In March hotel booking site Hotels.com couldn’t get out of all its ad buys so ran millions of dollars of commercials telling people to stay home before going dark on its ad budget.
Now Hotels.com is beginning to spend on marketing again though not yet at previous levels.
They’re back on television ‘reminding you’ that there are other places in the world to visit, that you used to actually do that, but acknowledging the uncertainty people feel: “in case things are still weird later, just choose free cancellation.”
That’s an interesting strategy, marketing that you shouldn’t book the non-changeable hotel rates we sell if you feel uncertain, spun as a good option to book and make changes.
I may be playing Captain Obvious here but forward bookings for domestic leisure travel destinations are picking up steam (for a very low base). While one of the easiest places to cut in a pandemic-driven recession is marketing, it’s also one of the places a brand needs to spend to goose business precisely when facing challenging business conditions.
According to Hotels.com’s Vice President of Global Brands,
We are certainly looking to get our message out over the summer in a cautious way as demand does come back. I don’t think you’ll see us necessarily spending what we do in a normal time, but it’s important to be out there.
And it’s an opportunity to remind potential customers that hotels offer free toilet paper included in the room rate.