Using OTAs to Maximize Your Hotel’s Distribution
The process of where the traveler books his trip follows stages such as; investigating and comparing offers, booking, enforcing and lastly sharing more information about the trip. Thus, opening and maintaining channels with the traveler on the current stage he/she is at, at the moment, is the real challenge of any sponsored marketing. But if we think that this is the only ”obstacle” when it comes on our path of distribution, we’re wrong. We yet have to manage other rates and availabilities with the revenue management department.
En la gestión del mix de canales, desde BEONx nos parece determinante que se trabaje la intermediación de una forma eficiente. Trabajar de una manera ordenada con las OTAs nos ayudará a optimizar una herramienta clave para el viajero y, de la misma forma, también para el alojamiento. Por lo tanto, nos parece importante que se tengan en cuenta los siguientes 9 factores a la hora de gestionar las OTAs y que los resultados se vean potenciados:
1. Aprovechar los grandes presupuestos en SEM que las OTAs gastan permanentemente.
Although the issue of positioning of our brand is quite debatable, it’s true by many facts that OTAs are positioned very well on relevant terms in the different array of markets. This makes the trade and visibility of our establishment increase so it’s a must-be when it comes to taking it into account.
2. Distribución a nuevos segmentos de mercado.
Whether it’s getting a hold on new traveler typologies or even to entering new issuing markets, OTAs are good and suitable channels to reach out new market niches and reach travelers that would otherwise be unthinkable to contact. Shaping these new segments to our will and planning a strategy on the appropriate channels will be a task for the Commercial-Marketing-Revenue department/s.
3. Testear una expansión internacional del negocio.
In order to open new markets frontiers or experiment with a new proposal at a prototype level, OTAs are channels that minimize risk within the initial stages. From the support of languages to the organic positioning in platforms of consumption of contents by the traveler, there are different basic actions that an OTA can contribute to your company.
4. Dinámicas de paquetización de producto para distribución de experiencias.
Certain online travel agencies do not sell an accommodation independently, but have a greater ability or way to dish their product and/or services distributing it as a packaged product. They include lodging, displacement and/or car rental with a reasonable price for the traveler. These packages allow hotels to set solid prices without being subject to an independent price strategy or parity problems.
5. Suplir cancelaciones inesperadas.
The connectivity with the OTA provides most all hotels with the necessary capacity the power to distribute in moments of distress and may even sell some of the unoccupied rooms, which for certain circumstances will be free. In this way, both by market and price strategy, the accommodation will be quickly re-cycled putting its rooms in queue to even more clients.
6. Having hand-made channels to our disposal
Although the distribution channels themselves are standardized in ways that simplify the traveler’s purchasing processes, they do carry out a product customization process on the user profile that they reserve on certain platforms.
7. Quantification and transparency of channel costs
Analyzing the opportunity cost of not distributing through an OTA, and being clear about the other alternatives, is one of the challenges that many to almost all hotel managers are currently facing. Quantifying the contribution of each channel and being able to balance the distribution at the lowest cost, will be the main argument that tourist accommodations will have to maintain permanent control of their offer.
8. Aprovechar el posicionamiento competitivo de la OTA.
When it comes to certain products, channels or markets, the presence of OTAs is practically a must for the market itself. The positioning has led certain markets to be “monopolized” by some OTAs, a fact that ensures a direct approach when it comes to hotel positioning, both in the good sense and the not so good. Having presence in the sales cycle of certain travelers will be key to enhance factors such as the variability between early booking travelers or last-minute travelers.
9. Channel Managers and RMS as a competitive advantage in your market segments
Implementing technological advances and knowledge into the hotel distribution process is crucial to improve competitive positioning within an oversupply market we’re currently living in; having a channel manager to distribute our product easier in the right number of channels and adapting to our competitive positioning with the knowledge collected by the RMS (Revenue Management System) are two success factors to continue an upward line of improvement in results.