Online campaigns aren’t just online

Increasingly, hotel marketers are finding the need to take into account offline channels when designing strategies for online campaigns. 

Despite the explosion in online channels in recent years, print media remains important because consumers view it as having a high credibility, said Brian Dass, VP of digital marketing at AutoClerk Digital. 

“When I look at TripAdvisor for reviews, sometimes it is relevant, other times it isn’t,” Dass said. “Magazines are credible sources. There’s a greater appreciation for things in print because the world [isn’t] making decisions based just on digital engagement. I don’t need to know a writer personally, but with a writer, there’s a kind of credibility.”

How to understand the interaction between online and offline media? “The better integrated your data systems are, the more success you will have,” said Tim Peter, president of digital marketing firm Tim Peter and Associates. “If you are able to pull data from a PMS and a CRS that shows a customer’s lifetime value, that’s a big win. If you can see repeat guests versus new guests over time, that can help tie that information together.”

“Hotels can do trial and error or AB testing, where they put out offers with and without an offline component,” said Cindy Estis Green, CEO and co-founder,Kalibri Labs. “Or you can get into statistical modeling, which takes longer. Brands realize that it is years before you build up enough [of a] database to make a judgment.”