Grow Meeting and Group Business with a Full-stack Marketing Automation System
Marketing Automation for Hotels and Resorts.
Next level marketing automation for hotels
Marketing automation serves to speed up repetitive tasks within email, social media and website channels. Since speed is often vital to closing deals, this benefit is quite compelling, but don’t be fooled by loose use of the term “automation.” Often the application of an automation system is narrowly thought of as simply setting up an auto reply, missing out on the real power that a full-stack system offers.
A true automation system has the ability to measure and react to more than email wherein real possibilities present themselves. For that reason, I’ll refer to robust systems as “full-stack” marketing automation to reflect their ability to engage and work across multiple communications channels such as email, social media and websites.
5 benefits to using full-stack marketing automation:
1. Nurture meeting and group business leads: Marketing automation has always promised marketers the ability to target the right customers with the right messages at the right time. Never has it promised to do that affordably, across multiple channels with scalability. This is huge.
To effectively nurture a lead, you have to engage with your prospect across the myriad of channels that they use daily as well as across all of their devices. Invio connects all actions and all devices to one person.
Examples of actions:
• Complete a form, download a file or watch a video
• A pre-determined number of visits to one or more specific pages within your website
• An abandoned shopping cart
• An email open, click or inaction
• Likes, shares, or comments on your Facebook or LinkedIn post
• Mentions you in a Facebook or Twitter post or retweets your post
• Clicks on remarketing Ads or keyword search ads
Each of these actions indicate a higher degree of engagement than the all-too-common one-and-done site visit and are vastly superior to a simple form completion. Within each action is a degree of value which is where scoring comes in.
2. Identify and quickly connect to your best prospects: The best prospects for meetings and group business are a lesser sample of the many engagements a hotel has over the course of a month or year. Simply asking the question, “Do you plan meetings?” isn’t enough to qualify a real and valuable prospect. Indeed, identifying the ad hoc meeting planner is a valuable endeavor and doing so with your marketing automation system has a big payback.
Full-stack marketing automation can enable lead scoring based on data (e.g. job title or industry provided in a completed form) or action (e.g. response to an email offer or a website page visit). By automating lead scoring, your sales team is assured they are provided the best, “hottest” leads right away. The best prospects have the highest scores. Hot lead notifications are sent to your sales team so additional follow-up can be conducted right away.
3. Scale up marketing efforts: Once a marketing campaign has been successful for a property, package or customer segment, you’ll likely want to adapt across your portfolio. Marketing automation can be a great alternative to manually segmenting prospects via spreadsheets and email lists. It’s easy to replicate your rules for success across your portfolio.
Rules-based list segmentation
Using a rules-based list segmentation method can improve customer service by allowing guests and site visitors to segment themselves based on the content they are most interested in. Guests who visit the spa page or marina page of a website can now be added into those list segments for immediate or future communications. A guest with an upcoming stay can book dining reservations with the single click of a mouse. Achieving this across one hundred properties is as easy as it is with 1 property.
The work of scaling comes in the form of content development and communications design and programming. You may need some assistance in these areas to get the highest degree of benefit from your efforts.
4. Optimize marketing activities: Marketing automation can save you from having to manually organize data and nurture and score leads. It can also optimize and scale campaigns for maximum effectiveness, enabling hotels and resorts to focus on more strategic endeavors and creative ideas. Optimization involves the redevelopment of all your communications. Don’t just automate current programs, rethink and reengineer them all at the outset.
A full-stack automation system makes new visions possible so a creative approach is rewarded. It has application to your guest recognition programs as well as customer service. Don’t get singularly focused on generating new revenue with one campaign, make that the overall goal.
5. Cross-sell and up-sell: Marketing automation also helps extract maximum value from your existing customer base as well. This can be done through automated bounce-back notices or communicating additional packages or services that might make their experiences with your property more enjoyable or successful. With a convenient interface to your property management system installed, you can enhance the customer experience through the person’s entire lifecycle.
Upsell opportunities to arriving guests at a hotel can be influenced by previous interactions. Guests who booked outside of direct channels can be filtered out while high-scoring and high-value guests can receive upgrade offers specifically for them subject to predefined rules.
Cross-selling between properties is a challenge, but can be rewarding. A full-stack automation system knows that a specific guest has visited multiple property websites and automates the segmentation of that guest based on which properties the person chooses. It’s widely understood that a guest of one hotel is not entirely interested in seeing all others. You risk disengagement when marketing properties that offer no potential value to a guest. When a guest chooses which properties he or she is interested in automatically, the problem is solved.