Friday, February 03, 2012

Google Guys... Google

Google clearly has the potential to alter the dynamics of how people shop for hotel rooms. Being on the supplier side of the industry, how do you think hotels need to be in the sync in the manner in which customers are shopping, and how to market to attract those customers directly to brand websites, which is what Google Hotel Finder can do?
James Harrower:
Traditionally with hotel chains the size and quality of Hilton Worldwide, Marriott, IHG, Accor, etc, it's quick and easy to market quality and quality alone, marketing how good a product is to a customer regardless of spend.
Nowadays and it has been the case for a while, hotels, like airlines, have no frill type / economy brands, such as Premier Inn or for Hilton Worldwide, Hampton.
Marketing quality hotel rooms, turned into marketing price led hotel rooms, which is where these hotel types benefited. With OTA's and resellers easily outnumbered hotel brands by at least three to one and the inclusion of sites such as Groupon or Quidco that offer more than the brands can, the next step is personal service.
Tying in with social media and digital channel retargeting, personal service is where the future of hotel online bookings lie. Offering a customer, the right room, in the right area at the right price, for the right reasons, is where the advantage lies over a competitor.
Brands need to be more in touch with the customer as opposed to the sale, by that I mean look beyond flexible prices and dates and reference in both creative examples and on site activity the reasons for that individual to book with you and you alone.

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