COVID-19 Recovery Projection and Planning: Scenario 2
- Posted by Tanya Grover
- On March 27, 2020
We can’t know for sure what recovery will look like, or when that recovery will be on the way. But here at Screen Pilot, we believe that we can plan with multiple scenarios in mind so that we’re prepared no matter how COVID-19 recovery actually takes place. This is the second of two possible scenarios we’ve identified.
In this scenario, website/search behavior begins to increase while people are still compelled to practice social distancing. While the country continues to abide by these social distancing norms, there are measures that hotels and their marketing agencies can take to monitor website performance and search trends and be prepared should user behavior in these areas point to an uptick in performance.
Pre-Define Increases For Your Hotel
When it comes to traveler interest, an “increase” is harder to gauge than it seems. For starters, it’s important to keep in mind that social signals are different from search signals. Social is the beginning of discovery, whereas paid search signals are the beginning of booking, so an increase in one channel may not signal an increase in the other.
It’s also necessary to note that in this scenario, every hotel’s plan of action will vary to a degree. There are too many differences among properties to rely entirely on the market or collection data.
KPI’s to Monitor
At Screen Pilot, we’re looking at multiple factors to determine when we need to ramp up our focus on paid social and paid search. A couple of factors among many that we want to monitor tightly in anticipation of increasing paid social can be found in Google Trends and Google Search Console. Utilizing these tools properly gives us an idea of how interest is increasing surrounding both your hotel and your market.
When deciding when to re-introduce or scale up your paid search spend, the key data points we’re looking at are ecommerce conversion rate and visits to the booking engine. We expect to see the total revenue numbers to be lower until COVID-19 fully passes and all restrictions are lifted, but if the users who are coming to the site are converting at a similar rate as they were pre-COVID-19, we want to start driving more qualified users to the site so we can turn interest into conversions.
Steps to Take After an Increase
If you see performance improvements based on the signals outlined above, Screen Pilot recommends increasing brand awareness to 50% of your hotel’s normal budget and monitoring the performance. Prior to this move, your paid media team will need to analyze where current bookings are coming from.
It seems intuitive to target drive markets, which is why that should be the default, but, in some cases, users from fly markets may be booking further in advance. Allocate your brand awareness ad spend accordingly.
At this point, your paid media teams should continue to closely monitor performance and current events, continuing to incrementally increase spend on campaigns when warranted. If social distancing is disbanded before you’ve fully ramped up all campaigns or have reached full exposure, you can then turn on all campaigns full throttle, similar to the plan in Scenario 1.
Did you enjoy the read?
Get original hospitality industry insights delivered to your inbox. Sign up to receive Screen Pilot’s #TrendingNow Newsletter.