14 Digital Marketing Trends for Hotels in 2014 [INFOGRAPHIC]

gonzogonzo
Frederic Gonzalo Owner/Partner, Gonzo Marketing

Posted on January 11th 2014

14 Digital Marketing Trends for Hotels in 2014 [INFOGRAPHIC]

In the travel & hospitality sphere, it’s always insightful to take a closer look at how hotels embrace new technologies and face upcoming challenges. The folks at NetAffinity came up with this nifty infographic that paints a pretty good picture of digital marketing trends hotel marketers can expect to deal with in 2014, if they aren’t already! Truth be told, many of these trends apply to most travel industry stakeholders in some shape or form.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Mobile marketing: It appears like 2013 was finally THE year of mobile, so expect some serious inroads here, with allocated budgets and increased tactics to respond to the growing traffic coming from tablets and smarphones alike.
  • OTA vs. Direct Bookings: A study by Expedia Media Solutions recently showed travelers visit 38 websites on average before purchasing their online travel package, so the competition is become increasingly difficult. Hotels would obviously prefer to get direct bookings and shave off commission levels given to Expedia, Booking, Travelocity and other OTAs but the challenge is to get customers to deal direct. Easier said than done, yet it will be vital in 2014 to get this right.
  • Meta-search: With Priceline acquiring Kayak at the end of 2012, with Trivago now a part of the Expedia family and TripAdvisor offering meta-search capabilities, it seems like this is another key distribution outlet hoteliers need to look at in their 2014 strategy.
  • Social Media Marketing: Recent studies and surveys show the increasing influence of social media in the search & planning stages of travel, while pure search seem to be slightly declining. It will be interesting to see how well visual sites continue to fare in 2014, in particular Instagram, Vine and Pinterest.
  • Growing importance of Google+: This echoes one of the 5 social media marketing trends for 2014 I had already predicted back in November, but will hotel marketers take the plunge?

14 digital marketing trends for hotels in 2014 - infographic

Which one of these trends do you think will have the biggest impact in 2014? Do you think there is one missing from this infographic? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

infographic via www.netaffinity.com.

gonzogonzo

Frederic Gonzalo

Owner/Partner, Gonzo Marketing

For the past 19 years, Frederic has been in key marketing, sales & communications roles in the Canadian travel industry. He is now consultant and speaker, specializing in marketing, social media & mobile strategies. Visit his blog for more info at www.fredericgonzalo.com

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Comments

being a frequent traveller and someone who works in travel and tours as well as internet marketing I can say that SEO still is got to be the number one thing that hotels engage in.  Unfortunately a lot of travellers believe they are ending up on the "end hotel site" to only book on an intermediatary site.  This is because the hotel SEO is no where near as good as the actual SEO of the intermediatary site.

Thanks for the feedback, John. I totally agree and I believe many in the hotel industry are at least aware of this problem and are trying to catch up. It ain't easy, though, as OTA (online travel agencies) focus solely on this (SEO and online marketing) as their bread and butter while hoteliers must deal with operations, customer services, HR and PR, among other things, on top of their marketing efforts. It makes for a somewhat uneven battle.

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how the hotel industry takes back its legitimate leadership in this field. Cheers,

Frederic

I am a little dubious about how #4 (Growth of Customised Remarketing) will play out. On a personal level, I constantly see:
1) remarketing ads that are totally inappropriate for me - eg. my wife looked at a shoe ad while my Facebook page was open, and now I constantly see ads for womens shoes on my Facebook page (despite my profile clearly showing I'm male),  
2) ads that are way too late. I do a search for a trip to some location, and then see ads for the next 2 weeks for that destination, even though I have already booked or changed my plans so no longer interested, or 
3) the same remarketing ad from a company day after day. (To make it even worse, I visit their website daily, so if I haven't bought their daily deal, it's becuase I'm NOT INTERESTED! )