We’re halfway through September, which means—besides the fact that we’re jamming to Earth, Wind and Fire more than usual—we’re at the tail end of peak season for those of our hospitality friends and customers with especially busy summers.
With everyone’s full schedules in mind, we combed through this summer’s marketing headlines to give you the tl;dr (too-long-didn’t-read) on everything from new regulations, to the ROI of social media.
From a thought leader on trailblazing hospitality tech: We love a good conversation with hospitality’s movers and shakers, and this chat with Hotel Tech Report’s Jordan Hollander is especially great. Hollander sat down with Digital Intent to talk industry challenges in their Disruptors podcast. He touched on why, at times, innovation can be difficult to navigate within hotel organizations. To help, he also shared some key examples of how to move quickly and overcome hurdles.
TL;DR: Hollander identified some of hospitality’s challenges, like slowness to adapt and digitize. His team built Hotel Tech Report to help hotels to incorporate tech into their operation and help innovative vendors to gain market share.
On data, privacy & relationship-building: This spring, marketers around the world focused a lot of energy on compliance for the European Union’s GDPR, elevating the urgency of protecting customer data and relationship-focused marketing.
Now, all eyes are on California’s new data protection law that brings this topic to the US. Harvard Business Review passed along the need-to-know details on the law and what it means for marketers moving forward. (Bonus material: You can find a few more great takes on this topic here, here and here.)
TL;DR: As data protection laws arrive stateside, taking great care of guests’ data is even more critical. Marketing and communication that’s focused on building relationships with travelers and nurturing them along the way isn’t just a best practice—it’s where marketing is ultimately headed.
On social by the numbers: Social media is, of course, one of the most powerful tools for marketers when harnessed correctly, but measuring impact can be challenging at times—so HospitalityNet stepped up to give us the essential stats on tracking ROI. According to CMO’s, they’re spending 12% of their budgets on social, with that number expected to rise to 20% in the next 5 years. That’s a large chunk of hard-earned marketing dollars, so understanding the value, and how social ties back to a business impact is critical.
At Flip.to, we’ve found that using these channels to let travelers introduce properties and destinations to new audiences is one of the most authentic ways to use social (and we work hard to make sure those interactions are super trackable as well).
TL;DR: Many marketers look at social engagement (likes and comments), but find it challenging to track the sales impact. Only 20% of CMOs say they’ve quantified the business impact (with marketing agencies reporting similarly). So if you’re scratching your head to put numbers to those conversions, you’re not alone.
On marketing your destination by word-of-mouth: Destination Think! not only delved into the importance of truly organic word-of-mouth in marketing, but also strategies for sparking it. They also noted the importance of tourism advocacy, as well as using stories and community to forge lasting relationships with travelers.
The bottom line? The importance of authentically reaching audiences on social can’t be overstated—building trust instead of simply trying to shout over an already noisy conversation. (We’ve said it before, and we’ll said it again!) Letting your travelers spread the word about your destination organically on a massive scale is the best way to reach new audiences.
TL;DR: Letting your travelers be the storytellers for your destination powerfully sparks word-of-mouth marketing and relationships with new audiences. Community-building wins out over clickbait every time. Your marketing should have a CTA that is directly relevant and captivating to the reader.
What news caught your eye this summer, and what do you think is next on the horizon? Drop us a line, and we’ll feature it next time.