Your hotel’s 2018 digital marketing plan

One of the most important services we provide for hotels at Cendyn is preparing a yearly digital marketing plan and budget. The whole process includes a significant amount of data, analytics, and research – so it is important to start early.

During this process, we always consider several important factors:

  • Historic reporting (what has been working/not working)
  • Expected changes and their potential impacts
  • Goals for the next year
  • What’s working & what’s new
  • Best bets for impact

Reporting & analytics

First, we look at historical reporting to discover what worked well during the previous year. We start by pulling a YTD (year to date) report and comparing that to the client’s goals as well as the previous year’s analytics. We analyze Web reports, advertising reports, as well as CRM data to get an overall picture of last year’s campaigns. From there, we recap each campaign to determine if it stays for the new year or reallocate those funds towards a new idea.

Challenges, opportunities & expectations

During this time, we’ll also provide insights and recommendations for fresh campaign opportunities coming up in the hospitality industry, as well new digital marketing techniques to determine if we should try them.

To support these recommendations, our teams perform extensive market research (Web traffic, Google trends, advertising reports, and CRM data) to analyze seasonality and other high-level changes we can expect in the next year. This may include new hotels or brands opening in the same city or neighborhood, if major attractions or convention centers will be closed for renovations, third-party flight data, and other factors that will influence travel plans. This thorough analysis helps us discuss high level goals with the client and in turn come up with a comprehensive, tiered strategy.


Digital marketing plans and budgets should support specific hotel goals, as well as planned changes, such as hotel renovations, new ancillary opportunities, market fluctuations, and so on. To achieve this, we need to know as much as possible from the client about their unique goals and any challenges the property will be facing in the upcoming year. These often include:

  • Occupancy goals
  • Driving rate vs. occupancy rate
  • Group business vs. leisure business
  • OTA booking Vs. direct booking
  • Revenue goals
  • Revenue strategies

Budgeting for what’s working & what’s new

Of course, one of the biggest questions we get from hotels is how to determine what percentage of the digital marketing budget should stick with successful strategies and how much spend to dedicate to new concepts. Unfortunately, there is no single right answer because it depends entirely on the individual property.

If a certain campaign performs strongly, we don’t recommend moving it; however, it is always important to layer in new campaigns to achieve growth. At the pace the industry is moving, if you stay with the exact same plan year after year, you will quickly be surpassed – and even if you do, the costs associated rise every year, so your budget will still need to increase.

We employ a two-tiered approach to our budget recommendations, which gives clients a sense of what they can expect price-wise to achieve the same results as the previous year, as well as a more robust budget plan that includes new, custom options.

Best bets

For 2018, we recommend a strong focus on exact match and look-alike digital marketing campaigns. To create these, our analysts utilize each property’s 1st party data and slice and dice to create specific, targeted audiences. From there we can create an exact match campaign where we hit those exact consumers from the client’s database with targeted ads. With look-alike campaigns, we can find consumers that look like that best guest in each hotel’s database. These campaigns are extremely customizable, and we can implement them from every channel, to really have that 360-degree approach.

Interested in working with Cendyn? We’d love to discuss your hotel’s business goals and how our integrated CRM + digital marketing services can help you succeed in 2018.
Book a free business consultation today.

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