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The Future is Video

Here at The Brand Mix, we keep our finger on the pulse. We recognise trends in the hotel and online marketing industries and respond to them accordingly. We anticipate change so that by the time it’s taken place, we’re already one step ahead.

Our priority is our clients. We monitor their progress closely and advise them based on extensive market research and years of industry experience.

At the same time, we do not underestimate the importance of taking a step back and evaluating our own practices. Around here, we’re true optimists and like to believe there’s always room for improvement! That was how The Brand Mix blog first came about.

While the publication of content online, be it blog post, photograph, or video, is always valuable, the written word is in decline. Of course, it is a long way away from complete eradication. Social media has simply resulted in the art form taking on an entirely new identity.

While Facebook walls are a mishmash of photographs, written posts, and video content, it’s safe to say that the Twitter feed relies primarily on the written word. Even if users are only allowed a maximum of 280 characters to express their thoughts.

According to Buffer, Twitter has approximately 335 million active monthly users. Meanwhile, YouTube boasts 1.9 billion. It’s easy to see where the average citizen of the Internet heads for their daily dose of information.

Clearly, the written word remains effective, but video is reaching a much greater audience. The trick is to establish balance between the two forms of communication. We have already advised our friends in the hotel industry to respond to this demand by creating video advertisements and virtual tours. But at The Brand Mix, we uphold the mantra, “Practise what you preach.”

Next week, our first company video will be going live! Stick around TBM blog page to see what we’ve come up with.

Are You Excluding This Valuable Portion of the Market?

In 2016, the Irish Food Board, Bord Bia, published a press release detailing staggering growth in the indigenous food service industry. Three years ago, the market accumulated approximately €7.5 billion in profit. This figure is expected to grow to well over €9 billion by 2020.

As a result of higher pay and increased leisure time, the Irish population can afford to dine outside of the home on a regular basis. Growing up in this environment has inspired a “foodie” culture amongst Millennials, in particular. The emergence of food blogging, culinary websites, and take-away Smart Phone apps have led to the development of more mature, discerning flavour palettes.

While they may be more familiar with kale, quinoa, and avocado toast than the average bear, the recipes in which they indulge are rarely their own. In fact, a recent survey by Porch.com revealed that only 64.7% of Millennials would consider themselves to be capable cooks, in comparison to 76.1% of Baby Boomers. Evidently, a generation-wide tendency towards dining out is negatively impacting their skills in the kitchen. This doesn’t seem to be a concern, however, as it has done nothing to curb the rapid growth of the food service industry.

Opportunity knocks, dear hotelier.

Judging by the online trend of listing the ‘Best Hotels for Foodies’, the modern-day traveller prefers luxuries to go hand-in-hand. A wonderful hotel experience is only enhanced by the existence of a quality, onsite restaurant. And one that caters to a variety of dietary needs. Even the act of featuring vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options on your menu is deemed positive. It sends a message of health consciousness, inclusivity, and consideration. After all, Millennials have the greatest purchasing power in today’s market, and consequentially, are transforming the way we eat.

Our advice? Incorporate food into the guest experience. If you have an onsite restaurant, refine your menu, cook to the highest standard, provide room service options, and if you’re thinking of really spicing things up, offer cooking classes or host foodie events. Millennials opt for experiences over possessions. Combine cooking, dining, and travel (the inherent atmosphere of a hotel) experiences, and you’ve got a recipe for success.

In search of something that appeals to everyone’s tastes? Consider adding exquisite meal vouchers to your property website. Entice your guests with a luxury dining experience that will have them coming back for more. To find out more about The Brand Mix’s bespoke voucher engine, click here. To get in contact, click here.

Be it food or new ideas on how to serve it, we at The Brand Mix wish you happy cooking!

What is the Difference Between RevPAR and RevPOR?

If you’ve been in the hotel game for a while, you’re probably familiar with the concept of “RevPAR”. The abbreviation stands for “Revenue Per Available Room” and is an effective method of measuring a hotel’s financial performance.

RevPAR is calculated by multiplying your average daily room rate (ADR) by its occupancy rate. An alternative formula is to divide total room revenue by the total number of available rooms for a given period.

Let’s put the formula into action. Say your hotel has 100 rooms. The average occupancy rate is 85%. Each room is valued at €100 per night.

€100 (cost per night) X 85% (average occupancy) = (RevPAR) €85

The hotel’s RevPAR is €85 per day, with the calculation assuming all rooms are valued the same. Multiply the result by the number of days in three months, for example, to get a quarterly reading. If your rooms are valued at €100 per night and your RevPAR is €85, consider dropping the price to reach maximum occupancy.

RevPOR tends to be used with less frequency, despite revealing invaluable results. The abbreviation stands for “Revenue Per Occupied Room”. It disregards unoccupied rooms, taking into account the additional services of which a guest may avail while staying onsite, including room service, spa treatments, and dinners in the hotel restaurant. It is calculated by dividing total revenue by the number of occupied rooms.

RevPOR has an advantage over RevPAR as it is not influenced by seasonal changes in occupancy rates. RevPAR is simply the go-to formula as the room is the most expensive part of the transaction. Consequentially, selling more rooms equates a spike in profit.Growth in RevPOR is more gradual, and as a result, unlikely to plummet during seasonal decline. Clever marketing of your hotel’s unique products or services will lead to longevity in profitability.

If only there were a solution ingenious enough to strengthen both…

Turns out the magic elixir exists! Click here to find out what it is. Then, contact The Brand Mix to find out more.

Brand Responsibility and Marketing Morality

In 2019, the travel industry is booming. The breadth of choice that has sprung from its unstoppable growth allows travellers to be more discerning in their choice of airline and accommodation providers. Millennials, along with members of Generations Y and Z, are often exalted in their pursuit of fairness, be it a struggle for equal representation or environmental conservation.

As discussed in previous blog posts, these are also the generations for which travel, adventure, and exploration are the most enticing. In line with their admirable assertion of a pronounced moral compass, they tend to favour brands that are responsible, transparent, and honest in their day-to-day marketing and business operations.

Check out the following insights into moral marketing, a steadfast and rewarding mode of engaging newer generations.

  • Go Green: Modern dismissals of the dangers of climate change are heightening the need for wide-spread sustainability. This is particularly pressing within the hotel sector where large volumes of water are used, excess food from buffet breakfasts goes to waste, and a massive amount of electricity is required to run the establishment. Try implementing greener practices. Ask guests to retain their towels if still clean. Prepare food based on hotel occupancy. Use lower watt light bulbs. Include the changes in your branding but be sincere. Millennials can see right through “green-washing”.
  • Own Up: If you make a mistake, admit to it. Even the biggest hotel can attribute its success to its staff members. Your team may be comprised of motivated individuals, but at the end of the day, to err is human. Taking responsibility for mistakes, publicly or otherwise, is the right thing to do and has been known to get people on your side. If the mistake is honest, the apology is sincere, and the desire to do better is well-founded, there’s always a second chance.
  • Guard Data: Recent data protection scandals have resulted in the seemingly irreversible blacklisting of the companies responsible. According to Axios, since Cambridge Analytica, Facebook’s public approval rating has plummeted. Recent implementation of GDPR laws has meant tightening the bolts on data security. It remains your responsibility to safeguard your guest’s information. In the case of online booking transactions, start by ensuring your domain is SSL secured (https:// should feature in the URL).
  • Persevere: Hotels are losing bookings to AirBnB, but this trend is unlikely to last. Several US cities, including New York, require AirBnB to register certain properties in the same manner as hotels. In addition, the expansion of AirBnB is worsening already urgent housing crises in cities such as Dublin, Barcelona, and Vienna. Younger generations in search of housing will be hit with the greatest sting. For the sake of their moral compass and their future, AirBnB favourability will eventually decline and persistent hotels will come out on top.

At The Brand Mix, we’re all about responding to the needs of the next generation, as well as conquering next generation software. Think you could benefit from some advice? Contact us today.

How Does A/B Split Testing Work?

Let’s work on the assumption that you’re happy with your current website. The framework is sturdy, the design is clean, it’s completely responsive, and it attracts a steady flow of monthly clientele. Things are going well, and you wouldn’t consider it wise to rock the boat. But you can’t shake the feeling that there’s room for improvement.

Posit this: you could benefit from subtle changes to design strategy. Something as small as the “Book Now” button being displayed on the home page, rather than buried in a drop-down menu. Or the idea that special offer links could yield a higher click through rate (CTR) if web page design was updated to strategically guide the visitor’s eye.

At The Brand Mix, we’re all for continual growth and ongoing improvement. So, we say, go for it! But do it in a clever way. This is where A/B Split Testing comes into play. With this strategy, the risk is virtually non-existent, the cost is low, and the return on investment is high.

Split Testing allows you to test two (A/B) – or four (A/B/C/D) – variations of a single campaign to determine which design performs better. Change a single variable across two web pages that link to the same landing page. A “Book Now” button in red versus a “Book Now” button in green, for example. Test the pages on two separate audiences of similar size over a significant enough period for the reading to be accurate. From there, it’s easy to deduce which page design performs better.

Benefits of updating design in step with popularity include increased traffic, higher conversion rate, and where payment pages are concerned, a decrease in shopping cart abandonment. According to MightyCall, somewhere between 40% and 75% of site visitors abandon a website with items in their cart. This could be down to something as simple as shipping costs being displayed after the item has been added to their “must buy” list. Don’t let this happen with your hotel vouchers. (Don’t have vouchers in place? Here’s why you should.)

Keep a close eye on your analytics, put goal-orientated strategies into place, and remedy web design in accordance with Split Test findings. It could be the difference between a booking and a bounce. Need help with those new and improved strategies? At The Brand Mix, we’re experts on all things interwebby! Contact us for more information.

5 Unconventional Tips to Improving Online Visibility

Here at The Brand Mix, we understand the key to maximising online visibility starts with the right foundations. Well-written copy, clean web design, secure domain, responsive navigation, search engine optimisation.

Cyberspace is flooded with tips and tricks on how to maximise your brand’s visibility online. We have no doubt you’ve read your fill of traditional approaches.

Now it’s time to take the road less travelled. The web connoisseurs’ approach. The subtleties that set you and your website apart from the rest. What more can you do to attract visitors? Check out these technological transformations currently on the rise.

  1. Social Messaging Apps: Email remains a hyper-efficient form of communication but social messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp possess a casual, familiar, and instantaneous quality. Facebook Messenger has approximately 1.3 billion active monthly users. WhatsApp’s statistics are strikingly similar, with 55 billion messages sent daily. Hospitality organisations can’t afford to forego establishing a tangible presence on these messaging giants.
  2. Omnichannel Marketing: You’ve set up your hotel’s social media accounts. You publish regular blog posts. You dispatch newsletters via email. A major accomplishment! But it still leaves a lot of ground uncovered. Omnichannel Marketing signifies advertising across every available channel. This could include vlogs, podcasts, mobile apps, and press releases. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
  3. AI/Chatbots: Gartner predicts that 25% of customer service will be automated by 2020. The technology is quick to respond and can immediately access a backlog of the customer’s previous transactions. Implement Chatbots on your website, refine the technology, and stay ahead of the curve.
  4. Tell Your Story: Video content has become indispensable, with YouTube qualifying as the world’s second largest online search engine. But you don’t have to be a videographer to engage your audience. Use Facebook Stories, Instagram Stories, and Snapchat to capture your guests’ attention. The content is only temporary, adding a layer of immediacy and evoking what the kids are calling, “FOMO” (“Fear of Missing Out”).
  5. Visual/Voice Search: The advent of Google Lens allows Smart Phone users to photograph their surroundings to acquire additional information; for example, scanning a building to discover the year it was built. Meanwhile, Siri and Alexa are used to answer queries quickly and efficiently. Refine your SEO strategy so that your hotel website is included in these innovative search engine rankings.

At The Brand Mix, we’re all about implementing tomorrow’s strategies today. Contact us to take the first step towards upping your website game!

A Micro-Post on Micro-Moments

Following investigations into Google’s infinitely clever Micro-Moment marketing strategy, we at The Brand Mix were inspired to publish a Micro-Post.

Those of you up-to-date with the musings of Google masterminds will already be familiar with the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’. To offer a brief explanation to those for whom the concept is new, the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’ is the period that precedes the purchasing of a product or service. The online browsing or research stage.

This is followed by the ‘First Moment of Truth’, where the buyer makes the purchase, and the ‘Second Moment of Truth’, where they use the product or service and decide if it is worth investing in again. In his 2013 book, What’s the Future of Business?, Brian Solis proposed an additional stage: ‘The Ultimate Moment of Truth’. This is where the buyer decides whether their hotel stay, for example, was exemplary enough to warrant raving about online.

As Smart Phones become increasingly prevalent in modern society, so too do “Micro-Moments”. A Micro-Moment occurs when individuals consult their device to validate a pending affirmative action. To give them advice on whether to learn something, go somewhere, do something, or buy something. According to Medium, 82% of Smart Phone users reflexively turn to their phone to influence their decision to purchase while shopping.

A Micro-Moment is comprised of little more than mere seconds and could be the difference between a guest choosing to stay at your property or taking their business elsewhere. Consequentially, there is no room for confusion when advertising your hotel. Descriptions must be clear, concise, and appealing. Your presence across social media must be tangible and your reviews, ideally, should be glowing.

Looking to enhance your brand’s online reputation? Contact The Brand Mix today. It only takes a moment.

Photo credit: ThinkwithGoogle.com

Web Development: The Extra Mile Makes All the Difference

Let’s say you’ve already established the foundations of your website. Its purpose is clear, its message is communicated effectively, the content is managed via a reliable CMS, the design is attractive, the pages have been SSL secured (https://), and the ‘About Us’ section is decorated with images of smiling team members. Great job! It’s quite an accomplishment.

(If you’re in need of a little extra help, websites are our speciality. Click here to find out more.)

Now it’s time to become a magnet for potential customers. Web development, brand maintenance, and the establishment of online visibility are multi-faceted challenges. Luckily, at The Brand Mix, we’re experts at what we do. This means we have the know-how to whittle sprawling and complex processes down to five crucial ingredients. Follow these tips to take your website to the next level.

  1. Clarity: Description and navigation must be kept simple. Guests shouldn’t have to read walls of text or follow countless links to source the answer to a simple question. Well-written copy and minimalist functionality is key.
  2. Expansion: Don’t be afraid to create. And once you start, don’t stop. Your property website should feature a stream of fresh material, from blogs to vlogs to podcasts. In such a competitive online world, you engage to stay relevant.
  3. SEO: Invest in Search Engine Optimisation to be ranked higher in search results by the likes of Google and Bing. SEO is another of our specialties. Click here to find out more.
  4. Analytics: Keep a close eye on your website analytics. These provide invaluable information on how your guests found you, which advertisements are proving irresistible, and which are falling behind. Knowing where to invest time, resources, and money is half the battle.
  5. Responsive: Your website needs faster load times. It should also benefit from full optimisation across desktop, Smart Phone, and Tablet. In the age of short attention spans, it only takes one small slip-up to lose a guest. But make your website the best it can be, and they’ll be coming back for more.

Don’t hesitate to contact The Brand Mix for more information, advice, or a helping hand. Put your trust in us. We won’t let you down.

The Mix Manages Metasearch

You know you’ve made it big when your company name is used as a verb to describe its offering. Many of us automatically refer to search engine browsing as ‘Googling’. That is, unless we’re using Bing. Or StartPage. Or Search Encrypt. Or DuckDuckGo. Or CC Search. Or one of countless others.

In a Google-dominated online world, it’s easy to forget just how many search engines are used to navigate the infinities of the Internet. At The Brand Mix, we work tirelessly to improve your search engine ranking by closely monitoring SEO and PPC analytics.

But the question remains: How do you reap success across the board? When your property website is accessed by and filtered through a variety of expansive search engines, the prospect can seem overwhelming.

One word. Metasearch.

Metasearch engines gather, categorise, and rank the essential data listed across popular search engine sites. This is accomplished by dispatching simultaneous, automated queries to Google, Bing, and their lesser-known, but equally effective, counterparts. The top search results are then compiled into a comprehensive master list.

Here at The Brand Mix, we have the skills required to manage your metasearch. We recognise its massive potential as an additional marketing channel and enhance its value with meticulously orchestrated, innovative campaigns.

Enhance brand awareness. Strengthen RevPar. Increase yield bookings. Nurture your relationship with your guests. Gain the upper hand over your competitors. Take back your guests from OTA’s.

All at a competitive cost. All through metasearch. All with The Brand Mix. Contact us for more information.

The Brand Mix Vouchers: Give the Gift of Greatness

When it boils down to it, life is about the experiences you had along the way.

We are fortunate to live in an age where every corner of the globe is accessible. Where news of airline sales arrives in our inbox every week. Where the world has become smaller and family members in distant lands are only a plane journey away.

Enthralling stories, unforgettable occurrences, and life-shaping experiences are borne of world travel. At The Brand Mix, we are passionate about broadening our horizons. Just as we are about broadening yours.

This year, go beyond the material and give the gift of greatness. We have all received a well-intentioned present that soon ended up gathering dust in a drawer. Meanwhile, gifting an experience can create memories that last a lifetime.

Our bespoke online voucher engine is used by properties all over the globe. From luxury stays to world-class dining to extraordinary adventure experiences. The Brand Mix gift voucher does it all.

When you book directly on one of our property websites, you are guaranteed the best rate available online. Purchase a voucher for a loved one and have it arrive in your inbox instantly. It’s that simple.

Give the gift of memories with The Brand Mix vouchers. Who knew something so small had such big potential?

You too could benefit from integrating The Brand Mix voucher engine into your website. Whatever your offering! For more information, click here. To get in contact, click here. You’ll be glad you did.

Join us in opening up a world of opportunity. One experience at a time.