Metasearch is not about connectivity, its about strategic management
It’s Just Wires
With so much noise about metasearch being the big thing for hotels in online distribution for 2014, many providers are jumping on board touting their connectivity to metasearch platforms. Booking engine suppliers are connected, and even channel manager companies are now pushing their connectivity to metasearch as another distribution path as if it was a genuine solution to the issue. Seems everyone is shying away from the main point and hotels are being misled if they are being told that connectivity is all that is needed.
Connectivity is just wiring - it’s what you do with it that matters.
Bid Management And Strategy Are Key
Bookassist has connectivity with all the main metasearch players and continues to develop the integration technology with our metasearch partners as they evolve. For hotels, the key issue that Bookassist’s Digital Marketing team can address professionally is the management of strategy on each metasearch platform. This is how a real return-on-invesment (ROI) is assured.
If you consider Trivago, TripConnect and Google Hotel Finder, the approach to maximising your return is completely different on each platform. Bidding for positions takes quite a different strategy on each, and there are additional factors associated with each that critically influence success.
On Google Hotel Finder, for example, an optimised Google+ presence for your hotel is extremely important and no amount of channel manager “connectivity” is going to make up for a poor Google+ page. On the other metasearch platforms, there are considerable differences in bid strategy that you can adopt in order to minimise your spend while maximising return, and aiming for the top spot is not always the smartest thing to do. Additionally, approaches change again on mobile and there is simply no single approach that can be used across all platforms. This is not distribution in the “just send rates and availability to OTAs” sense.
Make The Right Decision
Metasearch is a fast evolving space, and expertise is needed to stay abreast of changes and to manage strategy accordingly. If your supplier has connectivity, that’s great. But be aware that connectivity is not a solution without strategic backup, bid management, and ongoing support. This is the expertise that Bookassist’s Digital Marketing team will bring.
After all, there’s been a free interface to pay-per-click advertising on Google for years, but everyone accepts that it takes considerable expertise to maximise its use. Why should hotels think metasearch is any easier to optimise?
Dr Des O’Mahony is CEO and founder at Bookassist (bookassist.org), the award-winning technology and online strategy partner for hotels worldwide.