The most valuable tool at your disposal as a hotelier is data, especially when it comes to your potential guests.
You want to drive more bookings at your property, but marketing blindly to the masses is not the way to do it. You first need to narrow down who your target market should be, and how you can actually reach them effectively.
This might not be constant either, at different times of the year you might have different priorities or travellers may have different habits. That’s why it’s so important to have access to valuable data and be analysing it frequently.
There are many places you can find this data, including from online travel agents (OTAs) like Expedia, which recently published a guide on how you can target specific audiences to boost your conversions and bookings.
Let’s look at the main takeaways from Expedia’s research titled: ‘Audience targeting in travel advertising’…
Travel behaviour targeting for specific journey points
Expedia lists six broad categories in which travel companies can undertake audience targeting, covering a range of options:
- Travel geography
This includes origin, destination, route, country, booked destination
- Trip details
For instance type of credit card, number of travellers, days until trip start, duration of trip, travel end date, in-travel window
- Device based
Looking at browser type, device type, IP geography, mobile carrier, operation system
- Airline attributes
Such as air class, route, frequent flyer program, air brand shoppers, air brand bookers
- Hotel attributes
Featuring property types, hotel amenities, hotel star ratings, hotel brand shoppers and bookers, package shoppers and bookers
- Car/cruise attributes
Including car shoppers, car bookers, by brand, cruise destination, cruise shoppers and bookers
An example of what you could do with data like this is to showcase activities or festivals etc. near you that are happening during times when travellers have shown an interest in booking.
Consumer profile targeting for specific demographics
This allows companies to target people who are shopping around for particular experiences, activities, or products. The criteria could come from one of many categories including credit card audience, brand affinity, in-market, avid traveller, household with kids, household income, age, gender, interests, education, professional status.
For example brands in Australia and New Zealand can use avid traveller targeting to reach millennials interested in the outdoors, or hotel brands can use household income >$250k profiles to target people searching for high-end hotel experiences.
Custom audience targeting for more accuracy
Instead of just using destination marketing to target travellers maybe you could layer that with seasonality.
Three great examples provided by Expedia were:
- Winter ski enthusiasts – Based on travellers searching and booking trips to specific resort destinations between November and March
- Family road trippers – Looking at families who stayed in smaller cities along US highways during the summer months
- Solo adventure seekers – Spotlighting solo travellers who were interested in single occupancy hotels and single air tickets to destinations like South Africa or Brazil
Best practice tips for targeting is to use as much data as possible, test different strategies and capabilities, and to make sure your presence is strong through as much of the booking journey as possible.