How to use meta-search engines to boost direct booking?

  • Our Marketing Zentral partners ensure that the value proposition generated by these systems is undeniable and more than interesting: increase in direct bookings, decrease in commissions to OTAs, possibility of developing a long-term relationship with the customer, and future sales through tools that offer availability in real price, verification of the best price available … all this amplifying the possibilities.

Many hoteliers fall into the trap of comparing meta-search engines with OTAs and, although it gradually seems that the difference is becoming smaller, beyond being a distribution channel, these systems are closer to cost-per-click advertising, which integrates the concept of direct booking, price comparison, availability and market price on a given product. In any case, with a minimum commission of 20%, OTAs offer an ROI of 4, while that of meta-seekers oscillates between 8 and 20. This is one of the reasons why OTAs themselves consider meta-seekers as the second channel of online promotion (after Google) and why it is a very interesting opportunity for hoteliers.

According to a study carried out by the company L2, travellers have adopted this technology and integrated it into their search processes. China is the country that uses them the most (54%), followed by Germany (42%), France (38%), the United States (36%) and the United Kingdom, with 35%. The power of these platforms is already such that, according to PhocusWright data, six percent of total traffic in North America already comes from different meta-search engines: TripAdvisor, Google Hotel Finder, Trivago or Kayak.

Focusing on the client, from Marketing Zentral they consider that “it is important to start from the premise that there is a type of consumer who searches a large number of websites to find the best price before booking their holidays (38 portals, according to Expedia). Another large part of travelers prefer direct booking to gain flexibility in cancellation policies (promises of better service and rewards …) but only if the price is comparable and the booking process offers a good experience. It is important that tourism businesses take advantage of the relationship established between the meta-seekers and the client, a diversification in distribution that amplifies the radius of action”.

These would be some key factors on which the strategy works with meta-seekers to improve management:

  • Starting from the concept of meta-searcher as a hybrid between distribution and promotion channel. Take advantage of what we call the ‘Billboard Effect’: marketing and distribution vehicles that generate visibility of the hotels themselves at a variable cost.
  • The lack of coherence of prices in the different channels and the lack of parity, generates confusion to the client. There is a price war and a need for transparency in the market, which meta-seekers take advantage of to generate confidence in the customer. The application, or not, of the taxes, generates confusion since the rates are implemented in different phases of the purchase process, producing an ‘unfair’ comparison on the same product and adding a factor that requires supervision when managing the campaigns.
  • Distribution in new markets. Meta search engines allow us to distribute to markets that would otherwise be difficult and economically unviable to reach.
  • Take advantage of the user experience and know-how of meta-seekers. Hotels must take advantage of large investments in usability, or the optimization of purchasing processes over user behavior analysis to optimize their technology.
  • Real-time competitor monitoring. It is crucial to have a constant analysis of the competition, as well as adequate rate and availability in real time.

Having said all the above, Marketing Zentral takes advantage of its knowledge of the market to “advise on customer actions with meta-search engines, and we have all the tools to improve results. The reality on the Internet is quantified, and we justify our work through the benefit of our customers “.

fernando rodríguez MZ

Fernando Rodríguez Merino

General Manager Marketing Zentral

*Marketing Zentral is one of the options we offer to Dingus’ Roomonline clients to be able to connect with meta-search engines and contract online marketing services, which will allow them to direct more sales towards the web.

2020-02-24T07:46:12+01:00

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