For another year, we had the pleasure and honor to actively participate in the Business Lab of HO.RE.CA 2022, enhancing the discussion on the trends in Digital Marketing for the hotel industry.
We exchanged views with hoteliers and established professionals in the field, resolved questions and presented our predictions on the dynamics that have developed in the last two years, regarding the digital maturation of Greek hotels. On these topics, on Monday 14 February, an extremely interesting discussion was held on “Digital marketing of hotels and the latest trends” as they are shaped in the post-Covid era.
Our own Dimitris Serifis CEO of Nelios shared the stage of the Business Lab @HORECA 2022 with two established professionals, Mr. Tasos Veliadis Partner – Chief Strategist of SocialLab, with long standing experience in digital marketing and a significant portfolio of international & local brands and Mr. Ilias Sousis – CEO & Co-Founder of the startup Wikifarmer, and until recently had an impressive career journey at Google, where for the last 6 years he held the position of Head of Domestic Market & YouTube Greece, Cyprus, Malta. The discussion focused on the crucial issue of digital advertising as a tool for promotion, presentation but mainly as a source for hotel sales, as all three speakers stressed that hotels managed to stay “alive” during the pandemic because of their digital presence, which they need to strengthen and adapt to the requirements of today.
Dimitris Serifis stressed that during the pandemic, the hotel industry saw the effectiveness of digital marketing and the dynamics of online reservations. This is an extremely important “dowry” upon which the hotel industry must build and shape a completely new reality in terms of product distribution in the coming years.
Modern reality is changing rapidly and the way we travel or choose our next destination has changed. Many new digital tools have now been integrated into our lives, which do not work independently; rather, all of them must be part of a broader strategy that will deliver maximum results. Attribution has now changed, making the ‘journey’ more complex. According to Ilias Sousis, Google search remains the main source of bookings. “But there is a shift, as we are now increasingly choosing the media types whose content is positive and helps us feel good.” Nevertheless, hotels must have a proper and targeted presence on all channels or media included in the funnel.
This means that the design of target personas is now more important than ever, since the variety of new media leaves no room for allocating resources without prior targeting. Re-marketing campaigns must communicate the right message at the right time and not a common message for all.
In addition, all 3 speakers predict a new dynamic season for 2022, where hoteliers will have to be ready to regain the human touch that was lost in the previous two years. How will this happen? “By creating quality content,” said Dimitris Serifis. “Quality content that comes from the visitors themselves and the storytelling of their own experience. No longer does the customer want to see a plain room or the perfect content with a couple of models. They want to see the real story behind the journey,” added Tasos Veliadis.
In any case, digital advertising and promotional activities are still at the core of hoteliers’ interest. The difference is that the discussion is no longer focused exclusively on website & booking engine performance as before, but now includes new indicators such as awareness, engagement, target, experience, content!
The magic of the digital environment is just that. Constantly monitoring new trends and managing new challenges are synonymous with evolution and growth in a highly demanding market such as tourism. Technology is an ally that will help us to achieve even more positive results in 2022 and in the years to come.
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