In the travel & hospitality sphere, it’s always insightful to take a closer look at how hotels embrace new technologies and face upcoming challenges. The folks at NetAffinity came up with this nifty infographic that paints a pretty good picture of digital marketing trends hotel marketers can expect to deal with in 2014, if they aren’t already! Truth be told, many of these trends apply to most travel industry stakeholders in some shape or form.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Mobile marketing: It appears like 2013 was finally THE year of mobile, so expect some serious inroads here, with allocated budgets and increased tactics to respond to the growing traffic coming from tablets and smarphones alike.
  • OTA vs. Direct Bookings: A study by Expedia Media Solutions recently showed travelers visit 38 websites on average before purchasing their online travel package, so the competition is become increasingly difficult. Hotels would obviously prefer to get direct bookings and shave off commission levels given to Expedia, Booking, Travelocity and other OTAs but the challenge is to get customers to deal direct. Easier said than done, yet it will be vital in 2014 to get this right.
  • Meta-search: With Priceline acquiring Kayak at the end of 2012, with Trivago now a part of the Expedia family and TripAdvisor offering meta-search capabilities, it seems like this is another key distribution outlet hoteliers need to look at in their 2014 strategy.
  • Social Media Marketing: Recent studies and surveys show the increasing influence of social media in the search & planning stages of travel, while pure search seem to be slightly declining. It will be interesting to see how well visual sites continue to fare in 2014, in particular Instagram, Vine and Pinterest.
  • Growing importance of Google+: This echoes one of the 5 social media marketing trends for 2014 I had already predicted back in November, but will hotel marketers take the plunge?

14 digital marketing trends for hotels in 2014 - infographic

Which one of these trends do you think will have the biggest impact in 2014? Do you think there is one missing from this infographic? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

infographic via www.netaffinity.com.