Regardless of whether you spend $10 or $10,000 a year promoting your property, any investment made in increasing your share of the pie should bring a measurable return. From print advertising and AdWords to listing sites and online travel agents (OTAs), there are a variety of merchants vying for your marketing dollar every day.
Before you make any decision on marketing vehicles you should first establish if it's actually part of your overall strategy. A strategy is born out of first setting clear goals around what you want to achieve, how, why and by when. Strategy acts as a road map to your goals, once set and with tactics agreed, you can then define your key indicators of performance to truly measure success.
So, how do you determine what really is the best promotional vehicle for your business? We recommend it starts with evaluating your best return on investment (ROI).
There are a number of simple methods to track your marketing ROI, here are 3 to get you started...
Statistics from your own site can reveal a multitude of details about whether and how your marketing investment is working. From number of visits to where they came from and when, your website is a wealth of knowledge. Key areas to examine;
- Visits - Did traffic, especially unique visitors, rise during your campaign? Was traffic consistent?
- Source and Referral sites - where are your website visits coming from? a search engine? Adwords? How many visits came from a listing site you paid to be on?
- Date of visit - Did traffic to your site increase over the same period you advertised? you can view this per day, month or year. Google Analytics also reveals what time of day visits occur
- Landing page - If you specified a particular webpage to be directed to (eg; http://yourwebsite.com/special) this section of your report reveals how many ad viewers actually went to your webpage
- Top pages – Ranks your most popular pages based on number of visits. If your marketing goal is to drum up business (of course it is), your booking or store page should sit at the top of this list
- Actions that indicate an interest in staying with you. The obvious is receiving a booking, however indicators could also include; download of information, submitting an enquiry form, visiting your contact page etc
evoTip: Your evoSuite website report can be easily accessed from evoSuite (go to Website, Statistics) or if you've set it up, login to Google Analytics.
Are your lookers turning into bookers? Conversion to guest nights is the ultimate goal of most tourism marketing spends.
If you have the evoSuite Booking Engine and website, you're armed with two of the best tools to measure your ROI. Data from both provide significant insight into whether and how your marketing spend is converting to income.
In the event properties haven’t incorporated a booking engine into their own website, and instead send visitors off their page to a third party engine, the tools and data to assess ROI aren’t as readily accessible or transparent. The booking engine advice in this article is based on analytics available through evoSuite.
Key areas to inspect when evaluating whether your promotional vehicles are doing their job;
- Origin - Much like the Source or Referral report from your website, the Booking Engine Origin report reveals where your bookings are actually coming from. This is critical to assess whether your efforts on particular mediums are actually converting
- Revenue – A no brainer, and a solid measure of ROI. How much revenue is being generated, when and where
- Channel Manager – Applicable if you list your property on other booking sites (OTAs), and use a channel manager to handle distribution. The evoSuite channel manager enables you to not only manage and distribute your rates across all your channels, you can also evaluate where bookings are coming from and which channel is the most effective. This data determines what your ROI is based on commission paid and revenue generated from each outlet
- PMS - To realise the full potential booking insights can bring your business, we recommend integrating your booking engine with a smart Property Management System (PMS) for more effective yield management. A list of PMS and channels evoSuite integrates with can be found here.
- Combining forces - When booking engine reports are used in conjunction with your website report you’ll get the bigger picture of how an optimised website and specific site activity relates to your conversions
evoTip: Your evoSuite booking report can be easily accessed from evoSuite (go to Reservations, Booking Summary)
3. Return visitors
Marketing doesn’t stop once you’ve placed an advertisement or featured on a listing website. Marketing your property continues from the first contact a potential customer has with your service desk, through to the impression made when they arrive, to their entire stay experience.
It's fantastic to attract new guests to your property, but the true mark of ROI is whether they come back for more, and even better, if they refer or bring others to stay with you too.
Measuring ROI is not just about finding what works, it's about finding out what works better so you can improve your return on investment. Put simply - if you can't measure it, don't do it.
To receive further information on how you can measure your marketing ROI contact Ariana Tucker on 07 541 1111 extension 225, email firstname.lastname@example.org .