There is no denying the increasing importance of internet marketing for restaurants and hotels. The digital marketing mix is becoming increasingly complex and the tools available to engage, attract and convert customers are constantly changing and improving. It is a dynamic landscape that demands regular attention so as not to be left behind.
This dynamism does of course present significant opportunities for savvy operators, especially those who are naturally early adopters of technology as Giraffe have demonstrated with their unrivalled dominance in using social media as a key marketing tool. The interaction between online marketing tools further increases their effectiveness and in turn, their complexity.
Owners and managers of restaurants and hotels that I talk to often tell me how confusing the internet marketing mix can be and how difficult it is to get a clear overview of activity. I’m regularly required to provide an audit or snapshot of their current situation. The difficulty in clearly determining current online channel usage begged the question: How then do you go about providing a clear evaluation tool that provides a holistic overview?
These questions led us to develop the diagrammatic model featured on this page, The Ignite Online Marketing Schematic. It allows us to quickly and effectively illustrate a client’s current online mix and the areas that require more attention. Importantly, it is also clear and easy for owners and managers to understand and use as a tool that can be adjusted to evaluate their business over time.
Each channel is displayed on the left hand side with an adjustable slide-bar. The level of colour within the bar indicates the degree of effectiveness currently being achieved by that channel. PPC & SEO share a box, as we believe that between them you would cover the full scope of search engine marketing. As successes in SEO improve, reliance on PPC can decrease. Conversion Funnel Communication channels drive traffic to a website which is best described as a conversion hub. The website’s primary role is to encourage a booking by convincing the visitor to make a buying decision. It does this by presenting ‘persuasion assets’ to the visitor and ensuring ample opportunity for seamless buying action. The Funnel slopes from wide to narrow as not all traffic arriving converts. The steeper the slope of the Funnel the less effective a website is at persuading conversion.
One of the key attributes of internet marketing channels and tools is measurability. Analysis tools such as Google Analytics produce precise data on your results and enable significant analysis to determine effectiveness and ROI. Considered study of the results and statistics generated by the various internet marketing channels influences adjustment and fine-tuning to deliver the best return.
Figures can be applied to the model to produce a highly accurate yet simple overview. The usage bars on each Primary Tool can reflect current achievements fairly precisely. If Social Media efforts are producing 50% more than your Email Marketing efforts, then the bars should reflect that fact in the respective channel.
You can apply the Model to your hospitality business and see where your gaps lie. Reallocate resources accordingly until you are happy you are running a well-balanced and effective mix. Monitor and analyse the results and make adjustments where necessary, regularly fine-tuning your mix until you produce an optimised campaign.