Aligning Offline and Online Experiences in Hotel Branding: Creating Synergy

Written By Ulrich Franke

Nov 2, 2023

Welcome to our blog post, where we explore the intriguing realm of hotel branding and the seamless connection between offline and online experiences. In today’s digital age, a hotel’s success hinges on its ability to bridge the gap between the exceptional offline guest experience and the digital presence.

Join us as we delve into valuable insights shared by an expert in the field, David Kliman, co-founder of ELX – Event Leaders Exchange, a leading consultant specializing in maximizing profits for membership and hospitality organizations through the creation, facilitation and management of customer advisory boards, focus groups, strategic planning and marketing communications services.

Based on your expertise in facilitating customer advisory boards and think tanks, what recommendations would you give to hotel brands looking to leverage customer insights and feedback to enhance their digital marketing strategies?

David Kliman: To best leverage customer insights to maximize digital marketing strategies, hotel brands should talk with and listen to a diverse group of customers to harvest user feedback regarding digital user experiences. Hotels should not only rely on digital engineers and software developers to understand end users’ experiences, needs and desires. This will help them gain a deeper understanding of their customers’ needs and preferences, which can then be used to inform their digital marketing strategies.

When conducting guest experience analysis, what specific areas within the digital realm do you evaluate to ensure that hotels are effectively communicating their unique value propositions and engaging with guests throughout their online journey?

David Kliman: When evaluating and conducting a guest experience analysis, we review every potential digital guest experience including, but not limited to the initial guest reservation (hotel, dining, spa, golf and leisure activities etc.) as well as digital concierge services, room service, valet, parking, housekeeping etc. We test every potential digital interaction, evaluate the time required to complete each transaction and the accuracy of each transaction including service delivery.

How does the offline guest experience provided by a hotel brand impact its digital presence, what challenges and opportunities arise in aligning these two aspects?

David Kliman: Hotel guests report deep frustration and displeasure when the digital representations of hotel products and experiences don’t accurately match the actual experiences. Out of date or inaccurate photos, videos and narrative must be scrubbed from digital assets to ensure the genuine guest experience is fairly represented.

With your vast travel experience to numerous countries and regions, how have you observed digital marketing strategies varying across different hospitality markets, and what key lessons can hotel brands learn from these diverse approaches?

David Kliman: Regional, national, cultural, linguistic and societal preference, styles and nuances should be respected and incorporated into digital strategies by offering users easy to access click throughs to users’ desired content. While some digital content is universal, there is also content that is hyper specific to users (language, subject matter etc.).

In your opinion, what are some key strategies or best practices that hotel brands should consider to ensure a seamless and exceptional guest experience both offline and online, which can have a positive impact on their digital presence and overall marketing efforts?

David Kliman: To ensure a seamless and exceptional guest experience both offline and online, which can have a positive impact on their digital presence and overall marketing efforts, hotel brands should consider the following key strategies and best practices:

  • Seamless ease of use is paramount for users/guests/travelers.
  • Users demand access and ability to complete searches/transactions etc. within 2 to 3 clicks or less.
  • Ensure all digital assets are mobile enabled.
  • Update all information continually. Travelers are frustrated by out of date and/or inaccurate information.
  • Provide easy access to accurate and complete contact details. Travelers are routinely frustrated by hotels that make it difficult to access phone, email and physical address details.
  • Publish globally accessible phone numbers alongside “800” or country restricted toll free phone numbers.

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