The final analysis from these activities showed that, just as with consumers, today’s business decision-makers begin their purchases by researching products and services online by utilizing search engines and consuming various forms of content. In other words, even though these are ‘businesses’, we are still selling to ‘people’.

The B2B sell may be more complicated, but we must nevertheless captivate and engage the interest of the potential buyer through various online channels.  As illustrated in the statistics already mentioned, we know that by the time they connect with one of our sales professionals, they’re well on their way to making a decision.

As a general takeaway, it is critical that hotels understand their audiences and how they may vary by segment in order to then determine what search terms and content are relevant for their properties and destinations. SEM isn’t something that is just tacked on to the marketing budget; these new digital channels need a well-defined strategy with specially tailored content if they are to be successful.

This may require a vastly different mindset in the hiring and training of the sales associate of the future as these methods of digital marketing and “social selling” must be incorporated into the everyday practices of the hotels’ sales teams. Moreover, the collaboration between sales and marketing is no longer an option; it is a vital necessity in today’s digital and social world.