Hotel Marketing Attribution: Assigning Value to Your Marketing Efforts

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Alex Corral
Alex Corral
September 22, 2016
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The world for hotel owners can be quite difficult. There are days where you feel like you don’t even have a moment to breathe. You know that the positive aspects of being in the hotel business are worth it, but sometimes it feels like a futile effort. You put one fire out, and then it’s on to the next one.

This issue comes up a lot when you are allocating hotel marketing dollars. It is one of the simplest, and most difficult things that you are tasked with doing. You know that you need to market your hotel, but you aren’t sure about which of the many options are right for you. This is where hotel marketing attribution comes into play. Marketing attribution analysis will help you see where your traffic is coming from, and if it is of the quality that you are looking for.

What is Hotel Marketing Attribution?

Once you have this information, you can begin to decide how much value you place on all of the activities that go on in your digital space. This is where attribution models come into play.

An attribution model lets you choose how much credit a customer’s click/website visit will receive towards your goal. When a customer is looking to book a room at your hotel, they’ll likely do quite a few searches and look at many different kinds of advertisements before settling on the right one.

Since all of your digital marketing efforts worked together, you need to factor that into your overall marketing value. There are some channels that work best to get your name out there, such as social. If you are only looking at last-click attribution, it might not seem like a valuable marketing tool to you. If you dive deeper into the data, you will see that it plays a huge role in exposing your business to potential customers. Once you see where each of your marketing efforts lies, you can tailor them in a way that will increase their effectiveness in the marketing funnel.

Most hotels are measuring how well they are doing by using the “last click” method. Meaning, they will assign all of the credit to the last-clicked paid ad, organic keyword, or social post as being responsible for the conversion. This means that many hotels are completely ignoring all of the other clicks a customer could have possibly done while making their purchase decision.

Why Do Hotel Marketing Attribution Models Matter?

Marketing attribution theory is a very popular conversation piece. It has become extremely important for hotel marketers because it can allow them to create the very best version of their ads for better ratings among customers. It will take a lot of time to create the very best attribution model for your hotel but it can be done.

Beware of These Common Marketing Attribution Mistakes

Marketing attribution can quickly stop being helpful if it is used in the wrong way. Here are the 3 biggest mistakes someone can make when trying to use hotel marketing attribution models.

  1. Never Changing Strategies – It can be easy to just sit back and do nothing but marketing strategies must always be moving forward to stay relevant. All of the past experience with customers, and where they fall in the purchase path, should constantly be evolving.
  2. Not Being Connected – Data without meaning can be created if attribution happens in silos, where many departments may end up taking responsibility for creating the same thing. The data both on and off the internet and all of the channels must be tracking properly before you can see benefit from proper attribution.
  3. Thinking Everything is the Same – The aspects of marketing attribution do not all work the very same way. Assuming that Facebook and Google AdWords are the same is not the way to go. They are two very different tools, and they cater to their audiences in very different ways.

How Should Hoteliers Continue?

Here is a quick way to get started:

  • Sign into your Analytics account and see where most of your traffic is coming from
  • See which of the traffic is converting the best
  • Ask customers how they heard about you.

Hotel attribution is much more complex than that, but this is a good start. It will get you to focus on what it is that is important to your business. Once you have this information down, you can begin to look for services that meet your particular need. If you find that social converts well, then you could start looking for an agency that can manage the social media for your hotel. The same can be said of paid search, print marketing, or SEO. Knowing about attribution can help you make the right decisions for your hotel going forward.

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