As you surf the web today, take note of just how many times you run across a WIHP ad. If ever there were an “over” the top campaign, the so called “all inclusive” hotel marketing agency may have gone too far.
So, since WIHP is all into viral evangelism and digital visibility, let’s take a look at just what’s going on there. First up, how about website creation?
There’s nothing like a beautiful landing page, some snappy user interface options, and edgy graphics to tantalize visitors. Toward this end, WIHP has created some visual wonders like the Hôtel Odéon Saint-Germain site for the Paris hotel. In all honesty, this is one of the easiest to use and most striking hotel sites I ever looked at. Not so deep, the high end imagery and easy UI point straight at booking – but in a nice way. The only problem is, no one on this Earth has seen the site so far. Being fair some more, it is a new engagement, so Alexa 3 + million is not horrible (well).
It seems that Google might have indexed the aforementioned hotel better, with a decent sitemap along with some SEO love. A cursory look at some content reveals Laterooms’ duped provider listing though, not the best idea when Google’s Caffeine has its way with duplicate content. Hotelduglobeparis.com, hidden-hotel.com (interesting choice of name), hotelduparcparis.com, hotelsoftparis.com, reginaeiffel.com, and a score of others now brand with the WHIP cookie cutter site templates. I call them templates because it appears only slight differences exist, like images, etc.
Face it, the advertised speed, trends, click patterns WIHP hotel websites can afford, are not hurt by temnplating out the offerings, but invisibility, even early on, is not banner business practice. Am I missing something? Let’s find out.
Social Media Marketing
WIHP’s second area of expertise, the top nav element of product listed right after “Ad Campaigns on TripAdvisor” – is pretty swift, actually. A random look at Hidden Hotels’ Facebook shows over 5,000 people engaged. Well, maybe not fully engaged, only 93 of those are talking? There’s no friend activity, and the last wall “broadcast” was 10 days ago? Hmm. I don’t see their Twitter or G+ accounts, so they effectively don’t exist. Over at the fabulous Hotel du Globe, there is no social engagement yet.
And, if I were evaluating social presence for any real estate site, tech startup, whatever, WIHP would not exactly be a poster child – the WIHP Facebook looks like a ghost town compared to many others in the field. Twitter? 116 Followers. G +? A placeholder so far. Nuff said.
À la carte
Consulting on everything from cutting edge mobile technologies, marketing, pay per click, SEM, SEO, changing the linens, the mint on the pillow, there are a lot of firms out there who want to help you with your hotel’s needs. Pamil Visions PR & Consulting can too. Really. But seriously, what WIHP has going on apparently is a massive marketing budget directed at Google ads. Looking into the periphery of their other offerings we find:
- Consulting – opt in to hook up with somewhat nebulous former managers….
- Exploratel – WIHP’s distribution channel – yet another confusing and average search mechanism – we do admit the Hidden Hotel listing there in position 10, page 1, does show off the hotel better than TripAdvisor and many others.
- Ad Campaigns – AdWords and etc. Voicing bad about OTAs out of the other side of their mouth
- Mobile – Consideration of hotel graphics and sites fitting onto devices – nice – more mobile ppc – yawn
- Content Management – A super nice looking CMS any hotelier could use – not many even talk about this
- Search Engine Optimization – No need for a website without this – buyer always beware on both ends tho
- Tracking & Analytics – Don’t leave the front desk without this – but expect to get your bachelor’s in web analysis to use any metrics tools
- TripAdvisor Ad Campaigns – For only €2000 a month, you too can rank in the top ten? Or?
Picking and choosing from among a host of edgy looking tools will require a degree of trust for the average hotel owner. Trust – you know, that hard won commodity that comes from either experience or fantastic credibility aspects – first impressions, etc. And theirin we find the rub for WIHP or any player laying claim to being an “all in one” solution for a market. Just a guest post about unique selling points (USPs) on Tnooz, juggling some marketing terms with WIHP marketing director, Martin Soler, is only a smidgen of what this new player needs to forge forward.
Trusting a Brand’s Brand
Even more posts no Tnooz quoting WHIP for their marketing wizardry, 5 or 6 such articles in July and September, do not reach out to that lonely hotelier in need of a turnkey solution, not like showing numbers and empirical truth do. Of course, the hurdle is the same for all startups. WIHP is by far light years ahead of most. However, their sword of Damocles is really the fact that excellence in one aspect, begs excellence in all others. Put bluntly, WIHP’s digital footprint, their early clients’ reach, hurts credibility – at least for some people.
Let’s be clear about everything we have said. WIHP is, by far, the nicest “all in one” solution for some hotels to gain share I have seen so far. I point out the inefficiencies and shortcomings for two reasons. First, anything so well thought out and carried out, should be damn near perfect. This is especially true where claiming to be Moses for an exodus form despair by enslaved hotel owners. WIHM is not exactly ready to shout like Charlton Heston; “Let me hotels go!” Not just yet.
The other reason for writing about WIHP’s “cons” along with its “pros” is, Google has set ads upon me since I search travel related items. WIHP this, WIHP there, WIHP everywhere, yet where WIHP should be, working for that hotelier, is a lot less visible. At least in my view. The marketing spend is doing it’s job, just out of sync or proportion to other elements. This is bad. I will talk with the company’s CEO if possible, to see if we can test some of these elements for your, for a real view under the hood. In the meantime, someone needs to beef up those SM presences. :)
More later on, I leave the reader with the TripAdvisor spend video. If you recognize the music from one of those Tony Robbins commercials…