Special Offers Deserve a Special Place in Your Marketing Mix
By Rob Kall President, Bookt LLC | May 05, 2010
Name a more competitive online arena than Travel. Can you? As an entrepreneur in hospitality marketing and technology – perhaps I am biased. To me, the Travel marketplace is at the top tier of the web's explosion of channel aggregation, information, and game changing consumer sophistication. To compete and win, today's hotelier must develop a multi-layered strategy and deploy an array of finely-tuned tactics. And must do so while battling a recovering economy and navigating crowded sea lanes. Bon voyage!
Special times require special measures, with the keyword being "Specials" – a tried and true marketing tactic that can help you beat your competitors, engages consumers, and can be profitable when smartly done and managed. Unless your city is hosting the Super Bowl, every day, forever, specials should have a time and place in your marketing mix.
Priming the Pump
According to their most recent survey on consumer satisfaction with reservations made on seven major independent travel sites, J D. Power and Associates reports – in order of importance – that consumers are looking for "competitiveness of price, ease of booking, usefulness of the information on the website, availability of booking options/travel packages, appearance/design of site, and ease of navigation." Thus, while price clearly plays a key role in consumer satisfaction, just as clearly – improving your site itself is also critical. This means that savvy hoteliers will continually refine their website. Consumers are seeking comfort and value in your property as well as in their online experience. To prime the pump for effective use of special offers, get your website house in order. This is absolutely Step #1.
Okay. Your website functionality and design is new and improved. So it's time to launch your Valentine's Weekend Away promotion – right? Not so fast. One other area on your site requires a look before you leap. Content. According to an April 2009 report from the global online travel and tourism site, TravelMole, when booking a holiday online, consumers say the following content are important: