March 08, 2024
By Cvent

Each year, innovative technology and hotel marketing trends affect how hoteliers and their teams target guests. As traveller preferences evolve, new social media platforms pop up, and consumers become more particular about what they purchase, hotels must pivot and adjust their marketing strategies to adapt to changing markets.

In this post, we’re exploring various trends that impacted the hospitality industry in 2023 and what to expect in 2024. From trending digital content strategies to new and innovative hotel technologies, we’re exploring the most profitable and penetrating hotel marketing trends you need to know about.

Hotel marketing trends every hotelier should know about

As we dive into the marketing trends impacting hotels, consider your advertising strategies and how innovative technologies or growing marketing trends could benefit your property.

1. Costs continue to rise

We expect event and venue costs to continue rising into 2024, and event professionals will rely on partners, such as destinations and hotels, to help create an exceptional event experience. As price hikes continue, Cvent’s 2023 Planner Sourcing Report United Kingdom almost half (49%) of the planners expect costs to increase by as much as 11 to 20%, and 84% of respondents have built contingency into their budget for 2024.

With tighter budgets, event planners are turning to creative hospitality and lodging partners to help bridge the gap. They want to partner with venues that can increase their events' value and experience without increasing their budget.

Many properties have turned to destination marketing organisations (DMOs) or Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) to find a destination that can meet their needs. 

Action Item: Partner with destination marketing managers in your area to connect with more actively sourcing planners. Create affordable event packages that don’t skimp on the experience.

2. Marketing managers have heavy workloads

HubSpot surveyed more than 1,200 business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing professionals to identify 2023 industry trends and how they will affect the industry. One of the most prominent results of the survey was the high number of respondents experiencing a heavy workload. 70% of surveyed marketers confirmed their workload was already high, with the average marketing professional working on five campaigns simultaneously.

Although hospitality workforce shortages are improving, industry experts do not anticipate a full recovery in the coming year. Fewer employees in the lodging and events industries have led to a disconnect between planners and suppliers. These relationships are crucial to the success of everyone involved, and rebuilding them must be a critical priority for hotel and event professionals.

Thirty-three percent of event professionals say rebuilding relationships will be one of the most prevalent trends impacting priorities in 2024. Reassess your marketing strategies regularly to ensure that your team is engaged in proactive sales activities, focused on targeting the right audience, and utilising their marketing resources in the best way possible.

Action Item: Be proactive about building and strengthening planner relationships. Encourage open communication and an atmosphere of transparency to foster stronger relationships and increase repeat bookings. Analyse the success of each campaign strategy to determine which booking channels and tools produce the best results.

3. Automated sales technology

We no longer view technology as a barrier or hindrance to relationships. Instead, technology can now improve the consumer experience by providing information instantly. With an increased demand for hotel rooms and event space, in addition to a shortage in staffing and increased workloads, automated hotel technology can help fill in the gaps.

Eighty-five percent of event planners state they are more likely to select a hotel or venue for simple meetings if they offer online booking. Hotels and venues that have adopted sales automation technology will continue to increase the speed of sales conversions, improve the team member work experience, and strengthen their buyer-seller relationships.

Action Item: Offer planners the ability to book small, simple meeting spaces and a limited number of room nights online without going through the traditional RFP process. Cvent’s Instant Book saves both parties time and improves transparency.

4. The implementation of generative AI

Many businesses have begun implementing generative AI tools to improve operations, streamline performance, and expand their audience reach; hotels are no exception. Generative AI tools like hotel chatbots enable hotel staff to respond to numerous guests quickly, which can help enhance satisfaction and customer service scores.

AI is quickly redefining hospitality management, sales, and operations. AI-powered personalisation and recommendation engines can assist in creating customised sales pitches and packages tailored to the specific needs of business travellers. Internally, AI can automate repetitive tasks such as data entry, follow-ups, and lead generation, allowing sales managers to instead focus on building relationships with key clients and closing more deals. Hotels can use AI to set dynamic pricing based on occupancy, demand, and other factors, driving hotel revenue and offsetting low-demand periods.

Action Item: Implement generative intelligence tools to develop SEO-rich content, helping properties boost their online presence and the effectiveness of their social media profiles. Dig into all the data available through CSN Business Intelligence. See how your response rate, response time, proposals, and advertising efforts stack up against the competition.

5. Data-driven marketing campaigns

To ensure their time, energy, and resources are going to the right place—and that busy marketers get the highest return possible on their advertising investment—hotels are turning to services like Google Analytics 4 (GA4) to make more informed, data-backed strategic decisions. As part of Google’s marketing platform, GA4 is free to use, with paid upgrades available depending on your property’s specific needs.

Using cookies, GA4 tracks and analyses the customer’s journey. Marketers can use customer metrics provided by data-driven resources like Google Analytics to understand how their customers behave online, which content they engage with most, and more.

With data-rich tools like GA4, hotels can access detailed analytics to measure guest retention levels, new guest acquisition rates, consumer engagement scores, and other valuable information your marketing team can use to identify your current and target audience.

Action Item: Confirm which sources your hotel uses to gather guest demographics. Are you currently using Google Analytics? If not, what resources are you using, and how much does each cost? Consider whether using free tools, like Google, would allow your marketing team to allocate their financial resources more productively. Set your sales team up for success by supplying them with all the information they need to attract new business while maximising their return on investment (ROI).

6. Customer-journey-focused campaigns

The desire for personalised travel and stay experiences has only grown in the last few years, and we expect the trend to continue through 2023 and beyond. The demand for customer-centric hotel experiences has extended to the booking process as travellers are personalised journey-focused campaigns. 90% of consumers expect a personalised experience from brands and retailers.

American Express Global Business Travel and CULTIQUE found that 61% of travellers said they would like a policy that supports a mix of personal and work travel and allows extended stays and family members or significant others to join. People want to fit in new, exciting experiences anywhere possible, which could mean adding a few shoulder dates to their scheduled stay, indulging in luxury hotel amenities, or bringing a guest.

Action Item: Create a digital content experience that emulates how your target customers feel throughout the booking process. Allow each guest to create their ideal travel itinerary with Cvent Passkey. Let them add nights, guests, or excursions to their existing business trip so they can really enjoy their time with you.

7. Growth of short-form video content

Short-form video content lasts between three to 60 seconds, and its popularity is representative of the industrial and cultural shift away from long-form video advertising. Of all forms of video content, short-form videos will see the most growth in 2023.  One-third of marketers use short-form videos, primarily due to the high ROI attached. Additionally, marketers plan to invest more in short-form video content than any other form of digital content marketing in 2023, with 21% of marketers leveraging the media format for the first time this year.

Action Item: Improve your venue’s digital and physical accessibility. Use short-form video ads on popular search engines, like Google, to redirect online traffic to your hotel’s website. Create attractive and compelling video marketing highlighting your hotel’s unique amenities, culture, and the experiences it can offer guests. Embed a link that sends consumers where you’d like to direct their attention, such as the main hotel website, social media pages, or event venue profile.

8. Experiential trip research

The way people are utilising social media and interacting with various social platforms is evolving. Many young travellers use resources like TikTok and Instagram for travel research rather than search engines like Google. Forty percent of travellers over 30 now prefer to complete trip research on social media, so hotels that want to remain competitive must embrace social media marketing more than ever. They are turning to experiential forms of marketing, like social media content and augmented reality (AI), to get a feel for what locations and destinations are really like.

In addition to attracting more solo travellers, investing in experiential content can be a major benefit for hotels in winning MICE business. Cvent found that 53% of event planners say images and videos are among their top three most influential when sourcing lodging and event partners.

Action Item: Cultivate a solid social media presence that highlights much more than your hotel facilities. Highlight your brand values, area attractions, and unique experiences your hotel can offer guests. Celebrate what makes your property unique and why it’s the perfect location for your target audience. Link meeting room diagrams or a virtual hotel tour to give guests an immersive and engaging social media sourcing experience.

9. Branded DMs

Social media messaging has become an increasingly popular way for hotels to communicate with current and potential guests, especially with many travellers turning to social media for recommendations or guidance. Although a relatively new concept in direct-to-consumer advertising, hotels of all sizes already use branded direct messaging.

A subset of direct marketing, direct messaging utilises SMS (i.e., texts), social media, and web messaging to connect with consumers. Using mobile-friendly social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others, hotels can connect with travellers looking to social media for trip advice while building brand recognition.

HubSpot’s 2023 hotel marketing trends report predicts that branded direct messaging will have the third-highest ROI of trending 2023 hotel marketing tools. Their recent consumer trends survey also showcases the generational preference for branded social media messaging, with one in five members of Gen Z reporting they had contacted a brand or business on social media for customer service assistance within the last three months. Social media shopping is also on the rise, with 30% of Millennial and Gen Z consumers reporting recently purchasing a product via social media.

Action Item: Incorporate branded direct messaging into your annual marketing strategy to assist your property in meeting various fiscal and productivity goals, increasing the hotel’s brand visibility, and opening up a new line of communication that appeals to members of your target audience. When it comes to hotel social media marketing, consistency is key. Ensure team members can respond to consumer messages and promptly answer guest questions.

Check out more of 2024's top hospitality trends

10. Socially responsible brand values

Fifty-two percent of US consumers consider a brand’s values when purchasing. According to the Expedia Sustainable Travel Study, 90% of consumers seek sustainable travel options. As a result, being environmentally conscious is no longer something that competitive hotels can consider; it’s a must among young travellers, global adventurers, families, tech-savvy transient guests, event organisers, corporate planners, and other decision-makers.

The consumer desire to seek out knowledgeable and educated businesses to patronise is rising. Cvent’s Planner Sourcing Survey showed that 21% of planners rank sustainability in their top three factors when submitting an RFP, with 31% of respondents stating sustainability will significantly impact their planning priorities in the coming years. Many hotels have already upped their sustainability efforts to meet the increased demand, launching or renewing green lodging programmes.

Action Item: If you haven’t launched green hotel initiatives or sustainable solutions already, it’s time to get in the game. Look for unique and affordable opportunities to implement eco-friendly hotel ideas into your day-to-day operations, such as installing smart thermostats, introducing a recycling programme, or using more efficient light bulbs.

11. Increased focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Events and hospitality organisations are working to improve workplace Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. According to a study on The State of Inclusion in Meetings and Events by Meeting Professionals International, 56% of event planners already have diversity and inclusion policies, with 42% of respondents including DEI statements on their websites. They are looking for hotels, venues, and other event partners that are comfortable working with a wide variety of clientele, accommodating a range of dietary restrictions, and providing event equipment that works with various communication styles. Leaders in many industries, hospitality included, have realised that DEI is critical to their success and are looking for unique, effective ways to open doors to under-represented populations.

The digital and physical accessibility of suppliers is a significant area of focus that will significantly impact how event planners make decisions and work in 2023 and beyond. Only 36% of companies have a top-down commitment to accessibility, but diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) commitments and increased digital accessibility may result in change.

Action Item: Increase your venue’s focus on DEI initiatives. Partner with multicultural organisations in your community to foster a more accepting, welcoming, and happier workplace. Incorporate DEI into events and host more diverse events.

Frequently asked questions about hotel marketing trends

For more information about hotel marketing trends affecting properties worldwide, check out some of the most recently asked questions about advertising trends below:

1. What trends are affecting boutique hotels in 2023 and 2024?

Boutique hotel travel trends align with major leisure travel trends, highlighting a preference for local and immersive experiences, loyalty programmes, and video content that shows prospective guests what they can expect in advance. Boutique hotels can prepare by forming networks with local businesses and attractions in the community.

2. Is daily room demand expected to rise in 2024?

Daily room demand continued to increase in 2023 as the desire and demand for travel do the same. Costar predicted the average daily demand for hotel rooms to reach its highest levels in 2023. This trend should continue into 2024, with ADR and occupancy both expected to grow.

3. What sustainability tools are trending in 2023 and 2024?

Hotel sustainability efforts are growing globally as tourism's environmental and long-term impacts (and other industries) become more well-known. Properties of all shapes and sizes participate in various sustainability initiatives and implement sustainable hotel solutions, like smart thermostats, bottle refilling stations, and recycled in-house products. Some of 2023’s most popular sustainability solutions include hotel automation, renewable energy, and air-source heat pumps.

Keep up with hotel marketing trends to stay ahead of the game

Now that you know which major marketing trends will impact the hotel industry this year and beyond, you’re ready to start preparing. Update your hotel marketing plan to include strategies targeting the trends affecting your market.

We also expect shifts in market demand to continue impacting hotels. Certain types of travel and events are surging, bringing unique and exciting opportunities to event venues and lodging partners nationwide. 

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Cvent is a leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider with more than 4,500 employees and nearly 21,000 customers worldwide.

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