The resort booking distribution process seems to get more complicated every day, and with so many platforms to keep an eye on, it’s more important than ever to understand which elements of your marketing campaign are working for you, and which aren’t.
There is a new emphasis on ‘attribution:’ the in-depth analysis of the media channels which directly lead a customer to make a booking. While it might seem like a mammoth task, getting to grips with this data can really help you put your marketing budget to the best use possible and help you manage your resort’s distribution channels more effectively. Speaking at a recent Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International Conference on digital marketing, Jason Harper from marketing consultancy company Organic outlined the three primary steps to building an effective attribution system for a hotel or resort:
1. Decide on an attribution window.
Hotel marketers have traditionally placed a lot of emphasis on the ‘last click’ before the booking is made but Harper recommended a more extensive approach. Travelers spend a lot of time planning before making a holiday booking so limiting your attribution window to one week before conversion does not make sense, especially when complex attribution systems can display data as far back as 12 months. Have a clearly defined time period to analyse and be ready to think about less direct influences leading up to the conversion too.
2. Examine the shape of your data
Attribution data is typically plotted on a timeline and it’s generally possible to gauge influences at the start, middle and end of this timeline. Harper suggested a flexible approach to analysis, with greater emphasis on influences at the close of the sale. “If I only have a dollar to spend and I have to pick between beginning, middle and end, pick the beginning or the end” he noted.
3. Build the data system
When your resort is beginning to bring in and analyse data, examine each conversion and identify a clear path from first sight to booking and the key customer touch points. This doesn’t need to be done from the view of the individual customer, instead, “work on a more macro level and begin assessing weights to each touch point. Add up the value of the touch points and those are the values that you calculate your (profit) from.”
Attribution is key to finding the optimal channel mix for your resort and ultimately maximizing the success of your marketing campaign. Are you ready to make attribution a priority?
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