If you’re like most hotel marketers, you probably spend quite a bit of time analyzing and reporting on your digital marketing efforts. This includes logging into your Google Analytics account and looking at how much revenue your campaigns have been generating.
Most people would attribute revenue generated by a specific campaign to its success. Although it’s always nice to see a particular channel generate direct online revenue, it’s also important to understand if certain channels are assisting in generating revenue. An assist is simple to understand, and is best described through an example.
Let’s say a user searches for a hotel and your PPC ad shows up, then he or she decides to click on the ad and moves through a few pages of your site. The user isn’t in the final stages of the buying process and decides to exit your site and continue searching. He or she visits a few of your competitors, but ultimately decides that your hotel is the best and wants to book. The user remembers your site, so he or she goes directly to it by typing in your URL in his or her browser. This booking would be attributed to “direct”, because the user went directly to your site, but the only reason why he or she found you was because of that initial PPC ad.
With this fictional example, it looks like the PPC ad didn’t do much due to lack of direct revenue, but it actually assisted in the revenue generated by “direct”. This is why it’s important to look at assisted revenue of your channels.
To answer the question in the title: all of them…working together. Ideally, you’d invest time and money in all channels, since their synergy can provide a great benefit to you. Of course, that isn’t always possible given budget constraints.
Here’s an example of what an assisted revenue report would look like in Google Analytics:
We can see the source under “MCF Channel Grouping” and then assisted revenue under “Assisted Conversion Value” and direct revenue under “Last Click or Direct Conversion Value”. It will also tell us the number of conversions for each source.
Trying to decide where to invest your digital marketing dollars can be tricky. Not everything is what it seems like on the surface. To truly understand the value of a digital marketing channel, we must understand the value by itself and also its relation to other channels.
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