Measuring the effectiveness of online marketing activities was the number one concern expressed by hoteliers at a series of summits hosted recently by SynXis, the Sabre Holdings business that provides hotel distribution and Internet marketing services. More than 250 of SynXis’ customers attended five global revenue and distribution summits around the world to share ideas and best practices for staying competitive in a difficult economic environment.
"The traditional marketing role has evolved and is today, more fiscally accountable than ever before,” said Bruce Hyatt, vice president, marketing and strategy for SynXis. “Marketing initiatives need to return a good level of investment and there is a lot of pressure to find new ways and new technology to make and save money for the company. An integrated marketing and distribution strategy is paramount in achieving this success; and SynXis has invested significantly in capabilities that enable us to be not just a technology provider but a true marketing partner to our hotel customers."
Notable trends according to SynXis include:
* Where there once was a clear delineation between revenue management and marketing responsibilities, it appears a convergence is taking place with two-thirds of the attendees responding that they oversee and/or influence both revenue management and marketing activities.
* In every region, one of the top three biggest areas of concern was measuring the effectiveness of online marketing activities; yet less than a quarter of the attendees use web analytics or reporting as an integral part of their daily business.
* Other top areas of concern for the attendees included: competitive actions, business mix and shorter booking windows. These concerns were consistent throughout all regions.
* More than half of the attendees have experimented with social media for their hotels as they search in this environment for a form of differentiation, increased customer loyalty, and incremental bookings.
“We found the day enormously beneficial - a day very well executed. The talks were relevant, topical and informative,” commented Duncan Bramwell, managing director for Distribution and Revenue Management Specialists. “Certainly with this sort of initiative SynXis is demonstrating how it can sell more than just a technology solution; a powerful point of differentiation and advantage.”