6 Essentials Every Hotel Marketer Needs to Know

HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Strategy Conference convened more than 300 hotel marketing executives to focus on maximizing the digital marketing tools hoteliers are using today – from SEO strategy and web presence, to mobile and social – and preparing for what the future will bring.

At the end of the day, attendees walked away with specific, practical recommendations to sharpen their action plans and thought-provoking, challenging ideas to guide their strategies for tomorrow – all aimed at increasing revenue, driving direct bookings, and taking the agony out of managing digital marketing.

Here’s what 5 HSMAI leaders took away, and think you should know:

  • I always like hearing updates from Google since they’re such a big part of the ecosystem. Shaun Aukland [Senior Account Executive for Google] highlighted that OTAs are doing a much better job getting structured data and applying it to their bidding models, including returning users.  He said that the ones doing the best are getting a 4x return (or doing it 4x better) than others, which should be a wake up call to the hotel community.      – Jay Hubbs, CHDM, Senior Vice President, eCommerce, Remington Hotels
  • One of my fun take-aways was learning that emojis are now indexed by the search engines J. The most impressive thought was from Scott Brinker [Editor, chiefmartec.com] who compared marketers to product engineers. I hadn’t gone that far in my head but he’s absolutely right – in order to be successful in marketing these days, you have to be comfortable with technology, platforms, data, and analytics. – Carolyn Hosna, CHDM, Sr. Corp. Director, Marketing & Distribution, White Lodging
  • I really enjoyed Geoff Ramsey’s [Founder of eMarketer] presentation. The biggest takeaway for me reinforced what we already know in that the digital space: that it is constantly evolving and moving quicker than ever before. We went from desktop to mobile, mobile to apps, and now we will be moving from apps to AI. – Chris Copp, VP, Global Digital Marketing, IHG
  • Revenues have increased YOY by 4%, but due to rising acquisition costs, net revenue actually decreased .5%. This is not good news and shouldn’t be the situation.  We have to get a better handle on controlling – and making better business decisions on – our channel contributions. – Holly Zoba, CHDM, VP, Signature Worldwide
  • In a conference filled with speaker after speaker sharing head-spinning facts about mobile device usage, the ways to leverage social and search, the importance of Net Revenue Per Available Room and other industry-shifting, digitally enabled tools and information, the question I kept coming back to was how can we successfully manage this rapid change and spur innovation in our people, organizations, and industry? As the HSMAI conference made clear, these are questions every organization needs to be addressing. In the digital age, there’s no time to delay. – Gary Leopold, President, CP Travel, ISM/CP
  • The presentation from Catlyn Origitano, Senior Content Marketing Manager for Sojern, was really insightful. Her point about creating content for potential travelers/guests throughout the conversion funnel was excellent. Many hoteliers and marketers are so concerned with driving conversion at the bottom of the funnel that they forget to create inspiring content, and aren’t thinking about the full digital travel journey. – Amy Mierzwinski, CHDM, Director, Horwath HTL

Videos of many of the conference presentations are now available online, free to HSMAI members ($59 for non-members).

Categories: Marketing, Digital
Insight Type: Articles