Marketing Through A Sales Channel
Hotels should get in front of potential buyers at the right time. They should have the ability to transparently manage spend and monitor its performance. They should also target specific needs periods.
Ask a hotelier if they would spend marketing dollars on an Online Travel Agency or a Global Distribution System, and you’ll likely hear “why would I pay them more than I already do?” Understandably, many hoteliers feel that between net rates, commissions and segment fees, their distributors are already being handsomely rewarded.
In most markets, however, sales channels like OTAs have many hotels that they can serve up to their users, and the sort order is largely at their discretion. So finding ways to stand out from your competitors inside of these marketplaces can be critical to shifting share to your property. In addition to the table stakes -- like compelling images and competitive pricing -- you must also ensure you are in the consideration set of your target customers in the first place.
In fact, marketing through a sales channel like an OTA or GDS can be an extremely effective way to secure incremental bookings, provided that certain conditions are met -- in particular, that the marketing program delivers timing, transparency, and targeting.