New Podcast: Umi & a Cup of Tea |LISTEN NOW

Good afternoon everyone! Harry here. I hope you have all had a lovely weekend and are all set for a successful week. I am currently sat on an easyjet flight to Inverness for the Social Travel Summit. The STSInverness is a summit that has been going for a couple of years and brings together your classic hospitality marketing companies like DMOs and an eclectic mix of successful travel bloggers. I’m really excited to see how ‘traditional’ is going to combine with ‘the new’ over the coming days.

Following a conversation with a company called My Hotel Shop this morning, I wanted to share with you a few things about this innovative hospitality technology company. Having probed around their business model and figured out their pricing structure, it appears that they have created quite a clever tool to give you a marketing channel that is both passive (i.e. little effort needed from your side) and also gives you a better cost of distribution than the OTAs. Essentially it revolves around listing your own hotel among all the OTAs on the meta search sites with a direct link into your own website booking engine. Here goes:

  1. My Hotel Shop connect your hotel to a selection of meta search websites (Trivago etc) and install a tracking pixel on your website.
  2. Set up your hotel information in the way that you see fit along with a price that matches the OTAs (price parity) and select all the regions that you are interested in marketing to.
  3. Purchase a number of clicks from the metasearch sites to your own website. Much like you do in normal PPC campaigns (e.g. 500 clicks through to your website).
  4. Add in your bid price per click (e.g. £0.70 per click), which can also do this on a per-region basis based on the priority of your target markets. This will determine the visibility of your listing and will ultimately govern the rate at which people click through to your website.
  5. This is probably the most important bit so listen closely! Not only can you select your bid price but you can actually set a maximum cost of distribution as a percentage of the booking value. What this means is that you can actually guarantee yourself a better rate than the OTAs by setting your maximum below that of your assigned commission rate from Booking or Expedia etc. Behind closed doors on a private demo I saw a hotel with a cost of distribution at 6.5%, which (if correct) would be significantly better than an OTA but still requiring very little marketing input.

At Umi Digital we have seen across a number of clients just how powerful PPC advertising can be but we also recognise the fact that it can be a spectacular way to lose a lot of money very quickly if managed incorrectly. This solution seems to be a nice halfway house between passively generating bookings through third parties while giving you enough control over distribution cost and target demographics. We would like to pilot this very soon as part of our Umi 360 Hotel Marketing package and we’ll share our experiences with you.

The big ‘however’ here is that while you may be able to drive huge volumes of traffic through to your website it may not mean they actually book. If your website isn’t optimised and designed for conversion you simply won’t get very good results. So – as always, make sure you have a kick-ass website and booking process before engaging in any strategies to increase your direct bookings!

If you’d like to discuss anything in this article further we would be delighted to jump on a call with you. Have a great week folks!


Get in touch with an expert

Ready to chat?

Book in a 30 minute meeting with one of our experts to discuss your project or goals.