So, it’s January already, and you’ve got your digital marketing plans for your hotel set out, strategies in place and marketing goals identified. Even though you’re confident that your marketing tools and preparations will transform your hotel marketing efforts into digital domination, bringing with it increased bookings and revenue, will confidence alone deliver the marketing results you desire?
Whether you answered yes or no to this question, it would be advisable to back up this confidence with security – security in the form of strategic alignment. Aligning your marketing arsenal with the most significant trends set to hit the digital marketing front soon will see you securing digital marketing success!
Trend #1: Marketing Customer Experiences Over Facilities
This year will see a heavy focus on customer-centered marketing with hotels becoming more and more customer-centric. Hotels will set out to promote enjoyable experiences instead of physical hotel offerings and facilities. Marketing will also now focus on the reasons to stay and not the reasons to pay. 2020 will see hotels putting all their efforts into creating an enjoyable experience for their guests and marketing these experiences at great lengths. This year is the year of customer experience marketing!
Trend #2: Combining Artificial Intelligence And Guests’ Experiences
With every month that passes in 2020, more hotels will start integrating AI-powered technologies into their offerings to enhance guests’ experiences. Whether its chatbots or even customer service robots, guests can expect to encounter more of the AI kind during their stays in hotels this year.
Trend #3: Virtual Reality Influences Purchasing Decisions
2020 welcomes a considerable expansion of virtual reality within the hotel industry. Yes, virtual reality is not something new, but throughout this year it will become something needed. Travellers and potential guests are seeking to experience an experience before they experience it! They are wanting to get a real feel for a place, location or hotel before confirming a booking. For this reason, hotels will use VR technology and 360-degree videos in their marketing campaigns like never before to provide almost-lifelike tours of their hotels and secure bookings.
Trend #4: A Rise In User-Generated Content When Making Purchasing Decisions
Those seeking to book a stay at a hotel this year will first seek out user-generated contact (UGC) before making a decision. While word-of-mouth and UGC have been around for decades, 2020 will see its popularity soar tremendously thanks to its ever-increasing influence over purchasing decisions! Consumers of today no longer ignorantly believe the testimonials flashed on websites or trust photo-shopped images and over-decorated wording. Well-polished marketing campaigns are taking a back seat this year with hotels now focusing on obtaining content created by past guests to justify their offerings.
Trend #5: Mobile Bookings On The Rise And With It Mobile Booking Systems
The percentage of guests booking their hotel stays via mobile is soaring and will continue to soar as the year progresses. With mobile revenue exceeding desktop revenue currently, this provides massive motivation for hotels to quickly upgrade and advertise their mobile booking systems. Also, high mobile booking numbers will see hotels carrying out proximity marketing, geo-based adverts and time-sensitive in-app notifications. Later in the year, we’ll even see hotels creating and marketing their very own personal apps to encourage mobile bookings!
Trend #6: Partnering With Macro And Micro-Influencers
2020 will see the strengthening of partnerships between hotels and influencers. The reason for this is because, as previously stated, consumers trust the opinions and words of others rather than brands. Therefore, hotels will focus much energy and time informing additional relationships with other micro and macro-influencers.
Trend #7: Consumers Connecting More Through Storytelling
Storytelling through social media and online platforms will become a regular occurrence for hotels wishing to build connections with guests. Hotels will also tap more and more into this storytelling trend by showing their realness through online features and storytelling channels. Expect the human side of businesses to be marketed this year!
Trend #8: Moment Marketing Throughout The Booking Process
2020 will see hotels making the most of every moment with their guests, interacting with clientele at the start of the hotel booking process right through to the end. Connecting with their guests at every stage of the journey in diverse ways will be a vital role undertaken by hotel marketers. Yes, this year will see real-time interactions and real information exchanged!
Trend #9: Retargeting And Reclaiming Attention
Another big trend expected to hit the hotel sector soon is retargeting and the investment of more time and money into re-engaging with guests in efforts to reclaim their attention. Hotels will set out to personalise their communications and marketing activities in attempts to re-engage with guests who initially abandoned their booking.
Trend #10: Out With The Indirect And In With The Direct
2020 is the year of direct bookings – from guest to hotel. Hotels will set out over the next few months on a mission to market better deals and communicate directly with potential guests to encourage direct bookings.
Now that you’re in the know and are well acquainted with the biggest trends set to hit the hotel industry soon, contact us, and we’ll help you make an even bigger impact in the digital marketing arena!