COVID-19 and the Case for Longer Booking Windows
- Posted by Gabe Hoffman
- On March 27, 2020
COVID-19 puts hotels and resorts in uncharted territories. Those of us working to attract guests know that there’s no way to sugarcoat that. While hotels are doing everything they can to stay afloat during turbulent times, marketers are asking for something that a lot of hoteliers may not have a lot of right now: patience.
Advertising isn’t going to perform the way it did even a month ago. Back in those good old days, we could turn on a paid search campaign or a social ad campaign and begin generating revenue almost instantly.
That’s why hoteliers need to start playing the long game.
Adjust Your Expectations
Here at Screen Pilot, we recommend that our clients keep campaigns running or turn campaigns back on as soon as it’s feasible for them. But it’s important to remember that these campaigns are not designed to impact hotels’ bottom lines this week or maybe even next month. Hotels and resorts need to play the long game.
Recent research from Destination Analysts polled 1,200 leisure travelers and 78% of respondents said that they are done traveling until the Coronavirus situation blows over. These same travelers say that they’re postponing or canceling trips scheduled for the near future.
What Does This Mean for Marketing Strategies?
Advertisers and hoteliers need to start focusing on late summer and fall. That’s the best way if to have a real impact on performance. This means that your marketing strategies need to target accordingly and focus on potential guests that will visit our properties once consumer confidence has increased.
Hospitality marketers also need to understand that with the current economic downturn users might be waiting to book that travel they’ve been hoping to take until they have more information and security, whether that’s regarding the fate of their career or the ability to actually go on a trip they plan.
Screen Pilot’s Approach to Booking Windows
Screen Pilot’s goal as an agency and as a partner to hotels and resorts around the world is to prepare for a post-COVID-19 world. That means taking stock of the hospitality landscape as it is now, generating as many data insights as we can, and making strategic paid media decisions so our hotel and resort partners are well-positioned when their target audiences are ready to reveal again. Advertise now so that you’ll be top of mind when a user is ready to book, even if their booking will be farther in the future than you expected.
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