NEW YORK—The marketing and distribution landscape in the hospitality industry is shifting. With increased competition—both in the form of nearby hotels and channels with which to reach guests—hoteliers need access to the best available data and more sophisticated tools to maximize revenue and improve performance. It’s one of the reasons why TravelClick has expanded its relationship with Google, gaining Google Premier Partner status—to help independent and small- to mid-sized hotel chains to better identify, attract and convert guests.
“Google is a vital player in the booking landscape, as it plays a crucial role in a customer’s entire journey—from Search to Maps to HotelAds to Flight Search and more,” explained Curtis Brewer, SVP of reservations and website solutions for TravelClick. “As a result, Google generates a huge amount of traffic and has the ability to connect consumers directly to hotels across various stages of their journey. We expect Google to continue to play a central role for bookings in the future, especially with the advent of assistant technology, which can change consumer behaviors.”
There were several reasons why TravelClick chose to expand this relationship. “TravelClick’s products are built as a suite that seamlessly leverages data from one part of our solution to another to help hoteliers drive revenue,” Brewer explained. “Given Google’s role across the customer journey, as well as its scale, reach and localization, Google is a natural partner for TravelClick to innovate with on ways for hoteliers to maximize revenue using data. Google touches a lot of travelers, so it makes sense for us to connect our hotels with them. Our combined partnership enables hoteliers to expand their reach and generate new guests.”
According to Brewer, hoteliers working with TravelClick will reap substantial benefit through this partnership. “TravelClick’s team will be fully trained on Google’s latest beta products and will receive access to these products before they are widely released to the market,” he said. “This will give hoteliers the opportunity to take advantage of these new offerings ahead of their competition. Hoteliers will also have the ability to leverage TravelClick’s proprietary data on the market to understand when, who and where to best market for the highest impact.”
One of the biggest challenges independents and small chains face is that they tend to have smaller marketing budgets than their rivals and less brand recognition—yet they still need to compete with OTAs, large brands and all of the other independent hotels in their market for bookings, Brewer noted. “A central idea behind this partnership is that hoteliers working with TravelClick and Google will be set up for success in using audience signals and demand data to enable hotels to target and attract the right customers,” he said.
And that will be increasingly important as the landscape continues to evolve. “The hotel industry’s current landscape is highly competitive and evolving rapidly, particularly in the areas of customer acquisition and the use of technology. Both have completely changed in the last few years, and many hotels have struggled to keep up. With the pace of change showing no signs of slowing down, hotels need to understand data in order to make the best decisions about which channels to use, how to price rooms and how to target customers,” Brewer said. “Every hotel has essentially become a technology and a data company. From acquiring guests to managing the on-site experience to driving repeat bookings, technology and data are essential. We focus on giving hotels the technology and data insights they need to compete effectively.” HB