Making Dreams Come True : Stages and Tips for Efficient Hotel Marketing Funnels

Have you already booked a trip instantaneously without exploring different possibilities ?

Certainly not! Have you ever thought of the different phases you face when thinking of

traveling to a specific destination ? How are hotels successful at converting you to their guests

when you are browsing different traveling options ?

There are different stages that potential guests go through before making their stay happens at

a particular hotel. Hotels should ensure an enjoyable experience thanks to an efficient

marketing funnel to achieve the highest sales. The marketers role is to succeed to facilitate the

move through the different phases to convert prospects customers to buyers by creating value.

It is important to understand what Sales Funnel means. In the Hotel Industry, it can be defined

by the journey that a potential guest has to take from discovering a property to booking a

hotel room (Stah, 2019).

Here are the Sales Funnel different stages (Leonardo, 2021) :

1. Awareness :

The first stage of the marketing funnel is Awareness, ‘I-want-to-get-away moments’ or

Dreaming phase according to a new hotel marketing model suggested by Think with Google

Micro-Moments (Stah, 2019). It happens when a visitor enters a website for the purpose of

solving a specific problem. In this case, it would be deciding where to book a trip. The

prospect customer can be directed to that website through different manners such as emails,

online quizzes, etc (Adams, 2017). It is here that marketing experts have to build attractive

contents with as much information as possible to make it appealing to the target market. It is

crucial to create a good impression for the first-time visitors in order to build their interest.

One element to adopt is authority to convince the potential customers of the reliability of the

product or service. For instance, authority can be identified when the website is easily

accessible through Google Search or when it is frequently endorsed by respected people

(Adams, 2017).

2. Interest :

The second stage is Interest or ‘I-want to-make-a plan moments’ or Planning (Stah, 2019). It

is important for the company to understand their positioning so that they are more likely

communicating effectively and attracting the right customers (Adams, 2017). According to an

article written by Leonardo organization, the more the company is showing its expertise, the

higher chance customers will be interested in that organization (Leonardo, 2021). In this

stage, the traveler is building interest. He has a few options and is assessing the benefits and

disadvantages of each alternative (Stah, 2019). The company Leonardo that is specialized in

revamping the digital marketing strategies for hoteliers highly recommend retargeting

campaigns as a way to attract customers. The company Leonardo suggest to use retargeting as

it is one of the most profitable strategies as far as concern ROI during this recovery time for

the hotel industry. Retargeting aims at reconquering those visitors who have already visited

the website, and organizations can use Leonardo as a third-party company to implement

retargeting in their sales funnels (Leonardo, 2021).

3. Decision :

The third stage is Decision or ‘Let’s-book-it moments’ or Booking (Stah, 2019). Nowadays,

customers are highly influenced by reviews and social proof. Indeed, the more people are

testifying on social media about how great is the service, the more likely a potential customer

is gonna be convinced to convert into a buyer (Adams, 2017). Furthermore, it is interesting to

note that the hotel industry is subject to a cart abandonment that is 80% higher than the other

industries according to the digital marketing company, Leonardo. At this point, it is very

important for marketers to review the booking engine to ensure it is user-friendly and simple

to decrease the chance of cart abandonment (Leonardo, 2021). Leonardo organization

suggests reservations abandonment strategies that marketers could work on to influence the

decisions of potential customers. One strategy could be sending emails reminding customers

to continue their purchase, ensuring to have all most recent payment options and have exitintent

technology to discourage customers to leave the website without buying (Leonardo,

2021).

4. Action :

The fourth stage is action or ‘Can’t-wait-to-explore moment’ or Experiencing (Stah, 2019). At

this stage, the marketing funnel is successful if it results to purchase from the customer’s end.

The prospect customer finally ends up converting to a buyer as he/she took action by booking

a specific trip. Marketers need to make significant tracking efforts to achieve a high

conversion rate (Leonardo, 2021).

In sum, it is important for hotel marketers to have up-to-date online platforms that enable the

potential guests to get inspired. The goal is to ensure an efficient marketing funnel with

effective communication to become the first booking choice for travelers.