Hotels need to focus on their technology to drive direct bookings. Siteminder’s Global Hotel Business Index 2017 shows that the highest priority for hotels in 2017 is “increasing volume of direct online bookings,” and the lowest is “exploring new hotel technology and spending”. However, the two go hand in hand. Hoteliers also name “revenue-generating strategy management” as their biggest spending area over the next 12 months … that also requires good technology, and is an integral part of driving direct bookings.

Take a look at the articles below to see exactly why tech is so important to independent hotels looking to increase their direct bookings, and get a few tips about where to start. We’ve also included an inside peek at what booking.com is prioritizing this year, and a major change to the way Google manages bids on their ads.

An Open Letter to Independent Hotels About Getting Ahead

To you, beloved independent hotels, we say it’s time to become friendly control freaks. Your edge over the chains right now is in your complete control of your branding and your product. These things have been working for you. For instance, in 2016, you produced 4.6% RevPAR growth while branded hotels only saw 2.6%.[1] Guests are willing to pay your rates, and they like your style. But, branded hotels still have higher occupancy rates than independents and slightly higher average RevPAR.

What you really need to compete against chains with all their built-in resources and hefty marketing budgets is total freak-level control of your technology. And here’s why: in order to go head to head, which you absolutely can do, you must become more efficient and increase your revenue while still delivering the knockout service that’s giving you an edge.

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Tech Teams Falling Short On Enabling Personalization, Hotel Loyalty

Any effective hotel loyalty strategy today starts with personalization, and often requires a broad directional shift to place the customer at the center of every transaction. When looking to improve guest interactions, hotel operators often approach it from two different directions: service (front end) and data systems (back end).

Suppose technology and service were more closely aligned? That is to say, system connections were reliable, inexpensive and fast, and software knew where to go to find the right data and serve the right marketing messages at the right time. All this would enable the hotel to offer each guest a truly personalized experience pre- through post-stay with less manual work.

I’ll go out on a limb and say we’re not quite there yet.

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Booking.com’s CMO On What the Company Has Been ‘Lame’ At and Why It Has Mapped Its Structure on Amazon

What’s in the works for Booking.com? Here’s what their CMO has to say:

“Many of our competitors are taking a very heads-on price route but experience and data are much more important. Everyone knows that if you go for the lowest prices it is harder to get customer loyalty, as it is hard to always have the lowest prices. We believe our loyalty is delivered through service delivery to customers and the way they use the product.

To compete on price we are moving towards more unique selling point communication and creating ads out of it. There will also be a lot more on YouTube from us.”

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Google Announces Major Changes to Enhanced CPC Bidding

Big news for digital marketing experts!

In 2010, Google introduced enhanced CPC (eCPC) bidding to ease some of the burden for busy advertisers, which allowed Google to dynamically adjust your bid within 30% if it believed a search was more likely to result in a conversion. Since then, eCPC bidding became the default bidding strategy for new campaigns, giving Google some level of control over many advertisers’ bids.

This Tuesday, Google announced a major change to how it would handle these campaigns’ bids – by allowing Google to automatically adjust your bid by more than 30%! Google details the full changes in its support page:

In 2010, Google introduced enhanced CPC (eCPC) bidding to ease some of the burden for busy advertisers, which allowed Google to dynamically adjust your bid within 30% if it believed a search was more likely to result in a conversion. Since then, eCPC bidding became the default bidding strategy for new campaigns, giving Google some level of control over many advertisers’ bids.

This Tuesday, Google announced a major change to how it would handle these campaigns’ bids – by allowing Google to automatically adjust your bid by more than 30%!

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