Hotel Digital Marketing 2022 Challenge: Part 1 – Planning

I’m guessing you have landed on this challenge series because you know digital marketing is pretty important for your hotels’ long-term growth. Looking ahead at 2022, you may (or should) be thinking of digital marketing as an integral part of your revenue & distribution strategy but this still leaves the question: HOW do you ‘do’ digital marketing?

Over the next several weeks, I put on the hat of a hotel marketing manager and will be thinking as someone who is starting a new digital marketing strategy from scratch in 2022. I will outline the entirety of year 1 from beginning to end, showing how I would prioritize advertising, quarter by quarter.

Having worked in digital marketing for 6 years in all areas (but mostly paid media) and having seen behind the curtains of many hotels marketing strategies, I have developed a good understanding of how hotels can win through digital marketing. 

By the end of the blog, my aim is that you will have a roadmap you need for your hotels’ long term success. Execute every step fully and you will be in the top 1% of hotel marketers enjoying top 1% results. Let’s get started!


Pre-2022 – Planning

First and foremost, well done! You’re ahead of most hoteliers out there by just showing up. 5 years from now, the difference between you and a similar competitor who did nothing will be staggering. In part 1, we will explore the pre-steps for you to take before you ever market to a potential guest/customer.


Mission Plan

My first step would be to begin with the end in mind by putting together a clear picture of my hotels digital marketing strategy via the Mission Plan. This 2 – 6 page document will be used to outline my priorities over the next 12 months. For the whole year, there should be 1 – 3 top-level priorities (1 is best).

Why so few? Because focus is power (I suggest reading Essentialism by Greg McKeown to learn more on this concept). Then, under each marketing discipline, I would provide another layer of priorities. In some cases, this may go a third layer deep.

For example, my overarching goal may be to increase the hotels direct bookings from 30% to 75% of total bookings. Under this, my paid media goal may be to utilize all avenues of paid media to increase direct bookings at a trackable and positive ROI. Then, under this,  my paid metasearch goal may be to use meta to get as many bookings as is possible under a 10% commission rate.

For each area, I would then develop a summary of what the discipline is and a clear timeline, focusing on several very important areas each month. When completed, this document will clearly spell out where my spotlight needs to be, allowing me to ignore anything that isn’t a priority.


Final Word

Final word for part 1 is to say this Mission Plan does not need to be perfect. No one has a crystal ball that can say how long things will take. My best bet will be to make educated guesses but bring a mindset of being carefree. If all the tasks I assign for January take until March, fine. If I’m doing December tasks by July, also fine. You go in with ignorance and come out the other end with wisdom.

PLEASE DO NOT SKIP this stage! I know it’s tempting to jump in but believe me, that’s not a good idea. Crafting this Mission Plan is about speeding up your journey from now until you achieve your objectives. You’ll thank yourself later for taking the time upfront to get this done. 

With your Mission Plan done, you have completed part 1! Part 2 will be available below once it has been published. Any questions you have along the way, please get in touch here!