Protect Your Hotel Brand and Grow Direct Bookings
Lorna McNamara, Marketing Director
In the same way that your Hotel Brand is an important element of your offline activities and is protected as a valuable asset, your Online Hotel Brand is also a key driver of success and should be valued as such and protected from abuse.
There is a need for much stricter brand guidelines to OTA’s, affiliates and online partners or channels to protect your hotel brand and reduce misuse. A study by MarkMonitor estimated that the hotel industry in the United States is losing around $1.9 billion each year in online bookings.
There is growing awareness of the pitfalls in online marketing associated with “hotel brandjacking”, where the hotel brand is to all intents and purposes hijacked by OTA’s, many of whom claim that they are only implementing PPC on your brand name to bring in incremental business. If that was the case surely they would only need to implement campaigns on destination searches and more general terms instead. Any OTA or industry partner that is claiming to bring your hotel extra business through implementing PPC on your own hotel brand is actually taking away direct bookings from your hotel and overall increasing costs and competitiveness on your brand name. Running PPC campaigns on your hotel brand name allows other companies to leverage on the consumer recognition of your brand. Taking away business that could have been generated as a result of word-of-mouth recommendations, offline advertising that your are running, repeat business etc and diverting them to a third party website and then charging you a higher commission level for business that should have come to you directly.
If a consumer is searching for your brand online surely they should come direct to your own website?
Thursday, May 17, 2012