· Hospitality

Why Is Hotel Marketing so Hard? (And What to Do About It)

If you’ve been in the hotel industry long enough, you’d remember when having a few wholesalers’ contracts, a fancy brochure and a telephone number were pretty much all you needed to stay in business.

The bad news is that the good ol’ days are gone for good.

Hotel marketing is getting more and more complicated, and it’s unlikely that the trend will revert any time soon, so you’d better be prepared to overcome new obstacles and challenges every week.

An unimaginable level of sophistication and complexity

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change,” said Stephen Hawking… and now more than ever, hotels need to be pretty intelligent.

The hotel industry in 2018 looks like Darwinian natural selection on steroids and in order to survive, hotels and resorts will have to adapt, evolve or be extinct.

From the early SEO hacks of the mid/late 90’s to the generic-keyword ads of the early ’00s, from Chris Anderson’s Billboard Effect to AI chatbots, hotel marketing has evolved to a level of sophistication and complexity simply unimaginable just a decade ago.


In order to understand how hotel marketing has become so hard, we need to understand the overarching goal of hotel marketing (If your goals are difficult, then it should be no surprise the related activity is equally arduous).

With that in mind, we humbly offer up Sergio Zyman’s (the legendary Coca-Cola Marketing Executive) definition of the goal of marketing: the sole purpose of marketing, he wrote, is “to get more people to buy more of your product, more often, for more money.”

Today, most hotel marketers use this definition as their goal and subsequently, they face hard work every day.

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