on the highest standards, built to convert and empower

      Learn More
    • Website Builder

      Built to ensure that your hotel website never goes out of date

      Learn More
    • Hotel Gift Vouchers

      Easy-to-use platform that enables you to customise and sell vouchers

      Learn More
    • Meta Search

      Experience seamless connectivity using our booking engine

      Learn More
  • Services
    • Services

      Our services are carefully crafted and executed in pursuit of one goal: direct bookings

    • Client Services

      A team of hard-working, dedicated experts from the hospitality industry

      Learn More
    • Bespoke Websites

      Beautifully designed sites that are fully optimised by our team of experts

      Learn More
    • Digital Marketing

      A team of digital marketers armed with all the knowledge & tools you need

      Learn More
  • Resources
    • Resources

      Blogs, podcasts, webinars and more to support our customers in dynamic and helpful ways

    • Blog

      Updated weekly with expert takes on current trends and developments of the industry

      Learn More
    • Podcasts & Webinars

      Listen to or sign up for all the latest tips, tricks and industry insights

      Learn More
    • Knowledge Base

      Access some helpful guides, how-to's and updates on all our products via our Knowledge Base

      Learn More
    • Learning Academy

      Become a certified expert in our products! Upskill and test your knowledge on our Academy

      Learn More
  • About Us
    • About Us

      Get to know our story, our team, our industry partners and the success of our clients.

    • About Us

      Our story, values and team, plus everything in between. Our culture is important to us.

      Learn More
    • News

      Access all of our latest updates, some insightful industry news and events we host and attend.

      Learn More
    • Case Studies

      Our products deliver tangible results for clients. Read about the success of our clients.

      Learn More
    • Partners

      We work with a long list of talented partners to ensure our clients can make the most out of their products.

      Learn More
Book A Demo

Posted

13/07/2016

 

To bid or not to bid on brand terms

There is an ongoing debate about whether hotels should bid on their own brand name. While many hotels have seen the benefits and bought into the idea of bidding on branded terms as a defensive strategy against OTAs, there are still many hoteliers who question the need to bid on their brand name. The question should not be whether to bid on your brand; it should be whether you can afford not to!

A recent study from Bing Ads focuses on this topic for the travel sector. It suggests that without ads, the organic listing receives 61% of available clicks and the volume of clicks increased by 27% when brand ads were present. While having a brand ad present does cannibalize some of the clicks the organic listing would have received anyway, if no brand ad is present, competitors receive 40% clicks versus only 12% with the ad present.

Looking at our clients on Google, which holds a market share of over 90% of searches across our clients, the numbers look a bit more sinister. When no brand ad is present, organic listings receive 30 – 40% of available clicks, with 60 – 70% of clicks going to other organic listings or paid ads by the OTAs. However, with a brand ad present, hotels are able to capture 60 – 70% of available clicks.

 

Shift to profit-driven marketing

So how do you get the most out of your brand campaigns? A shift in mindset is needed to fundamentally change the way you look at your marketing expenditure.

Most hotels consider digital marketing spend on brand to be a cost centre and are assigning fixed monthly budgets to their campaigns, potentially restricting their impression share due to budget constraints and reducing flexibility for high demand periods.

Implementing a profit-driven strategy changes the way you look at your marketing spend. It should be considered a profit centre and used to drive as much profit as possible.

Let’s take a look at an example. In red, a client who uses a profit-driven strategy whose impressions closely resemble the demand curve. In blue, a client on a fixed budget whose impression share varies wildly and is completely disparate to the demand curve.

paid search pic 1

Source: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/profit-driven-marketer.html

 

Looking at the right KPIs


In order to get the most out of your marketing spend, you need to look at the right KPIs to make meaningful decisions and put you on the path to profit-driven marketing campaigns.

Most importantly, look at your CPA (cost per acquisition) as a percentage figure. With OTA commissions starting from 15% upwards, your brand campaign should perform to a CPA below that including your booking engine commission; e.g. if your booking engine commission is 3%, your brand campaign should ideally come in at 12% CPA or less and you should keep spending on this campaign with no budget restrictions as long as the CPA is maintained at or below this level.

 

Branching out from brand campaigns


Once your brand campaigns are performing at optimal levels with a profit-driven approach, why limit yourself to brand campaigns?

According to Google’s 2014 Travel Study, the average travel planning journey includes 21.6 touchpoints on multiple devices. It is crucial for your hotel’s growth to be present at as many of these touchpoints as possible and paid search campaigns can help you in various stages of the purchase funnel.

 

paid search pic 2


Conclusion

  • It is critical for your property to run paid brand campaigns. You could be missing out on 60 – 70% of clicks for brand name searches without branded ads.
  • Shift from a fixed budget to a profit-driven campaign, focusing on CPA as a percentage rather than the total spend per month which could be detrimental to the campaign’s performance.
  • Don’t limit yourself to brand only campaigns. Travel shoppers look at over 20 sites before making a purchase. Make sure you are present wherever possible at all stages of the funnel!
 

To check out the rest of our Book Direct series, designed to optimise your hotel's direct bookings, go here.

 

 

Christiane Foller is a Digital Marketing Specialist and Head of the Net Affinity Conversion Team 

Christiane trained in Austria, Switzerland and in the US before taking on various management roles in Ireland, including General Manager at the Hampton Hotel Dublin.

She has a keen interest in revenue and conversion optimization.

As the head of the Net Affinity Conversion Team she leads conversion projects, refining and polishing booking processes and user journeys.

Marketing in the Morning podcast


Episode 15: Gift Voucher Strategy, Website Updates & YouTube Bumper Ads

Listen here

Blog


Devise and communicate your hotel’s health & safety policy

Read more

The Partner Series podcast


Episode 15: Martin Sponholtz From AeroGuest

Listen here

Blog


Email marketing tips to help increase your hotel’s direct bookings

Read More

The Hotelier's Take podcast


Episode 5: Mairead Delaney from The McGettigan Hotel Group

Listen here!

Blog


Bookings continue to increase for summer months

Read more

The Partner Series podcast


Episode 13: Alan O'Riordan from apaleo

Listen here

The Hotelier's Take podcast


Episode 4: Mark Scott-Lennon from Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel

Listen here

The Partner Series podcast


Episode 12: Josef Lapka From Mews Systems

Listen here!