Power On Series: Strategy and Technology Preparation for When Bookings Start
This excerpt is from our recently published guide, Power On – Marketing for What’s Next. The complete guide offers actionable digital marketing strategies to prepare you for what’s next for hotels, resorts, & vacation rentals. You can check in daily for the next section or you can download the full version here.
We understand. There just aren’t a lot of people at the booking stage of the funnel and it’s hurting your business. This eBook blog post series wasn’t written to fill this portion of the funnel tomorrow. People aren’t ready to book yet, but they will be and industry experts are predicting that it will happen quickly. Many of our clients are talking to us right now about having the strategy and tech in place to capitalize on the upward momentum to come.
So, while you might think spending time here isn’t worth it right now, we urge you to take a look at a few aspects of your website and marketing.
Traveler Behaviors at the Booking Phase:
- Analyzing final costs of their vacation
- Making a decision and booking a vacation
Typical Marketing Activities
- Compelling Offers
- Rate Management
- Decrease Wasted Ad Spend
- Recover Lost Leads / Bookings
Cart abandonment technology allows you the opportunity to try to recover abandoned bookings when shoppers abandon their shopping cart. There may never be a better time to make sure you have this technology implemented.
Let’s walk through an example. Jenna (loves fishing) is planning a trip with three friends to a resort for a weekend of fishing. All three friends are looking for potential destinations and lodging. Jenna lands on a site, falls in love with the resort and proceeds with a booking. Before pressing “Confirm” Jenna receives a text from a friend who also has an option so Jenna backs out of her booking.
Let’s not let Jenna get away!
With Cart Abandonment technology, you’ve captured Jenna’s email address so you have the opportunity to send her an email drip campaign encouraging her to come back and complete her booking. You know what Jenna was excited about your property so go ahead and sweeten the deal for her so she can show her friends the great deal she got on her first choice of destination.
This coupled with the remarketing ads we talked about previously is a powerful combination that should be in place now to make sure interested visitors come back to your site.
Now is not the time to risk losing people at the Booking stage of the funnel!
Revenue Management and Packages
Traditional revenue management practices based on customer segmentation can be put on hold right now. Instead, revenue managers should focus on Feeder Market Revenue Management. Identify your short-haul and drive in markets, develop property packages and promotions focused on these markets (family, weekend, staycation, gas reimbursement, F&B, etc.), and then geo-target these markets with digital marketing campaigns.
For instance, using tiered promotions throughout the week to fill vacancies or using gift cards for rebates if guests book in 2020. It’s time to get creative with the data and tools at your disposal.
These don’t need to be rolled out right now but it’s important that they’re ready for when you see traffic coming back via your analytics.
This was an excerpt from our section in our new eBook around the Booking Phase that searchers will go through as they get ready to book a vacation. Download the PowerOn eBook to see more tips and tricks that you can start implementing now.