Digital marketing is all about results. Unlike offline marketing, in the online and mobile space we can track and analyze ROIs from our online marketing campaign results quickly and accurately over the Internet. There is no medium that allows tracking like the Internet does, yet in hospitality, we didn’t adopt these tracking technologies at first introduction. Instead, we relied on cheap or free analytical tools to provide us with important information used to make major decisions. As a result, we are often basing integral marketing decisions on inferior information. We consistently receive numerous questions from hoteliers concerning just how to most efficiently track and measure the ROI of online marketing efforts, right down to the reservation process. What metrics should hoteliers measure and pay attention to? What are the best practices in measuring ROI from the hotel’s marketing efforts? Or ROI from the hotel website? What are the best analytical tools out there? In today’s dynamic market, where occupancy rates and ADRs depend on how well hoteliers utilize Internet marketing, it is no longer sufficient to measure only basic website traffic stats like visitors and page views or campaign stats like banner click-through rates and PPC clicks. Website and campaign conversions, ROIs, pathing and behavioral metrics have become standard, and many hoteliers are turning to more sophisticated tools to measure these essential metrics.
The Eternal Question: Paid vs. Free Analytics? Best practices and common business sense require hotel digital marketers to constantly track and analyze website and campaign conversions as well as ROIs, pathing and behavioral metrics to shift marketing funds from less effective marketing campaigns to campaigns with higher ROIs. In our view, this complex analytics is impossible to perform with existing free analytical tools. Hoteliers have to adopt sophisticated analytical tools that provide the capabilities mentioned in this article. When budgeting for Internet marketing, hoteliers should include a separate line item for website and marketing analytics.
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