Hey, hotel folks. Do you hate your channel “partners?” Do you feel like they “force” you to sign agreements you don’t want to?
If so, you’re not alone.
And, that’s a shame.
Because most channel partners (OTA’s, traditional travel agents, group and meeting planners, etc.) are actually good folks trying to help place business in your hotel.
Now, it’s not to say that every market manager from every OTA treats every hotel like they treat their best friends. But, usually, these folks’ success depends upon having enough inventory in their market to meet a wide array of guest needs.
And that need represents your opportunity to negotiate favorable terms. The challenge, of course, is that many hotels lack a cohesive distribution strategy. Instead of understanding their best customers and taking the steps to diversify the sources of those best customers — in particular, placing an emphasis on those guests delivered via direct channels — hotels often sign myriad agreements and pay the most attention to the channels delivering the most business. Some channel partners recognize this dependence and push for terms that both increase their profit (and, to be fair, what business wouldn’t?), while simultaneously increasing their hotel partners’ dependence on the channel.
So don’t do that.
Of course, it’s easier said than done. But there are ways to break the cycle. And that’s the point of my latest Travel Tuesday post over on Tim Peter Thinks: “How to Take Charge of Your Distribution Strategy.” Give it a read if get a minute.
If you need help developing your hotel’s distribution strategy (or some other part of your digital marketing), give me a call at 201-305-0055.
And if you’re interested in learning more about travel marketing and where it’s going—as well as lessons that apply to a host of other industries—register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” You can get your free copy of the report here.
Finally, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of these changes in the marketplace, including:
- 4 Reasons Why Google Metasearch in Maps Matters (Travel Tuesday)
- Why Travel Marketers Must Think Mobile Right Now (Travel Tuesday)
- How Big Will Mobile Be? (Travel Tuesday)
- How to Get in Your Customers’ Pants… Pocket (Travel Tuesday)
- Where Google, Facebook, and Expedia Want to Take Your Guests (Travel Tuesday)
- Today and Tomorrow: Mobile and The Changing Customer Journey
- The Future of Travel Search and Mobile (Travel Tuesday)