How hotels can compete with the OTAs
2014 was a year of ups and downs for the hotel industry with rising investment and an increase in global transactions offset by continued competition from the sharing economy and, perhaps more damagingly, intensified competition from OTAs.
With the large private equity backed hotel groups streamlining their portfolios and digital transactions continuing to grow in 2015, there’s a real opportunity for smaller groups and independents to expand.
While this is good news for most of the industry, especially for the customers, it is a threat to the independents and smaller groups that don’t leverage their brand online and those that rely on OTAs to drive web traffic.
While the digital landscape does create myriad competitive threats, it can also level the marketing playing field and there are some important techniques and approaches that small hotel groups and independents can take that can drastically improve acquisition and conversion.
Here, I’d like to outline some of those approaches:
- Understand the evolving search landscape and make sure your site is optimised for your commercial objectives.
- Use search, social and transactional data to understand your customers search journey and purchase drivers
- Take a campaign-based approach to content marketing – identify specific parts of the search journey to create content that locks customers onto your website
- Have diverse and original onsite content to keep them on a single path to purchase.
- Move beyond first-purchase tactics. Take an equally creative approach to CRM to drive loyalty.
These simple tactics can optimise even modest digital marketing budgets and supplement direct sales channels; enabling small hotel groups and independents to compete with large groups with deep pockets, OTAs with agressive tactis and saturated markets where its hard to stand out.
If you’d like any further information on how we’re helping hotels compete with the OTA’s, we’d love to hear from you