2009 was a very difficult year for hoteliers across the board and the prognosis for 2010 is not much brighter.
Industry reports show that in 2010, hotels will continue to experience declines in revenue and profits, and the recovery is expected to be slow and painful. According to PKF Hospitality Research, in 2010 hotel occupancy will increase by only 0.4%, while ADR and RevPAR will decline further by 1.5% and 1.1% respectively.
So here are four marketing trends that hoteliers need to adopt in order to compete in these challenging economic times.
E-mail – There has been a noticeable uptick in e-mail marketing over the past six months because of its cost efficiency and targeting capabilities. We expect that trend to continue well into the third quarter of 2010. E-mail provides a verifiable ROI and can integrate with other new media channels including social media and mobile. The challenge for hoteliers is “inbox overload” and they will have to focus on customer preferences to compete.
Mobile – 2010 is the year that hoteliers must seriously consider making a sizeable investment in mobile marketing. The ability to target ads on the phone and enable prospective customers to book direct is crucial to increasing traffic and conversions. With mobile phones becoming an increasingly important marketing and CRM channel, improving technology and awareness will soon allow hotel marketers to enhance the hotel guest interaction.
Social Media – Hoteliers experimented with social media like Twitter and Facebook in 2009 and must commit to making a serious effort to move beyond “Fan pages” to offer customer services through social channels. Social media must be an integral part of their 2010 CRM campaign and begin using it as a dedicated resource for strategic services and direct communication with customers.
Online Videos – Printing and production channels have changed dramatically and going “green” is more than just a buzz word. Hoteliers must invest in a video production that can be viewed on the hotel’s website to help “influence” a customer’s booking decision and incorporated into YouTube (the second largest search engine just behind Google) and Facebook.