Tracking Sources of Business

One thing I’ve learned this weekend while traveling: If a hotel reservation agent asks you how you found their property, don’t say, “I found you on Google Maps Mobile on my phone.”

They don’t have a checkbox for that.

Which makes me think that they likely don’t have check boxes for a LOT of the ways that people find their properties.

They probably advertise in their local yellow pages, just in case someone wants to rent a hotel room in their own town. They, of course, are also found on thousands of online travel sites, travel directories, and – of course – through traditional travel agencies.

The challenge I see here is that sources of business are diversifying more than ever, yet tracking hasn’t kept up. Because of this, people on the front line are put in a position of fitting new sources of business into old business assumptions. What’s missed is the glimpse into what new channels are bringing in business, which means they’ll miss out on the potential of new advertising opportunities.

And they’ll also over-spend on legacy advertising systems since their previous assumptions are inadvertently reinforcing the value of those systems.

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