The Top Ten Questions to Ask Your Digital Marketing Partner

By Max Starkov President & CEO, Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Inc | July 27, 2014

Co-author Mariana Mechoso Safer is Senior Vice President, Marketing at HeBS Digital

Any hotel that has a high revenue-generating website and a strong digital marketing strategy that drives direct online bookings needs a great hotel digital marketing agency behind it.

It's challenging to find a good digital marketing partner these days. As more and more companies join the market as 'experts in hotel website design and digital marketing,' hoteliers are faced with a difficult decision. With serious revenues at stake, here are some questions to consider when deciding on who to partner with, or whether or not to stay with your current agency:

1. Do you consider yourself my property's digital marketing partner or vendor?

To achieve the highest long-term success rate, the hotelier-agency relationship must be based on trust and the client's best interests must be at the heart of everything the agency does. What does it mean to be a partner vs. a vendor?

  • Your digital marketing agency consistently offers proactive recommendations vs. simply "taking orders." Is your agency just an "order-taking" outfit or do they come up with consistent recommendations on how to tackle your occupancy, seasonal and other business needs? If you find yourself making all the effort to communicate with your agency first, you are working with a vendor.
  • Your digital marketing agency is an extension of your property's sales and marketing team. Are your agency's recommendations based on what's best for your property's business

    needs and what will generate the highest ROAS (Return-on-ad-spend)? Or are these recommendations based on how high a commission the agency receives? You'll need to do your research to find this out.

  • Your agency's company values are aligned with your values. If your partner has not identified any brand values, it has not clearly positioned itself in the marketplace. A team that stands behind its values strives to provide excellent customer service and produces better results for its clients. Aligned goals build authenticity and trust between a digital marketing agency and its clients.
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