Most, if not all, sectors will be affected by the economic downturn. Whether it manifests in fluctuating occupancy rates, casino visitors or reservation conversions, the hotel and casino industry will be no exception. To make Strategies for optimizing Web presence, hotel-casino properties need to be strategic about online marketing plans to ensure they are maximizing every channel the digital space has to offer.

By reevaluating a marketing mix, advertisers can research and isolate components that are no longer effective in times when consumers are hesitant to spend; it can also unearth channels that are better suited to reach users when they are spending more time researching purchases and less time actually making them. Once marketers acquire this information, they can make smart budgetary choices that make the most impact with users.

Good news for marketers is that while users may cut back on their spending, they are still active online. eMarketer reported in January that users spend 30  percent of their leisure time online; this number is up from 15 percent last year. This means that marketers still have an opportunity to reach online users-even more than in years past-attract casino visitors, and meet occupancy numbers. Advertisers just need to be clever and mindful of their marketing decisions and where they are spending.

Invest in CRM

As we all know, it is more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain one. I urge marketing departments to take a look at their customer relationship management programs (CRM) to make absolutely certain that relationships with existing customers are not neglected. One point that I cannot overemphasize is that in the online space brand evangelists are a companies’ greatest asset. By cultivating a relationship with previous guests-creating a more resilient bond-hotel and casinos can generate a base of brand fans that essentially do the job of a marketing team.

With social communities, blogs, and review websites, users have a vast amount of online real estate to promote or slander their experiences at your property. Digital marketers need to use this to their advantage as much as possible. Whenever appropriate feature links to guide satisfied users to these sites and encourage their participation. This will help marketers get the most traction out of each interaction and positive user experience without any additional outreach. Peer reviews influential factors during a customer’s purchase decision making process, so tapping into this conversation is extremely effective.

Reevaluate your value proposition

Make sure you are offering users something they need or want. For example, if your property is geared towards the value-oriented consumer, play up your rates; run campaigns that will appeal to consumers’ bottom line and satisfies their desire to get a good deal. With expendable income flying out the proverbial window, marketers must ensure they tighten their value proposition and reinforce it at every user touch point.

Whether it is a Web site, company-sponsored blog or newsletter, keep messaging consistent and ensure it resonates with your intended audiences. Otherwise your message will fall on deaf ears.

Invest in success

Review your past campaigns and digital successes, and invest in what has worked in the past. While there is certainly something to be said for setting yourself apart from the rest of the competitive field, it is also important to take every precaution to make sure an investment will pay out. This is a time to examine each component of a marketing mix and make certain they compliment each other. If conversion rates are noticeably higher when a paid search campaign runs in conjunction with a robust search engine optimization effort-and it usually is-make sure to set aside budget for both.

Keep tabs on your campaigns

Employing an extensive Web analytics program enables marketing teams to make the most informed decisions based on solid data. This can help in a downswing because it provides companies the chance to adjust campaigns (budgetary or otherwise) when necessary and it also arms marketing and sales personnel with valuable insights into their consumers. Assumptions tend to swirl during a recession, and, rightfully so, everyone prepares for the worse, but accurate analytics data allows marketers to sift through industry predictions to make decisions based on their own situation and their unique clientele.

By paying attention to how users interact with your Web site, how they find you, and where they are in a conversion funnel, sales teams are also in a better position to reassess their efforts to capitalize on inbound leads. When every sale counts, analytics data can illuminate user insights, such as brand affinity or path to purchase.

Conclusions

While not ideal, a recession does force marketers revamp stagnate campaigns and maximize our creative muscles. By optimizing each component of a marketing plan, you can better drive relevant traffic to your Web site. These efforts will ensure that when the economy rebounds, you will have a stronger base of loyal customers and a firmer grasp of what works best to acquire new ones. This solid foundation also will help you execute more extensive or experimental campaigns when budgets loosen and consumers have more to spend.