So what, if the Billboard effect is dead?
It’s that time again. Time to talk about how the “billboard effect” on OTAs is dead or is not dead. It’s a topic that recycles itself several times a year. But instead of jumping on that bandwagon, what if we just step back. Would it be such a bad thing if it were dead? What would be the implications? You have to start with the value of the billboard effect. OTAs have the massive advertising power that attracts millions of online consumers each day. More consumers see your hotel when you advertise on OTAs, giving a “halo” effect beyond the OTAs that boosts bookings through direct channels, too.
What if we change the game?
What if instead of hoping for those “drive by” consumers to book you, you could influence them in a more direct way?
If travel marketers can directly compare consumers who are searching and booking their hotel on third parties with consumers searching and booking their hotel website, isn’t that the secret sauce needed? That comparison lets you know what consumers to target to increase direct bookings.
There are three basic questions that hotels need to answer in order to increase direct bookings, regardless of the health of the billboard effect:
- What do consumers look like who are searching and booking my hotel on third parties but NOT searching and booking my hotel website?
- In what markets are the OTAs outperforming my hotel website?
- In what markets is my brand.com declining, or losing share to OTAs?
Some hotels believe they have some of these answers from their major OTA provider. Chances are the data they have is limited and incomplete. It’s only from one travel website and is not designed to show direct channel opportunities because it doesn’t compare your website traffic and booking performance to the OTA. So your hotel is marketing in the dark.
How hotels can benchmark performance against OTAs
To answer these questions, nSight developed the Hotel Online Traffic Report, benchmarking a hotel’s website search and booking traffic against third party sites. The HOT Report is all about providing hotels with a way to leverage the visibility they get from OTAs to grow direct share.
With the HOT Report, hotels can:
- Leverage the advertising reach of OTAs and their search and booking data to understand the consumers better and standout online
- Shift share from indirect to direct channels by identifying the best underperforming markets to target
- Measure the effectiveness of marketing and channel strategies
Armed with the benchmark data, hotels can target the consumers they should be targeting instead of waiting around for the billboard effect to decide if it’s dead or not. They can take action applying a range of targeted marketing strategies including Google AdWords, display advertising, email campaigns, social media and more.
We believe in it so much, that we are launching the HOT Report free to hotels for 60 days.
FREE 60-day trial. No credit card. No obligation.
The HOT Report is a no-risk way for hotels to understand how consumers shop on the web—and then use that insight to standout online and convert consumers directly.