In the 21st century, we continue to see a structural delay in relation to the role of digital marketing in the hospitality industry.
We could say that it is one of the industries that stands to gain the most from a solid digital marketing strategy – the use of digital media for researching and purchasing travel and booking hotels is documented and will not slow down – however, this sector remains struggling with difficulty of embracing this reality. Does it seem impossible?
It’s just that digital marketing is not limited to having an account on each social network, it encompasses the use of various tools that hotel managers/directors are not used to (nor do they want to learn) to deal with, it requires a level of planning to which the operation is not prepared to respond to, and those who work in the area face the daily frustration of not being able to learn more, of not excelling, struggling for years in the hope of being able to implement what they know to be the most basic online strategy.
In this phase – perhaps endless in the traditional hotel industry – the struggle is for a website adapted to all devices, with sales optimization through a pleasant and attractive UX, the possibility of resorting to crosseling between units, add ons to maximize the ADR, having an excellent SEO project to support and position the website in the search engines and, thus, be able to leverage Google Ads, which, once again, will have to be explained in more than 10 meetings – what are they, how do they work, how much they cost, how much will they generate, will we approve or not, will we have a return on investment?
If you have a good Revenue Manager, feel grateful, as it will be the first person to see how this tool will be useful to them, and it will be themselves who come to digital marketing, showing windows of opportunity so that, together, you can decide on offers and campaigns that are nothing more than methods to achieve goals. If you can’t count on it, you already know… digital marketing will have to look at the numbers, come up with proposals, explain how it would work, why they make sense and ask, please, let me do my job…
Now, imagine that after these meetings, you finally get approval for what should have been working for months… well, we moved on to another battle: email marketing – the GDPR, outlet reservations without email, the lack of integrations between each point contact with the customer and the CRM – thinking that this has already been implemented of course!!
Another ball with so many loose ends and so difficult to untangle. Meanwhile, social networks… we want to have accounts on all social networks, it doesn’t matter if we can’t respond to all contacts, if there’s no sales strategy for them, or if we run out of creativity to produce quality content that can actually generate engagement. They exist and it seems, you have to “be there”, no matter what.
It can be really frustrating to see the potential of an industry that puts itself to a very low-level regarding digital marketing for fear of delegating or holding accountable. And that’s why it’s normal that there is fatigue for never being able to get out of those 3 or 4 basic themes that we haven’t even managed to solve yet.
To change this, it is necessary to change mentalities, invest on training and inter-departmental restructuring, rely on agencies or external platforms that can bring this “newness” and to whom authority is given to change, agitate and apply new methods. It is necessary to admit that we do not know everything, that we continue to learn in any position we assume in this profession and feel pleasure in learning every day, recognizing our faults, being aware of what we are good or less good at… stop acting as if the future wasn’t NOW.
ABC Sustainable Luxury Hospitality
Proudly Ambassador Global Wellness Institute