Best Practices

Top 5 mistakes hotels make in marketing & the path to fix them

Running a hotel isn’t easy. In the day-to-day grind we can sometimes let some things fall through the cracks. Today, let’s take a step back to reflect and talk about 5 mistakes I see hoteliers regularly make with their marketing, and I’ll share my tips on how to fix them and get on the path to your best hotel marketing yet!

1. Marketing to themselves

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are your guests. Most of your guests aren’t road warrior travel insiders like you may be. Instead, analyze your strategy to know if you’re connected to your audience. A simple approach is to use A/B testing. This will nail down the best way to keep your hotel on track.

AB testing can improve hotel marketing2. Only competing at time of transaction

Most hotels are guilty of this. If your hotel website, social campaigns, and advertising are solely focused on speaking to an audience that has already decided to travel, then you are competing at the most expensive moment in the traveler’s journey.

Other hotels, big brands and OTA’s are all spending big budgets to win over travelers at this moment. Instead, hoteliers should focus their site and marketing strategies on inspiring people to travel and in turn create a true marketing funnel for themselves.

Content marketing is a huge opportunity to capture the attention and inspire travelers who are not yet ready to book—but are ignored by many hoteliers.

3. Spamming their email database

Hotels need to can spam. Just because you have a need time in 3 weeks doesn’t mean your entire marketing database wants to hear about it. Every time you email someone with content they’re not interested in, you’re eroding your relationship with them.

Advanced marketing teams nurture their database to understand who is most likely to travel during times of need, and then use targeted messaging to move the needle.

Your hotel marketing shouldn't spam travel shoppers4. Using a discount based strategy

Audit your marketing efforts. If your key strategy is price, there will always be someone beating you. Get out of the race to the bottom.

Instead shift your focus to building long term relationships and inspiring guests with the experiences and value brought to your guests.

5. Setting it and forgetting it

The best marketers know they’re never done fine tuning. Too many hotels treat their marketing as an effort that is done once in awhile.

Your website and communications should constantly be adjusted and tested to get the most from your efforts. Work under the assumption that you’re never done. It’s exactly why the OTA’s and AirBnB are always growing and changing—and you should be too!

Marketing done right is extremely impactful for your hotel. Be on the lookout for these common mistakes, and always take time to audit your processes so you can ensure you’re always putting your best foot forward.

About is a marketing platform that lets your guests become advocates—turning trusted introductions to their friends & family worldwide into new guests. For more on, take a tour at

Watch Ed’s presentation on content marketing in full. Check out the on demand video.

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