Brand Safety in Digital Advertising - What Every Hotel Brand Needs to Know
By Brett Tabano Senior Vice President of Marketing test, MediaAlpha | January 13, 2019
We live in a digital-first environment where hotels are increasingly reliant on digital advertising and marketing efforts to drive bookings. With the average American spending 24 hours every week online, digital advertising is a key strategy for hotel brands to achieve the greatest revenues.
However, brand safety and reputation can be challenging to maintain in the ever-changing digital landscape and is of paramount concern for hoteliers. With all of the competition, one cannot afford to have their well-earned reputation sullied by easy-to-avoid mistakes like poor ad placement.
Particularly today, where advanced algorithms more often than not determine where ads run and who potentially sees them, marketers are understandably concerned and confused about digital advertising and how to best protect their hotel's brand and reputation as "human touch" and oversight become further removed from the process. With widely publicized mishaps like an advertisement for beer placed next to a story on an 11-year-old charged with drunk driving or a tourism advertisement for Greece set next to a story on local riots, marketers are becoming increasingly skittish about digital advertising.
However, consumers are using their mobile devices more than ever to research business and travel options, and digital is a realm that can't be ignored if you want to succeed. In today's landscape, you are expected to deliver 24/7, convenient experiences wherever the consumer is - whether that be online or in person. Additionally, consumers are becoming savvier and are visiting numerous sites to gather information and comparison shop to find the best deal.
It's undeniable that in this environment, brands cannot afford not to be advertising online and therefore must take proactive measures to protect their brand and ensure that consumers get the best possible experience every time they encounter that brand online. As the well-known saying goes, "you are the company you keep," and because of this one of the most important factors to consider is ad placement. All it takes is one consumer sharing a screenshot on social media of your ad for a family-friendly hotel on an unsavory, adult-content site to cause tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue. Not to mention the extra time and effort it will take to get your brand back on track and in the public's good graces again.
This is why hotel brands should begin to shift budget away from traditional display media and move it towards comparison offers that drive greater value and more revenue.