After reading three articles on the advancement of multiple device interaction in the hospitality industry written by Hotelmarketing, Vizergy, and Tnooz, it became clear that hoteliers need to assist guests in accomplishing guests’ goals (researching, booking, entertainment, contacting, etc.) while considering guests’ locations and times in order to increase bookings and increase brand loyalty.
Today, consumers research and book rooms on multiple devices. Along with the advancement of technology and demand for convenience, consumers access media and services anytime and anywhere through four key screens – television, PC (desktop/laptop), mobile (smartphone), and tablet computers (iPad/Kindle). As consumers jump from one media channel to another, they also move from one device to another as locations and goals change.
According to Google, 77% of consumers use another device while watching TV, with smartphones representing the most common “second screen” and tablets close behind –Vizergy.
Just a few years ago, hospitality marketers struggled to reach their target consumers on the go or their guests off the property. Getting consumers to see all that the hotel had to offer without getting potential guests on property was a preeminent challenge. Now, hospitality marketers have choices in reaching these consumers – opportunities arise in social media, search, email, blogging, and various other digital marketing channels.
Without a doubt, the fast paced technology advancements and changes in buying behavior trends can lead to some complex challenges. Rather than rely on instincts and rumors, hotel marketers must rely on hotel website analytics, research, and understanding of the guests’ buying process.
Take a look at a digital travel lifecycle provided by Vizergy. E-Marketing Associates has provided some recommendations below:
1. Research – uncover options and alternativesWhen a consumer is researching, make sure that your hotel is easy to find in search; otherwise, that beautiful hotel website of yours will never be seen! Also, mobile-optimization is crucial here as many consumers research on tablets and mobile devices. Most mobile searches are done in a hurry; make it convenient to simply click on a button to call or get directions.
Mobile users are 5 times more likely to abandon the task if the site isn’t optimized for mobile. In other words, 79% will search for another site to complete the task – tnooz.
2. Booking – decide what property meets their needs and expectationSince consumers have more bargaining power than ever before due to the easy access to information, make sure your hotel leaves a lasting impression. Does your website have large professional photos and an easy navigation setup?
3. Experience – arrive on hotel propertyThis is a perfect time to engage with guests.There are so many new ways to interact with guests. For example, using apps! Also, your hotel site should include an area guide and some blogs to help guests decide where to go. This will position your hotel staff as the local experts. The reward of this positioning is building a relationship with guests leading to loyalty and recommendations.
4. Relive – share photos and experiences of their vacation with friends through social mediaSocial media is now part of most marketing campaigns. Update, monitor, and post regularly on your social media.
5. Return – engaging with the property after their stay will increase likelihood of returnSend your guests a thank you email asking them to opt in to receive your monthly newsletter for preferred guests discounts. Also, you can simply ask them for a review on TripAdvisor. The thank you email can include a discount to encourage return and trust. In addition, include your social media links in order to potentially engage with them on other channels.
To successfully engage with consumers and maximize hotel revenue – listen & accommodate across the multiscreen world.