Happy Friday! Here we are – mid-Direct Booking Month. We recently released a guide filled with insights, tips, and tricks to up your direct channel game. And to recap it we are going to use our favorite medium – memes. Let’s get into it.
1. Hospitality segments are sharing the same brain (when it comes to direct bookings)
When we look across hotels, vacation rentals, and casino-hotels one thing is clear, the industry takes a “charge it to the game” approach with costly OTAs. Certainly, these channels have a place in your strategy, but in order to optimize your mix you have to be prepared to tear down the age-old myth that leaning heavily on listing sites is just part of doing business.
In our recent guide, The Essential Hospitality Guide to Direct Bookings, we review 4 strategies with accompanying tactics that can help you smash the status quo and drive more direct bookings – and revenue. Check it out here.
2. BRB, heading to a Data-hoarders Anonymous meeting
Admittedly, I am a data-hoarder. I am in therapy for it. Please respect my privacy at this time.
One thing data-hoarders have in common is capturing EVERYTHING. And while this is not a bad thing, it can cause complications when trying to make sense of your data or use it in guest experience customization. This is why make sure you capture truly important data can make a difference.
As we discuss in our recent Guide to Personalization, the expectation for a high-touch and customized guest experience across the booking journey is only increasing. This is why capturing important data points about a prospective guest’s stay across online and offline is the key to meeting expectations and converting. Just collecting rates and dates won’t help in this effort. This is where the voice channel shines. By asking open-ended questions – agents can build an experience customized to the booker. What service!
3. Is this a booking process or a corn maze?
Ease of booking is crazy important. If you aren’t prepared to book someone without a million hoops to jump through, there are about 100 different OTA sites and market competitors that are ready to capture that guest. It’s not just about the optimization of your website booking process. This goes for your voice channel as well.
Still putting people on hold? Unacceptable. That person – if they don’t hang up immediately – will use that time to search rates and competitors online. In this guide we dig into 5 tactics to reduce friction in your booking experience across online and offline. Check them out here.
4. Fred, you’re giving away the store!
If you know about those Fred’s commercials from the 80’s and 90’s, please message me so we can talk about them.
While during the slump of pandemic travel it may have felt like the only option – discounts are not the only way to get people in the door. In our guide, our friend, Sam Hassanein from IDeaS Revenue Solutions, reinforces that your pricing strategy should be as diverse as your property. Just pricing (and discounting) based on room types will sell you short. Be sure to look at the full picture of your demand and choose low-cost alternatives to discounting like rewards programs or on-site add ons. Check out the tactics that can help you make the most profitable decisions here.
5. Understand your true demand
Let’s talk about unconstrained demand. If I have a puzzle (I hate puzzles) and I only have 30% of the pieces – am I getting the full picture of Garfield the cat that is on the box? No.
This is similar to how people are measuring there demand today. Most are looking at ONLY booked data – around 30%. But there’s another 70% floating around there with data points that can help you understand what’s available to you – and how and why you are losing them. By broadening your demand scope and measuring your booked and unbooked data alongside market trends you will find yourself ready to make the best revenue decisions.
Thanks for sticking with us for Direct Booking Month! Check back in with us in 2 weeks for the next installment of hospitality meme news.