Four Ways to Hold Your Ground in the Shifting Sands of Meta

Google recently tested placing hotel booking ads at the top of search results, as opposed to under the right panel in the local knowledge card for the hotel. It got HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Council thinking about whether hotels’ marketing budgets in 2017 should be shifted in light of the potential elevation of the widget on search engine results pages…and about a lot of other Meta-related issues.

The only thing for certain is that hotel marketers will have to continue trying to hit a moving target as the technology evolves and develops at a rapid pace.

In the meantime, consider these insights as you continuously deploy and evaluate your marketing spend.

  • A lot of owners are asking about Meta-related issues lately, with lots of questions about the value of spending in this area, for example with Google Hotel Price Ads (GHPA). Are these platforms delivering the “right” ROI? The only way to know for your hotel is to be clear on your goals for participating, and measure the results against those goals.  Are you looking for exposure, bookings, “like” audiences, or something else?
  • When it comes to Meta-related business, commissions are oftentimes not factored into a hotel’s results. We need to be very clear with our teams, and with our owners, about where the expenses for this business are booked and how we look at them when considering our ROI. Unfortunately, our accounting systems are generally not sophisticated enough to keep up with these issues. The impact of that can be felt when a revenue manager makes poor decisions and is still rewarded for selling more, even though it is at a higher commissionable rate. If you’re only watching ADR to track success, it is getting very tricky as more and more moves into the commission line.
  • When you think about Facebook’s Dynamic Ads for Travel (DAT), meta is not just about meta, but the connectivity of your inventory being available downstream…sometimes placing meta on top of meta, resulting in even more dilution.
  • Control-ability is an important factor to consider when planning and budgeting for marketing here. There are lots of variables that hotels can control in their marketing, but one thing they can’t control is PPC. An amateur at a comp set property, or OTA, can quickly increase your costs. There are platforms that are getting better with budget control constraints, and software solutions are being developed to help you manage your spend. It’s definitely something to keep an eye on.

Resources & Recommended Reading

About HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Council

HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Council connects travel marketers in a way that leverages interactive customer engagement as a marketing medium while increasing the awareness of emerging issues, opportunities and trends. This is accomplished through a wide range of information sharing, networking and educational opportunities. 2016-2017 members include:

  • CHAIR: Holly Zoba, CHDM, Senior Vice President of Hospitality Sales, Signature Worldwide
  • VICE CHAIR: Shawn Paley, CHDM, Director, Global eCommerce & Digital Services, Marriott International
  • Shaun Aukland, Senior Account Executive, Google
  • Aimee Cheek, CHDM, Director of eCommerce, OTO Development
  • Robert Cole, Founder-CEO, RockCheetah
  • Chris Copp, VP, Global Digital Marketing, IHG
  • Joey Egan, Vice President, Marketing & Customer Experience, Leonardo
  • Erica Eyring, CHDM, Director, Account Management, Expedia Media Solutions
  • Isaac Gerstenzang, CHDM, Assistant Vice President, Corporate E-commerce, Destination Hotels
  • Loren Gray, CHDM, Founder, Hospitality Digital Marketing
  • Jamie Hansen, CHDM, Director, Marketing, Best Western Hotels & Resorts
  • Carolyn Hosna, CHDM, Sr. Corp. Director, Marketing & Distribution, White Lodging
  • Jay Hubbs, III, CHDM, Senior Vice President, eCommerce, Remington Hotels
  • Michael Innocentin, Executive Director, Digital Marketing, FRHI Hotels & Resorts
  • John Jimenez, CHDM, Vice President of E-commerce, Pyramid Hotel Group
  • Chris LaRose, VP, eCommerce Americas, Hilton Worldwide
  • Sarita Mallinger, Regional Director, Digital Marketing, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
  • Delana Meyer, CHDM, Corporate Director of eCommerce and Marketing, Crescent Hotels & Resorts
  • Amy Mierzwinski, CHDM, Principal , John Fareed Hospitality Consulting
  • Anna Paccone, CHDM, eCommerce Director, National Sales, Pillar Hotels & Resorts
  • Donna Quadri-Felitti, CHDM,PHD, Director and Associate Professor, Pennsylvania State University
  • Chris Rockett, SVP Sales, Milestone Internet Marketing
  • Mariana Safer, CHDM, Senior Vice President, Marketing, HeBS Digital
  • Kevin Scholl, CHDM, Director of Digital Marketing, Red Roof Inn
  • Dave Spector, Partner, Tambourine
  • Dan Wacksman, CHDM, Senior Vice President, Global Distribution, Outrigger Resorts
  • Christine Beuchert Williams, Sr. Director of Marketing & Ecommerce Strategy, Marcus Hotels & Resorts


Categories: Marketing, Internet & Social Media
Insight Type: Articles