The Power of Strategic Marketing in the Hotel Industry
In the fast-evolving landscape of the hospitality industry, hotels find themselves navigating through a digital realm where competition is fierce, and every click matters. Welcome to the era where strategic marketing is not just an option but a necessity. Today, we uncover the untapped potential that lies within the partnership between hotels and digital marketing agencies.
But first we must consider the potential difficulties of building an in-house digital agency within a hotel or, in most cases, in-house digital support at a hotel management company. Let’s consider, for example, building in-house resource(s) for the management and execution of digital marketing for a portfolio of 15 hotels.
Regarding workload distribution, a hotel management company typically assigns one person to oversee 15 hotels, while an agency usually employs 5-10 individuals to manage all digital marketing aspects for these 15 hotels. These roles encompass Account Managers, SEO specialists, social media experts, designers/developers, email marketers, and a director. Could all these digital marketing services for the 15 hotels be condensed into one role? It’s possible, but not without potential compromises in speed or quality. Furthermore, in the event of a two-week vacation for a team member in the agency setup, there’s a backup team available to cover and ensure continuous support. However, if this work were brought in-house, a similar backup plan might not always be readily accessible when the in-house resource takes time off.
Within an agency, each team focuses on specific digital marketing areas. For instance, an SEO team might not excel in social media marketing, and similarly, the social media team might not be proficient in SEO. These teams are specialists in their respective domains, highly effective within their expertise. Consequently, a management company faces a pivotal decision: either 1) establish a comprehensive in-house digital marketing agency—a highly effective yet costly approach—or 2) opt to hire a costly internal digital director, a position which would still require agency partnership(s) to carry out day-to-day digital marketing services.
Training remains a cornerstone at Blue Magnet and presumably within other hotel digital marketing agencies. Given the dynamic nature of digital marketing, agencies consistently offer comprehensive training across various disciplines (SEO, social media, PPC, email marketing, etc.) throughout the year. Their involvement in industry conferences is supplemented by internal cross-departmental training initiatives. By employing specialists in diverse digital marketing realms, agencies foster an environment where team members share their expertise, ensuring a collective skill exchange. In contrast, an individual working alone for a hotel management company must heavily depend on their own resourcefulness and self-education capabilities.
This situation can be likened to the choice between renting a home or owning it. When renting, any maintenance or property issues become the landlord’s responsibility to address. Conversely, as a homeowner, the upkeep becomes solely your responsibility. Likewise, partnering with an agency like Blue Magnet places the onus on us for training, performance reviews, salary increases, benefits, and overall human resources management. However, when these responsibilities are internalized, they shift entirely to the hotel or management company.
What approach will the hotel or management company take to fill the digital marketing role? How will they guarantee the selection of the most suitable candidate? Who will assure that this individual can develop an encompassing strategy covering SEO, social media, PPC, email marketing, OTAs, Brand.com, and more? A hotel marketing agency delivers specialized services tailored to hotels, which significantly increases the likelihood of the agency possessing the precise expertise required to identify the right candidate.
This closely ties in with the hiring process. Across most industries, there’s significant turnover in digital marketing roles. If a hotel management company opts to hire an in-house digital marketing manager or director, there’s typically a minimum of 6 months before that individual becomes trained and proficient in their role. However, if that person departs after 12 months, the cycle resets. Finding a replacement takes around 2-3 months, followed by another 6 months of training. Consequently, the digital marketing strategies for the 15 hotels may lose momentum for approximately 9 months. On the other hand, an agency partner can establish redundancy, ensuring a seamless continuation in managing and executing the digital marketing strategies for the hotels without any gaps.
Director vs Specialist
Finding someone to handle both the creation of an overarching digital marketing strategy and the hands-on execution of its initiatives can prove to be quite challenging. These responsibilities demand a broad spectrum of expertise, often reflected in different job titles. Crafting a digital marketing strategy often aligns more with a directorial role, whereas executing the specific tactics supporting that plan usually falls on specialists within various disciplines (such as SEO, social media, PPC, etc.). It’s not that individuals possessing both skill sets don’t exist; rather, identifying someone who is not only inclined to devise the strategy but also possesses the proficiency to carry out the necessary groundwork to support these initiatives can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.
With that, the following are additional benefits of working with a highly-skilled agency partnership:
Targeted Visibility: Beyond the Horizon with Digital Agencies
In an online world inundated with choices, visibility is key. Digital marketing agencies specialize in catapulting your hotel beyond the horizon of generic search results. Imagine potential guests effortlessly finding your establishment through strategic SEO, localized content optimization, and targeted local search strategies. It’s not just about being seen; it’s about being seen by the right audience at the right time in the right distribution channels. These agencies understand the intricacies of online visibility, making sure your hotel is not lost in the vast digital landscape.
Bookings That Count: Direct Bookings, Direct Success
Social Engagement: Social ROI from Likes to Lifelong Guests
Today’s guests aren’t just looking for a place to stay; they’re seeking an experience, a connection. This is where the social prowess of digital marketing agencies comes into play. Crafting and executing a robust social media strategy, they transform likes into lifelong guests. Engaging content, community building, and targeted advertising on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter create a buzz around your hotel, fostering brand loyalty and encouraging repeat bookings.
Data-Driven Decision Making: The Analytics Advantage
Adaptability in Action: Future-Proof Your Hotel
The digital landscape is ever-changing, and staying ahead of the curve is non-negotiable. A digital marketing agency is your strategic partner in this journey, ensuring your hotel not only stays current but also capitalizes on emerging trends. From voice search optimization to immersive content experiences, they future-proof your establishment, keeping you ahead of the competition.
Collaboration for Success: Symbiotic Success with Your Agency
Success in the digital realm is a collaborative effort. A digital marketing agency becomes an extension of your team, working towards shared goals. Open communication, shared objectives, and a mutual understanding of your hotel’s unique offerings contribute to a successful, ROI-driven partnership. It’s not just a service; it’s a symbiotic relationship that propels both your hotel and the agency to new heights.
Unlock Your Hotel's Potential with Digital Mastery
As we conclude this exploration into the tangible benefits of hiring a hotel digital marketing agency, the path to unlocking your hotel’s true potential becomes clearer than ever. The world of strategic marketing is not just about investment; it’s about unleashing ROI that transforms your hotel’s future. Now, take the next step in this transformative journey. Contact Blue Magnet Interactive and schedule a quick phone call to go over your 2024 hotel budget needs and receive a free audit. We can go through the goals for your hotel and help you determine the right marketing mix to help you achieve those goals.