Integrating Direct Marketing and Web Marketing Efforts

By Robert King General Manager, Travel & Hospitality, ClickSquared | June 18, 2010

The challenges confronting travel and hospitality marketers intensify with the ongoing economic softness, and marketing budgets (along with other functional areas) are under increasing pressure. More than ever, ROI is top of mind as marketers try to stretch their dollars for greater impact.

With this backdrop, interactive marketing becomes increasingly important. According to Forrester, 60% of marketers will increase budget for interactive by shifting money away from traditional marketing (primarily direct mail, newspapers and magazine). Email marketing and search engine marketing is expected to grow at compounded annual growth rates of 11% and 15%, respectively, through 2014. The continued growth in interactive marketing is largely fueled by the marketer's ability to take real-time actions, test and learn, and directly measure results.

Interestingly, marketing organizations have often not embraced direct email and web marketing. Many make the mistake of segregating inbound marketing efforts (usually online marketing such as search engine marketing (SEM) or search engine optimization (SEO)) from outbound marketing (better known as database marketing, with execution increasingly focused on email versus traditional "direct mail"). As a result, they miss out on the synergies afforded by an integrated marketing approach. Even if organizational integration isn't practical, having the marketing teams work together can have a huge impact upon marketing effectiveness and ROI.

Integrating direct and online (aka, inbound and outbound) marketing involves the ability to capture information from web marketing efforts on prospects/guests that can be fed into the marketing database and then leveraged for direct marketing efforts,. Conversely, using the marketing database to derive insights means more targeted digital advertising and search marketing efforts.

Marketing "Evolution" vs. "Design"

In today's travel and hospitality arena, there are varying degrees of marketing integration. On one end of the spectrum there are organizations that are "siloed", with website development, web marketing and direct marketing functioning as independent disciplines and oftentimes organized as different departments.

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Joseph Ricci
Jennifer Nagy
Max Starkov
Juston Parker
Bonnie Knutson
Jeff Slye
Matthew Rosenberger
Brenda Fields
Roger G. Hill
Edward Donaldson
Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.